skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Australian Defence Force Academy

Living in Canberra

ADFA is in Canberra, which is located in the Australian Capital Territory in south eastern New South Wales.

Canberra is a modern city just over ninety years old. It was chosen as Australia’s national capital in 1908 as a diplomatic solution when both Melbourne and Sydney wanted the role. Its name comes from the local Aboriginal word ‘Kamberra’ meaning ‘meeting place’.

As Australia’s capital city, Canberra is the focal point for activities and events that affect and influence the nation. It is the home of Federal Government and the public service, a focus for business and industry, home to the international diplomatic community, a place of study or just a great place to live.

As a planned city, Canberra is known for its large open spaces, parklands and natural beauty. Coupled with fantastic town centres, a café culture and an outdoor lifestyle, Canberra is an ideal place for students of all ages to call home. Located within a few hours drive of both the beach and Australia’s best ski fields, Canberra offers an almost endless range of things to see and do. The other eastern seaboard cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can be easily reached by bus, train or plane. Cadets are able to request leave to travel away from ADFA on weekends during the year, depending on their year level and training schedule.

While studying and training at ADFA, officer cadets and midshipmen are required to live on base in the Canberra suburb of Campbell. With almost 320,000 residents, Canberra is a cosmopolitan city enriched by strong national and international ties, a thriving cultural, educational, entertainment and sporting life and all set amidst extensive natural parks.

Canberra also offers unparalleled access to a range of research and study resources and is the base for a host of national organisations like the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Library, the National Gallery of Australia, a showcase Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, government departments and CSIRO. Canberra offers a lively cultural life and is home to four universities and other higher education institutions.

Action Buses, the Canberra public transport provider, runs regular routes through the Academy into the City Centre. Officer cadets and midshipmen are also able to bring personal vehicles to the Academy after their first six weeks of training.

Cadets at the War Memorial