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What is the Geography of the ACT?



The ACT is 80km (50mi) from north to south and is about 30km (19mi) wide. It is landlocked within the mountainous country of southeastern New South Wales, 305km (190mi) from Sydney by road. Canberra and its surrounding suburbs are in the northeast of the territory, while the Namadgi National Park occupies the whole southwestern area. The population grew from 50,000 in 1960 to 100,000 in 1967 and has soared to more than 300,000 today.

Canberra is arranged around the artificial Lake Burley Griffin. In Civic, on the northern side of the lake, are the shops, businesses, university and suburbs such as Reid, Braddon, Turner and Acton. Parliamentary and other administrative buildings are located to the south of the lake, surrounded by suburbs such as Parkes, Barton, Forrest, Deakin and Yarralumla (home to the prime minister and governor-general). Canberra is also surrounded by the satellite towns of Woden, Belconnen and Tuggeranong.

Canberra's airport is about 7km (4mi) east of the city. Interstate buses arrive at the Jolimont Centre, which is in the centre of Civic. The railway station is in Kingston, on the south side of the lake. Most shops and restaurants are in Civic and Manuka, also just south of the lake, with a few cafes sprinkled through the inner suburbs. Each satellite town has its own charming mall. Civic is also the centre of Canberra's nightlife, which is somewhat more lively than its reputation suggests.



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