This northern Canberra suburb offers natural beauty alongside engaging planned cityscapes and urban design, inviting you to learn, browse, eat and buy. 

Visit Acton to stroll along the lake, learn about Australia’s scientific achievements and explore innovative architecture. Bordered by Black Mountain and City West, this diverse suburb offers enjoyable and relaxing experiences. 

Step into the science labs at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, open on weekdays. See what’s under the microscope or bubbling away in beakers and learn about important moments in Australian research. At the National Film and Sound Archive, watch and listen to treasures from Australia’s audio-visual history, including music, TV and radio recordings. Learn about a very early feature film The Story of the Kelly Gang.  

In the east, the National Museum of Australia looks over the water. This colourful modern complex reviews Australian society, Aboriginal history and the nation’s relationship with the natural environment. On Acton’s western side, the Black Mountain Peninsula juts into Lake Burley Griffin. Picnic or play in vast open parkland, dive into the water or launch a boat off the ramp for a pleasant day on the lake. 

Visit Australian National University’s main campus to glimpse Australia’s academic life. Experience live performances at theatre restaurant Teatro Vivaldi or attend a public concert at the ANU School of Music

After seeing historical wonders and places of learning, venture to modern Canberra at NewActon, a contemporary city precinct near the banks of the lake. See striking modern architecture all around, particularly the fascinating Nishi building. Browse gardens, boulevards, cinemas, art galleries and boutiques. Enjoy art and design exhibitions and live performances, dine in trendy wine bars and restaurants, stay in some of the city’s best modern hotels and relax in the day spa. Discover the work of local street artists adorning the walls and lobbies here. 

Hire a bike to get the most out of a visit to Acton and ride around the lake’s edge at West Basin. From here, it’s easy to get to the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Telstra Tower and the National Convention Centre.

Guide to Exploring Acton

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