Bordering the City Centre, the suburb of Acton it situated on the west-hand side of the Parliamentary Triangle. The area is home to the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National University, as well as new-age restaurants, bars and high-end apartments designed for ultimate visual appeal. The New Acton Precinct has completely revitalized the area, which is now home to a burgeoning hub of creativity and design. With its mix of old and new; traditional, and ultra-modern, Acton oozes cool.

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Buses run throughout Acton and are currently the main form of public transport in the area.

Things we love…

  • Australian National University is located in Acton, making the area perfect for students.
  • The New Acton Precinct has completely redefined the area, bringing modern art to the heart of the suburb.

But remember that…

  • Houses in Acton are tightly held and the majority of new developments are apartments buildings with luxury inclusions and high price-points.
  • Due to the waterside location of Acton, it’s very unlikely the light rail will ever run through the suburb. 


As mentioned, the Australian National University campus is a huge drawcard for the suburb. ANU has over 20,000 students enrolled, with a fairly even split between undergraduate and postgraduate students and is ranked as one of the world’s leading research universities, and is number one in Australia.

For young families, there are several local childcare options including Acton Early Childhood Centre, and Central Canberra Family Day Care, which are located next to each other on Balmain Lane. Goodstart Early Learning ANU and University Preschool and Child Care Centre are also located in the suburb, with Goodstart up near the campus and University Preschool on the peninsular. Although there are no government-run schools located in Acton, Forest Street Primary School in the CBD and nearby Turner School on Condamine Street in Turner are both 6 minutes away for students from Kindergarten–Year 6. For high school students, the closest high school is located in Campbell. Canberra Girls Grammar Senior School is also fairly close by in Deakin.


Just over 2000 people call Acton home, however with the expansion of the New Acton precinct, this area is growing rapidly. The majority of people living in Acton are 20—39 years old, with an incredibly high percentage of singles. Around 70% per cent of occupants are renting, with only a third of Acton residents owning their homes, which is fairly typical for an area with a large university student population. 

New Acton Precinct

Along with the ANU campus, Acton also offers plenty of draw cards for locals too. You’ll find art galleries hosting work by internationally-recognised artists and designers and top-class bars and cafes around every corner. Palace Electric Cinema is also in New Acton. offering eight fully-licensed cinemas and a Processo bar (it’s more than just a movie theatre). You’ll also find plenty of top-end restaurants and bars that are local favourites like Monster Kitchen and Bar and Parlour Wine Room. New Acton also has a fantastic event calendar, with yoga, spa sessions and plenty of other entertainment sessions scheduled regularly (check out their website for details). With Black Mountain and the Australian National Botanic Gardens directly behind Acton, and Lake Burley Griffin to the south, there are plenty of lovely walks close by to explore the greener side of Canberra too.

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One City Hill

The New Acton precinct started development in 2014, with the Nishi ‘pineapple-shaped’ building taking home the International Project of the Year at the Building Awards in London in 2015. Nishi isn’t the only architecturally striking building in the area, with many of the new projects following suit to create innovative and artistic designed apartment complexes. Currently under development just on the border of Acton and Canberra Central is One City Hill, with one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments which don’t compromise on luxury or design. This project has been a decade in the making and is currently under construction, linking the CBD with the New Acton precinct. Also in the CBD is the architecturally-designed Capitol Residences which has been recently completed. There is also quite a lot of development underway in neighbouring Turner at the moment, with new townhouse developments at 37–39 Forbes Street, Turner, Macleay Street No. 10 and Haig Parkside all selling now. 

Location & Transport

Acton is located one kilometre outside the city centre, or just 20-minutes walk away. It also borders the Parliamentary Triangle — close to the heart of all the action in Canberra. The suburb also backs onto Lake Burley Griffin and the Black Mountain Peninsula, with a booming waterfront precinct. To the west of Acton is Black Mountain Nature Reserve and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Acton is just 8-minutes drive from Parliament House and a 12-minute drive to the Airport, making the suburb popular with young professionals. 

ANU Campus, Acton

The Canberra bus network runs throughout Acton and offers easy public transport access to the city, the ANU campus, Parliamentary Triangle and beyond. Currently, the closest light rail station is located on Alinga Street in the City, however, Stage 2A of the light rail has been recently approved, and includes additional stops at City West, City South and Commonwealth Park. In addition to this, there is also plans to raise London Circuit, creating a new gateway to the CBD. This will provide between walking, cycling and public transport links between the CBD and Acton Waterfront. Stage 2B will see the rest of the light rail network connected to Woden, which will further improve the public transport options throughout the suburb. However, due to its waterside location, plans for a light rail station in Acton itself are uncertain at this time.

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