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Suburbs of Canberra: Map


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The suburbs of Canberramarker are organised into a hierarchy of districts, town centres, group centres, local suburbs and other industrial areas and villages. While these divisions have no formal role in the governance or administration of the city, they formed a basis for the planning and development of the city and are significant to the city’s commercial and social activities.

For a complete list, see List of Canberra suburbs


Most suburbs of Canberra are designed around local shops, centrally located within walking distance of the outer parts of the suburb. Consequently they are generally smaller in size to the suburbs of other cities. A typical Canberra suburb is bounded on all sides by major roads, and at the centre, contains local shops, or at least a local store. Some also contain a petrol station, a church, or other community facilities. Many also contain a primary school and a preschool.

As a result of these commercial and community facilities being located in the centre of suburbs, Canberra lacks strip shopping along major roads and appears to be ‘empty’ to most visitors. In the older areas, major roads are lined with houses, and in the newer areas they are typically landscaped with mounds of earth and vegetation to form ‘parkways’.

In chronological order of development, the Districts are:

The City Centre

Canberra's central business district (‘Citymarker’ also known as ‘Civic’) is the main commercial centre in Canberra. It is larger than the town centres and contains many government departments, large office buildings and retail outlets such as department stores and specialty stores and recreational facilities such as cinemas, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and the theatres. It is the site of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assemblymarker, the Canberra Theatre and Playhouse, Territory Courts, and the Federal Court (although the High Courtmarker is located in the Parliamentary Trianglemarker).

Town Centres

There are four town centres within Canberra. As well as serving as commercial nodes, town centres also serve as centres of employment. Most contain at least one major Federal Government department, such as the Department of Immigration and Australian Bureau of Statistics in Belconnen, Department of Health in Woden Valley and Centrelink in Tuggeranongmarker. Town centres also provide services such as mechanical workshops, gyms, pubs and clubs, cinemas, restaurants and fast food outlets, petrol stations and car dealerships. They also usually contain a public library, police station and a community centre. The Woden Town Centre has high rise office buildings and resembles a ‘mini city centre’.

Group Centres

Group Centres are commercial and community centres smaller than town centres but larger than local shops which are designed to serve a "group" of suburbs – typically about four or five. A typical group centre contains such local commercial facilities such as a supermarket, a petrol station, specialty stores such as a pharmacy, hairdresser, butcher, video store, baker, deli, health food store, betting agency and medical centre. Some larger group centres may also contain banks, a few restaurants and fast food outlets. They will typically also contain recreational and social facilities such as a swimming pool, church, and a tavern or club. These are intended to provide “weekly shopping” type services to the residents of adjoining suburbs.

Industrial areas

The suburbs of Mitchellmarker, Fyshwickmarker and Humemarker are Canberra’s industrial areas and are located away from residential suburbs. While they are the location of light industry (Canberra has no heavy industries), they also contain a large number of retail outlets such as furniture stores, hardware stores, car dealerships, bicycle shops, camping stores and wholesale outlets.


The Australian Capital Territory also contains a number of smaller villages located outside the urban area. Historically some of these are farming or forestry villages and some were damaged or destroyed in the fires of January 2003. The village closest to the urban area is Hallmarker which is located just past Belconnen near the New South Walesmarker border.

See also

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