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American Express -- The office at 185 City Walk (at the corner of Petrie Plaza, inside the Westpac Bank), Civic, is open during normal business hours . In an emergency, dial tel. 1300/132 639 in Australia.

Business Hours -- Banks are open Monday through Thursday from 9:30am to 4pm and Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. Stores and offices are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5:30pm. Many shops, particularly in the large malls, are open on weekends and until 9pm Fridays.

Climate -- The best time to visit Canberra is in spring (Sept-Nov) or autumn (Mar-May). Summers are hot and winters are cool and crisp.

Currency Exchange -- Cash traveler's checks at banks; at American Express ; or at Travelex, in the Harvey World Travel office at the Petrie Plaza entrance of the Canberra Centre (tel. 02/6247 9984), open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

Doctors -- Canberra after hours locum medical service (CALMS; tel. 1300/422 567, appointment necessary) is in Building 2 at the Canberra Hospital (enter through the Emergency Department entrance). The Travellers' Medical & Vaccination Centre, Level 5, 8-10 Hobart Place (at the corner of Marcus Clarke St.), Civic (tel. 02/6222 2300), offers vaccinations and travel medicines. Standard 20-minute consultations cost A$80 and up.

Embassies & Consulates -- The British High Commission (consular section) is on Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla (tel. 02/6270 6666); the Canadian High Commission is also on Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla (tel. 02/6270 4000); the U.S. Embassy is at Moonah Place, Yarralumla (tel. 02/6214 5600); and the New Zealand High Commission is at Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla (tel. 02/6270 4211).

Emergencies -- Call tel. 000 for an ambulance, the police, or the fire department.

Eyeglasses -- For repairs, glasses, and contact lenses, try OPSM Express, on the Lower Ground Floor, Canberra Centre, Civic (tel. 02/6249 7344). It's open 9am to 5:30pm Monday through Thursday, 9am to 9pm Friday, and 9am to 4pm Saturday.

Hospitals -- For medical attention, go to the Canberra Hospital, Yamba Drive, Garran (tel. 02/6244 2222), or call the Accident & Emergency Department (tel. 02/6244 2324).

Hot Lines -- For information and counseling, call the Rape Crisis Centre (tel. 02/6247 2525; 24 hr.); the Drug/Alcohol Crisis Line (tel. 02/6207 9977; 24 hr.); Lifeline Crisis Counselling (tel. 13 11 14; www.lifeline.org.au); the Salvation Army Counselling Service (tel. 1300/363 622); the Poison Information Centre (tel. 13 11 26); and the National Roads & Motorists Association (tel. 13 11 11).

Internet Access -- The National Library, Parkes Place, Parkes (tel. 02/6262 1111), has e-mail facilities available Monday through Thursday 9am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 1:30 to 5pm. Internet access is readily available around town at other libraries and in Internet cafes. The Canberra Visitors' Centre can provide you with a full list.

Pharmacies (Chemist Shops) -- There are three pharmacies in the Canberra Centre, Civic, open during general shopping hours. A number of after-hours pharmacies are listed in the Canberra Yellow Pages.

Photographic Needs -- Ted's Camera House has stores at 9 Petrie Plaza (tel. 02/6247 8711) and in the Canberra Centre (tel. 02/6249 7364), and both are good places to buy camera gear and film and to have photos printed.

Post Office -- The Canberra GPO, 53-73 Alinga St., Civic (tel. 02/6209 1680), is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. The general delivery (poste restante) address is c/o Canberra GPO, ACT 2601.

Restrooms -- Public restrooms can be found near the city bus exchange, City Hall, and London Circuit.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.