Motels in Canberra and Queanbeyan have seen a big influx of people fleeing the fires on the South Coast, with more expected as the authorities urge people to leave the area.
And some Canberrans have booked into hotels to try to escape the smoke at home.
A Facebook page has also been set up to "connect those evacuating from the South East Coast bushfires to those in Canberra and surrounding areas who can provide emergency accommodation, whether it be a room or a backyard for a caravan or tent".
Sundown Villas on Narrabundah Lane had ten people turn up. "They were definitely happy when we said we had vacancies," a receptionist said.
A convoy of four vehicles turned up late on New Year's Day at Hamilton's Queanbeyan Motel.
Karlee Agnew and her family and friends found shelter in Queanbeyan as their convoy of four vehicles finally found a way from the blazes on the South Coast.
They were just one part of an amazing exodus of people whose family holidays turned to dust and who have struggled to reach their homes.
She, her daughter, sister and brother-in-law plus three young children and friends reached Hamilton's Queanbeyan Motel at five o'clock on Wednesday evening and left on Thursday morning to navigate around the fires in eastern Victoria in a struggle to reach their homes in Melbourne.
They were staying in a holiday house in Bermagui but told to leave for Narooma as fire threatened the coastal town.
"It was pitch black and the sky was glowing red," she said. "The power was out. There was a mass exodus to Narooma. It was really scary. It looked like we were driving into another fire."
They did get to Narooma where "everyone was on the streets". They spent New Year's Eve sleeping in cars on the oval, taking particular care of the four young children.
Volunteers fed them in the oval - "Everything was rationed. People were in a bit of a panic. The volunteers were amazing. Sausages were shared out. Everybody was out of toilet paper. We were just sharing what we had."
On Wednesday, they heard that the road to Cooma was open and decided to go for it. The authorities have been instructing tourists to leave the area and they needed no second urging. On Thursday morning, the convoy was heading for Albury but working out how to negotiate the fires between them and Melbourne.
"It's been a very long trip home," said Ms Agnew. "We are having to go inland."
Hotels in the Canberra region said many families had sought accommodation during their exodus from fire.
Some stayed at the Little National Hotel as well as motels nearer the main routes.
"A lot of other families have come," said Hamilton's Queanbeyan Motel proprietor, Jagjit Singh. He said people had found that highways were closed and stayed in his motel as they worked out what to do. He was offering a discount to people fleeing the fires.
Some Canberrans moved into hotels because they thought there would be less smoke. Journalist Markus Mannheim tweeted that he was in a "clogged" hotel. "My terrible house let's the smoke in," he said. "I've met people in this hotel who fled from Mallacoota, Narooma and Koscziusko."
Many had stopped for petrol in Cooma. "We've increased business. It's busier than the snow season," Bianca Rosenbaum at the Metro servo there said. She said there was no rationing.
Another petrol station reported a big increase in trade but said there was no rationing. "All day yesterday, into the evening. All day today, we've had people evacuated here. A lot more business," the person serving said.
A Facebook page was set up under the title "Bushfire emergency accommodation in Canberra".