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Canberra is such a great place to take the kids!  There are so many great educational attractions in town – the kids will have a blast and learn at the same time!

In terms of the best family accommodation Canberra has, it’s certainly not the cheapest of Australian cities. However, if you know where to look, you can get some good value Canberra family accommodation.

We recently visited Canberra and so have already narrowed down where the best family accommodation in Canberra is.  We found some great Canberra accommodation family options in the city centre – while most are hotel style rooms, there are even some cheap self contained apartments too.

To help you find the best family friendly accommodation Canberra has, this guide covers a range of different options.  There is also a map so you can see exactly where the different Canberra family friendly hotels are and a table so you can easily compare them.  

So let’s get into it and find the best place to stay in Canberra for families!

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information.

Canberra Family Accommodation Map

Most people want to stay in the city centre where they are surrounded by shops, places to eat and have easy access to public transport so getting around to all the attractions is easy.  However, perhaps you’re coming to Canberra for a specific reason, such as to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

Most of the accommodation we’ve listed in this guide is located in the city centre – you can see their specific locations on the map below. 

Overview of the Best Family Accommodation – Canberra

Below is an overview of all the family accommodation Canberra City offers, reviewed in this guide. You can use this overview to quickly determine if any of these options are right for you and your family. For a more comprehensive review, keep reading below.

HotelRoom TypeHotel FacilitiesCheck Price
Canberra City YHA
Hotel room with queen, bunk bed and tea and coffee making facilitiesRooftop BBQ area, shared kitchen and games roomCheck Price
Jamala Wildlife Lodge
Luxury rooms with king bed and pull out sofas, views across animal enclosures and tea and coffee making facilitiesParking, entry to zoo, guided tour, encounters with animals, afternoon tea, 3 course dinner and full breakfast. Check Price
Forrest Hotel Apartments
2 Bedroom apartments - fully self contained with kitchen and laundryParking, restaurant and BBQ areaCheck Price
Novotel Canberra
Hotel room with two queen beds and tea and coffee making facilitiesParking, restaurant, bar, pool, spa, sauna and gym.Check Price
Crown Plaza
Hotel room with two queen beds and tea and coffee making facilitiesParking, restaurant, bar, pool and gym.Check Price
Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments
2 Bedroom apartments - fully self contained with kitchen and laundryParking, pool and gym.Check Price
Pacific Suites Canberra
2 Bedroom apartments - fully self contained with kitchen and laundryParking, pool and gym.Check Price
Apartment on Lonsdale
1 Bedroom with double bed, two sofa beds, kitchen and laundryParkingCheck Price
Capital Executive Apartments
Studio with double bed, bunks and kitchenetteParkingCheck Price
Quest Canberra 
2 Bedroom apartments - fully self contained with kitchen and laundryParkingCheck Price

Review of the Best Family Accommodation in Canberra

Below we cover some fantastic options for families looking for the cheap family accommodation Canberra offers. 

Canberra City YHA

Yes, the Canbera City YHA is a backpackers, but they also have fantastic accommodation for families at a super low price.  Located just on the edge of the city centre, the YHA is ideal for those after the budget family accommodation Canberra has.  

The YHA has everything you need within walking distance.  Just 230 metres away you’ve got the Canberra Centre which is a large shopping centre full of clothing shops and food places like McDonald’s, Sushi, Oporto and loads of coffee shops. Within the Canberra Centre, you’ll also find supermarkets such as Coles and Aldi, where you can pick up supplies for the kids. The YHA also has a bus stop just a few hundred metres away, making it super easy for families to visit attractions by public transport.

The YHA family rooms are ideal, given they can accommodate two adults and up to three kids.  Each family room has a queen bed, a bunk bed and a trundle bed. Parents will also love how the kid’s beds are set back behind a little nook, offering a little privacy for the parents – great for putting little ones to bed early.  The rooms also have a private bathroom, air conditioning, TV, wifi and tea and coffee making facilities. 

Being a backpackers, you’ve also got access to a range of shared facilities, including a rooftop BBQ area, shared kitchen and a games room. 

If you’re looking for the best Canberra budget family accommodation in the centre of town, surrounded by everything you need during your trip – definitely consider the YHA – it’s a great place to stay with the kids.

What’s to love?

This is excellent super cheap family accommodation in Canberra – right in the city centre too! 

What’s not to love?

There are no awesome facilities for the kids like a pool or anything and there is limited parking on site.

Summary

While you might be looking for a Canberra family hotel for your trip – the YHA offers everything you need and more!  This is super cheap accommodation, in a really convenient spot within walking distance of everything you’ll need during your trip.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

If you want something extra special for your family, a real splurge, a once in a lifetime experience – then you’ve got to consider the Jamala Wildlife Lodge.  The Lodge is a 10 minute drive outside of the city centre, and probably not the place you’d stay for Canberra sightseeing – but a stay at Jamala is an experience in itself!  Before you keep reading – let me tell you there is nothing “thrifty” about a stay at this place – rather this is a once in a lifetime bucket list for your family that the kids will be raving about for years!

The Jamala Wildlife Lodge is an all inclusive luxury hotel located in the middle of the National Zoo and Aquarium. Basically, this hotel has strategically built treehouses and bungalows around the enclosures of certain animals, so your family can safely spend the night sleeping right next to some of the world’s most loved exotic animals.  You can choose to stay near lions, sun bears, giraffes, and other amazing animals that will be literally just outside your room.

No matter which room you choose, each room is just pure luxury!  You’ll have gigantic king beds and pull out sofa beds for the kids, a huge bathroom with shower and bathtub, spacious living areas and, of course, fabulous views of your chosen animal.  We stayed in the treehouses which overlooked the giraffe enclosure – it was a real treat waking up to giraffe smiling through our window!  It’s important to note that there are certain age restrictions for each room, but you’re sure to find one that will suit your family.

Now, this isn’t your standard hotel where you’re left to your own devices. Instead, this is an all inclusive experience.  On arrival, you’re welcomed with a scrumptious afternoon tea and in the evening you’ll enjoy an amazing three course dinner in an area of the lodge that looks into the lions and hyena den.  Kids are provided with their own special dinner and even taken for a private tour of the aquarium so that parents can enjoy a little alone time.  Did I mention dinner also comes with fine wines too!

One of our favourite parts of staying here was the private guided tour in the National Zoo and Aquarium.  Jake, our tour guide, shared lots of knowledge with us as we visited certain animals.  We even got to feed deer, llamas, antelope and the highlight – giraffe!  Actually, I think the highlight for me was patting a rhino!  They are soo cute and friendly – who would have thought!

Your stay at Jamala also includes entry into the National Zoo and Aquarium, which you’re free to visit on the day of arrival or the following day.  Given your room is right in the middle of the zoo, you can even stroll around super early in the morning when no one else is around – it’s super cool staying in a zoo – even if just for one night!

Now it’s important to note that the animals are free to wander around their enclosures as they like.  They’re certainly not chained up outside your window or anything (thank god!).  So for us, we were looking out over part of the giraffe enclosure – so if the giraffe chose to go into a different section of the enclosure, we couldn’t see her.  This was the same for the lions and hyenas during meal times – sometimes they came into the den while we were there, sometimes they didn’t. So while it’s disappointing not to see them all the time – I was actually happy about this; the animals really are free to roam as they like. 

As you can see, a stay at Jamala really is an experience in itself and one that I highly recommend for parents wanting to do something super special and memorable with their kids.  Why not spend a night here while in Canberra and then move onto one of the other cheaper accommodation options from this guide for your sightseeing.

Read our full review on staying at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge here and see our YouTube video here showing all the highlights from our stay.

What’s to love?

Sleeping inside a zoo with exotic animals right outside your room – this is a once in a lifetime experience! 

What’s not to love?

The price – this is certainly not the place for families looking for a night of budget accommodation. 

Summary

If you want to treat the kids to something super special, a once in a lifetime experience where they get to sleep right inside a zoo, with their favourite animals right outside their room, then do yourself a favour and splurge on a night at Jamala.  It’s an incredible experience and one you won’t forget.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Forrest Hotel Apartments

If something super cheap is your priority, then Canberra budget accommodation for family doesn’t get much better than The Forrest Hotel Apartments.  This self contained family accommodation Canberra offers is by far the cheapest in this guide and provides families with a comfortable place to stay with reasonably easy access to public transport.

The Forrest Hotel Apartments are located just behind Parliament House, making them ideal for families planning on spending a lot of their time in Canberra exploring all the attractions around the Parliamentary zone.  You could easily walk to all these attractions from here or there is a bus stop just a few hundred metres from the apartments, which makes catching public transport easy.  It is fairly isolated though in terms of shops and places to eat nearby.  There is however a restaurant on site and guests do have access to BBQ facilities.  

Families are best accommodated in the two bedroom apartments, which are spacious and can accommodate two adults and two kids. This family holiday accommodation Canberra offers comes with a queen bed and two single beds.  In addition, these apartments have a living area, lounge room, laundry facilities and even free on site parking. 

The Forrest Apartments are a great choice for families looking for cheap, spacious self-contained accommodation with easy access to public transport. 

What’s to love?

Super cheap self contained apartment with lots of space for families.  It is also a great spot for those who plan to spend most of their time exploring attractions around Parliament House.

What’s not to love?

This family holiday accommodation Canberra offers is not in a central part of the city, so not much around in terms of places to eat.

Summary

For families after super cheap self contained accommodation close to Parliament house, you really can’t beat the Forrest Apartments.  These family apartments Canberra offers provide families with plenty of space and the ability to prepare all their meals while in town.  Plus you’re within walking distance to all the attractions in the Parliamentary Zone and public transport is close by for visiting attractions further afield.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Novotel Canberra

The Novotel has long been a favourite of ours for family friendly accommodation and the Novotel Canberra is no exception.  This is a great place for families to stay who prefer that family friendly hotel experience, with lots of great facilities.

The Novotel is located in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by loads of shops and places to eat.  This family friendly hotel Canberra has is also just minutes from a bus stop which is great for sightseeing via public transport and the Canberra Centre shopping mall is just a few minutes walk away – this is an excellent location to stay!

The rooms here are hotel style and come with two queen size beds, so the kids will need to be happy to bunk in with each other.  In addition, the rooms come with a TV and tea and coffee making facilities.  The hotel itself has some great family friendly amenities, including an indoor heated swimming pool,  a large indoor spa, sauna and gym. There is also a restaurant and bar on site and secure parking available at an additional cost.

For families wanting to be in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by loads of shops and places to eat, the Novotel Canberra is certainly the place to be.

What’s to love?

The location – here you’re surrounded by loads of shops, places to eat and within walking distance to public transport.

What’s not to love?

Accommodation is offered in hotel style – so not much room for families to spread out. Unfortunately, there is no ability to prepare meals here either. 

Summary

If your family likes the hotel experience, where you don’t lift a finger – the Novotel Canberra is a great place to consider.  Surrounded by all of Canberra’s favourite cafes and shops, here you’re never far from where you want to go.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Crowne Plaza

Another great option to consider for families after hotel style accommodation is the Crowne Plaza.  Located on the edge of the city centre, Just behind the YHA, the Crowne Plaza is a short walk away from shops, places to eat and bus stops for getting around to all the attractions.

Like the Novotel, the rooms at the Crowne Plaza are hotel style, with families all in together.  Each of these rooms can accommodate a family of four, with each room coming with two large beds.  Rooms also feature a TV, AC and tea and coffee making facilities.

Families will love having access to the outdoor swimming pool on site, as well as the gym and sauna.  The hotel also features a restaurant and secure parking at an additional cost.

The Crowne Plaza is yet another great option for families looking for a kid friendly hotel, at a great price and within walking distance to shops, places to eat and public transport.

What’s to love?

Well priced and within walking distance to shops, places to eat and public transport.

What’s not to love?

Being a hotel room, everyone needs to bunk in together and the Crowne is a little further out from the city than some other places in this guide.

Summary 

For families looking for a well priced hotel with great on site amenities, the Crowne Plaza is well worth considering.  Having an outdoor swimming pool is particularly a bonus for families visiting during summer.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments

For families visiting Canberra during the warmer months and wanting a bit of space for the kids, the Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments is a fantastic choice.  This complex offers families spacious two bedroom self contained apartments and has a nice outdoor area complete with a swimming pool.

The Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments is located in a quieter part of town on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin.  While there aren’t too many shops or places to eat close by, having a spacious apartment, you’ll be able to prepare all your own meals for the kids.  Although you’re really only a short 15 minute walk to the centre of town.

Depending on the size of your family, you’ve got the option of two and three bedroom apartments here.  Two bedroom apartments can accommodate families of up to five and the three bedroom apartments can accommodate families of up to seven people.  While master bedrooms come with a queen bed, most additional rooms come with single beds and living rooms tend to have sofa beds.

Apartments are spacious and come with fully equipped kitchens.  They also contain a washing machine, dryer, living area, lounge room and balconies – some with views across Lake Burley Griffin and out to Parliament House.  The complex also has a swimming pool, sauna, bbq area, tennis courts, squash courts, gym and secure parking (costs extra).

While Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments are one of the more expensive accommodation options in this guide, you’re getting a lot for your money here.  Spacious self contained apartments, with great facilities and reasonably easy access to all the attractions in Canberra – what more do you need.

What’s to love?

Spacious accommodation as well as excellent on site facilities such as a swimming pool for the kids.

What’s not to love?

Not much close by in terms of shops and places to eat, but they’re just a short 15 minute walk away.

Summary

For families, after spacious self contained apartments where everyone has their own space, plus a pool for the kids – the Breakfree Capital Tower Apartments are a great choice.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Pacific Suites Canberra

 

Located a little out of the city centre in the swanky area of Braddon is the Pacific Suites.  This apartment complex is situated on the main road in the shopping, dining and entertainment district, so from here, you’re never far from anything.  Plus, it’s just a leisurely 10 minute stroll down to the centre of the Canberra CBD, where you have supermarkets and access to public transport for sightseeing.

The two bedroom suites here are perfect for families, as they can accommodate up to five people.  You’ve got a queen in the master bedroom and two singles in the second bedroom, as well as a sofa bed in the living area.  The suites are super spacious, coming with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, dining area, lounge area and balcony.  

Families will love the complex amenities here, which include a lovely outdoor swimming pool and a gym.  Secure on site parking is also available.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay with easy access to all that the trendy area of Braddon offers, then the Pacific Suites are well worth considering.  Here you have modern, spacious accommodation, great facilities and easy access to the Canberra attractions.

What’s to love?

Having a huge two bedroom suite is fantastic for families!  Plus, having a swimming pool is great for kids.

What’s not to love?

The property is located a little out of the city centre, but being in Braddon, it’s still super central with shops and places to eat around you.

Summary

Pacific Suites is a self-contained spacious apartment and is a great choice for families looking for plenty of space and great on site amenities.  Here you’re within walking distance to all the trendy shops and places to eat, which Braddon is well known for. 

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Apartment on Lonsdale

This one bedroom Apartment on Lonsdale is another excellent option for families after super cheap self contained accommodation.  This apartment is located in the centre of Braddon, surrounded by all the trendy cafes and restaurants the area is so well known for.  Plus, of course, being self contained, you can also prepare meals for the family while staying in.

Despite being just a one bedroom apartment, this place can actually accommodate a family of up to six people.  In the master bedroom, there is a queen bed, but then in the living area, you have two pull out sofa beds.  Mind you, it would be rather cozy if you had six people in this small apartment, but it’s completely doable if cheap accommodation was your priority.

The apartment is fully self contained with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, wifi, TV, air-conditioning and a huge outdoor balcony – perfect for family meals during the warmer months.  The complex also provides free parking.

If you’re looking for large family accommodation Canberra offers, you really can’t go wrong with this apartment.  It’s crazy cheap for the number of people it can accommodate, it’s located in a trendy part of town and has access to public transport to make it easy to get around to all the attractions.  

What’s to love?

Really cheap self contained apartment makes this awesome accommodation for families visiting Canberra!

What’s not to love?

The beds for the kids are in the form of sofa beds, which may be a bit of a pain if you need to make them up each day.

Summary

If you’re on a tight budget and need accommodation for a large family – then the Apartment on Lonsdale is certainly a place you’re going to want to consider.  With the ability to accommodate up to six people, this is super cheap self contained accommodation in a very trendy part of town.

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

Madison Capital Executive Apartments

Also located in Braddon, although at the further end, away from the city centre, the Madison Capital Executive Apartments is another option for families after super cheap accommodation in Canberra. These apartments offer either studio style accommodation or one bedroom self contained apartments.

Studios and apartments here can accommodate up to five people.  Each room comes with a queen bed, a set of bunks and a single bed.  Both rooms types also come with a kitchenette including a kettle, fridge, microwave, stovetop, and toaster so you can prepare basic meals for the kids.  Rooms also have a TV and air conditioning.  If you can definitely book the apartment for a small additional cost, you get more space which is great for larger families.

The complex also offers guests free parking, free wifi and laundry facilities.

While there is certainly nothing fancy about this hotel, it offers incredibly cheap accommodation for families while in Canberra.  The complex is certainly not in the heart of the city, but it’s an easy walk to shops, places to eat and even just a short 10 minute stroll to the city centre. So overall, this is an excellent place to stay for those on a budget.

What’s To Love?

Incredibly cheap accommodation, suitable for families with up to five people.

What’s Not to Love?

Not the most spacious accommodation or the most central – but you’re not paying much for it.

Summary

If you’re coming to Canberra on a super tight budget, then places like Madison Capital Executive Apartments are few and far between. However, this place offers excellent cheap accommodation, with plenty of spaces for large families, all within walking distance of everything you need while in town.

Click here to check availability and current pricing

Quest Canberra 

We’ve always been fans of the Quest chain of hotels, they offer great places for families and the Quest Canberra is certainly no exception.   While a little more expensive than some of the cheaper places listed in this review, the Quest Canberra offers incredibly spacious accommodation in the heart of the city centre.

The Quest is completely surrounded by shops and places to eat.  From here you’re a short walk from anywhere in the city centre.  You’re also just a five minute walk to the Canberra Centre shopping centre where you’ll find supermarkets and a food court.  You’ve also got a bus stop just a few hundred metres away so you can easily visit all the attractions around town.

In terms of the accommodation, families will love the huge two bedroom apartments.  These apartments can accommodate up to five people, with a queen bed in the master bedroom, two single beds in the second bedroom and an additional rollaway if necessary. The apartments also have a fully equipped kitchen, laundry, two bathrooms, living area, dining area and a huge wrap around balcony.

There are no other facilities at the Quest, although parking is available at an additional fee.

For spacious apartment accommodation where everyone has their own space, the Quest Canberra is a good one to consider.  These apartments provide families with everything they need to be self sufficient during their stay, but also with the conveniences of the city centre at their fingertips.

 

What’s To Love?

Super spacious self contained accommodation in the centre of the city.

What’s Not to Love?

This accommodation is more expensive than others listed in this guide; there are also no additional facilities such as a swimming pool for the kids.

Summary

For families wanting self contained accommodation in the centre of the city, the Quest Canberra is a perfect choice.  Spacious accommodation with a great location and all at a reasonable price – it has it all!

Click here to check availability and current pricing.

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Hopefully you found our guide on where to stay in Canberra helpful.  If you’re staying in Canberra – then you’ll want to check out our guide on things to do in Canberra with kids.

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