The name Queanbeyan is derived from "quinbean", an Aboriginal word meaning "clear waters". Queanbeyan was officially proclaimed a township in 1838. The town prospered first from gold and then by virtue of its close proximity to Canberra.
Queanbeyan was officially proclaimed a township in 1838 with a population of approximately 50 persons. Some of the significant historic buildings are still standing from that time.
By 1972 Queanbeyan had little difficulty in meeting the first basic requirement of city status; that the population had risen to more than fifteen thousand and that a future population of at least that number was assured. City status was accordingly granted on the 7th July, 1972. Queanbeyan in 2011 continues to grow and prosper with a population of 30,000.
- Queanbeyan is the fastest growing inland city in New South Wales
- Located on the Queanbeyan River, close to Canberra
- 299 km south-west of Sydney, population 37,000
Why go there
Queanbeyan is a relaxed city with plenty of cultural attractions and lively annual events. The city is a gateway to Canberra, snowfields and the pretty towns and villages of the Southern Tablelands such as Bungendore and Braidwood.
Things to do
- Take a self-guided town tour around Queanbeyan’s historic buildings and museums.
- Explore surrounding national parks and nature reserves to enjoy bushwalks and see native animals in the wild.
- Visit the Googong Foreshores – take a walk, have a picnic or try your hand at one of the various water sports on offer.
- Enjoy panoramic views of Queanbeyan and Canberra from Rex Cross Lookout.
- Take an historic rail trip such as the Bungendore market run or a steam-train ride to Royalla and back on Sundays.
Queanbeyan Visitor Information Centre
1 Farrer Place
Queanbeyan, NSW 2620
Telephone: (02) 6299 7307
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday 9am – 12pm (Including pubic holidays)
Canberra was chosen as the site for Australia’s capital in 1908 – it was to be Australia’s first fully planned major city. After a world wide competition, New York architect Walter Burley Griffin’s design was chosen as the winner.
The city was originally designed to house just over 30, 000 people. Since then, it has grown to a population of over 300, 000, and is now a bustling commercial centre with an active nightlife and some of the best restaurants in Australia.
As Australia’s official centre, Canberra now houses some of our nations most unique and impressive attractions. Canberra’s planned design makes getting around between the main centres simple. All of the following are within easy driving distance.
Check out the attractions that suit you!
History & Politics, Art, Sport, Just for fun, Shopping, See Canberra, Food & Wine.
More information about each of the attractions listed below can be collected from our friendly reception team on arrival.
History & Politics
New Parliament House
Architecturally unique, sporting marble stairs and the tallest aluminium flagpole in the southern hemisphere. Take a tour or book to see Parliament in action!
Old Parliament House
Now houses Australia’s Museum of Democracy, with many unique and interesting exhibitions. Visitors can wander freely or hear the inside stories with a 45 minutes guided tour.
Australian War Memorial
Inarguably Australia’s largest, most impressive memorial structure. Again, guided tours are available.
Australian National Museum
Unique exhibitions show-casing our history and events for the kids. Also has a first class café with seating by the lake.
A museum by the lake, its exhibitions show what life was like in the Canberra/Yass region before it was chosen as the Capital!
Royal Australian Mint
See how our currency is made, guided tours are available.
National Art Gallery
One of the nation’s largest art collections. Check out their website to see what’s on! Guided tours are available.
National Portrait Gallery
Recently moved to their own building, the National Portrait Gallery houses over 400 portraits of the people who helped shape our nation.
Australian Institute of Sport
Take a tour with a professional athlete and see them train!
Mountains only 2 hours away
The snowy mountains, Australia’s only ski destination in just 2 hours away – an easy day trip!
Hosts Canberra’s biggest sporting events, just 5 minutes drive away.
Just for Fun!
Great for the kids! This place makes science fun!
See some of the world’s most iconic buildings in miniature. Also take a ride on the old fashioned steam train.
Gold Creek Village
Small town charm near the city! A great place to relax and have lunch after visiting Cockington Green, with a variety of boutique shopping and old style cafes.
National Dinosaur Museum
Located in Gold Creek Village, has full scale exhibitions that show what the world might have looked like 60 million years ago!
National Zoo and Aquarium
Has Australia’s only tour where guests can feed the big cats!
CSIRO Discovery Centre
Great for the kids – the CSIRO also has a variety of holiday programs that teach kids the basics of slime making, forensic investigation and genetic engineering.
National Botanical Gardens
Free guided tours and a huge collection of both native and imported species.
Old Bus Depot Markets
Unique hand crafted items and beautiful food from all over the world, located in Kingston and open every Sunday.
The Canberra Centre has Canberra’s largest variety of stores.
Direct Factory Outlets
Find a bargain, we are just 5 minutes from the DFO in Fyshwick and 10 minutes from Brand Depot near the airport.
Canberra also has extensive boutique shopping in Manuka and Kingston, both of which are just a few minutes drive away.
Black Mountain Tower
360 degree panoramic views of Canberra! 2 viewing platforms and Canberra’s only revolving restaurant.
A unique way to see Canberra for the early bird.
A range of budget options are available, see Captain Cook Fountain shooting water 150m above the lakes’ surface!
Food & Wine
A wide range of dining options are available locally within walking distance in Queanbeyan CBD.