New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published March 21st 2016
Birdlife & Beaches on this 6 km loop
Lake Tuggeranong Circuit is a 6.7 kilometre loop around Lake Tuggeranong to walk, run or bike ride. Located just twenty minutes south of the city, this exercise loop is estimated to take thirty minutes to cycle the route, or an hour and forty minutes to walk it without a break. With flat paths and clear signage, it is used by locals every day to exercise and make the most of this waterside location. At any time of the day you will find exercise enthusiasts pounding the pavements or pushing prams, all ready with a friendly good morning or smile as they pass each other.
Local runners meet up for social races around the lake and bird-watching groups meet to track down the variety of water birds that you can find in the reeds. The birdlife in particular is a main feature of this exercise route, with galahs, rosellas, parrots, cormorants, water hens, swans, ducks and cockatoos all seen along the waterway.
The route is reasonably flat the whole way, with the occasional small undulating hill to provide interest. It is ideal for children learning how to ride bikes and for people who wish to exercise without any major hills to climb. Along the way there are little sandy beaches, BBQ areas, playgrounds, bridges, jetties and twists and turns around the back of lakeside properties. Along the way, check the signage and maps and see how you are progressing, around this scenic loop.
Part of the route takes you by Tuggeranong Town Centre, as you pass the Library, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and local Lake Tuggeranong College. This is where you will find school students and office workers coming down to the lake to enjoy the waterside location in their lunchbreaks. The rowing club jetty makes a handy spot for birdlife to sit and dry out their wings. Occasionally fishermen and women can be seen trying their luck off the boardwalk on this section of the circuit.
Walk the boardwalk and enjoy the birdlife near Tuggeranong Town Centre
New apartments are being built along the water at South Quay, which means more people will be using this exercise route every day. With this new development, there will be new areas of the circuit being updated and a new children's playground being erected alongside the foreshore.
Although the circuit is ideal for exercise, there are also plenty of areas to sit by the lake and have a quiet moment or read a book. Why not grab a coffee from the Tuggeranong Town Centre and sit by the lake and enjoy the peace and quiet along the foreshore.
Tuggeranong Town Park is a highlight of the circuit, with a sandy beach, birdlife, large playground, skate bowl and BBQ's along the foreshore. If you are walking part of the circuit pushing a pram with kids, there are three playgrounds along the circuit to stop off and have a play. Closest to Town Centre is Tuggeranong Town Park and on the opposite side of the lake (eastern side) is Greenway Park and Lake Tuggeranong District Park. For more details on the latter two parks, see article here.
Tuggeranong Town Park in particular has a lot to offer toddlers as well as older children with a tower to climb, variety of swings, toddler play area and sandpit with diggers. It is a handy park for kids to play and then walk down to Tuggeranong Town Park Beach, where they can go down onto the sand and say hello to the swans and ducks that live there.
Tuggeranong Town Park playground - equipment for all ages
Lake Tuggeranong is an artificial lake, where tributaries and storm water combine in the lake and then waste is removed before rushing down into the Murrumbidgee River, clean and ready for downstream fish and wildlife. On the Circuit you will pass the dam that was built in 1987 as a sediment trap to ensure the water going into the river is pollution free. It is an impressive sight, to watch the lake spill down into the tunnel below, which travels under the traffic bridge and into the Murrumbidgee.
View of Lake Tuggeranong Dam with Skate Bowl in the background
Another interesting feature we found along the route was an aboriginal sculpture titled Gathering Place, Wellspring with Brian Carrick - located on the eastern side of the lake. According to the artsACT website, The four poles in the centre of the work are aligned with cardinal points: Ngunnawal to the East; Coming Together to the South; Reconciliation to the West and the Future, crowned by a wedge tailed eagle, to the North.
Touch the wood carvings and admire the time and craftsmanship that went into making this unique sculptural setting, positioned naturally by the lake.
The Lake Tuggeranong Circuit is an ideal length, at 6.7 kms, to be an attainable exercise goal for those who wish to do the whole loop, or just do part. The circuit is understandably popular in the cooler months, after the heat of Summer has gone. My daughter and I enjoy powerwalking a section of this walk, with her in the pram pointing out birdlife and kayakers in the water. As long as at least one playground is involved in some part of the walk, a visit to Lake Tuggeranong Circuit is a win/win for us both. Judging the amount of other families pushing jogger prams along this track, it is also favourite for them for this very reason.
Flat walking paths, perfect for prams, bikes and wheelchairs