Originally from Canberra, I moved to Melbourne for study. You might say that my life is much like this sentence - it began with a capital. Now, having spent a few years in Melbourne, I share my experiences of each city.
Published December 5th 2013
Come to see Canberra's cream
Weston Park If you're a parent looking for a fun place to bring the kids on a Spring or Summer's day, look no further. Weston Park, sitting at the end of a prominent Lake Burley-Griffin peninsula in Yarralumla, offers something for everyone with a mix of natural beauty, wildlife and kids playgrounds, not to mention the nearby Yarralumla Nursery.
Weston Park was originally intended to be part of a landscaping/gardening hub, in combination with the National Arboretum on the other side of the Molonglo River. It was thereafter decided to be developed as a park and began to take its current form in the sixties to seventies whilst still retaining the nursery.
Owing to its size and undulating terrain, it is easy to find your own niche within Weston Park to have a picnic. It is a popular park but there is always privacy to be found in its expanses. Add to this the opportunity for the kids to play with others on some of the better play equipment to be found in Canberra and it strikes the right balance for all involved as a great picnic spot.
Looking down towards where the pond would usually be
The Park has a few barbecue facilities as well as public toilets and plenty of benches. Given how much there is to see and do at Weston Park, the sensible advice would be to dedicate a day of your time there. Think ahead by packing plenty of food and sunscreen.
Natural Beauty and Wildlife
The tucked away section of Lake Burley Griffin which Weston Park looks over is a frequent training zone for Canberra rowers. Yet this isn't the only sight which hits one when gazing out over the water - on the adjacent bank can be seen the far west reaches of the Lake with a more rugged, bushy prospect. The already gorgeous Black Mountain and National Arboretum mean that Weston Park presents diverse and unique views of Canberra - views you won't get at many other park locations in Canberra.
The trademark and picturesque pond at Weston Park
Weston Park is well known for its water features and connection to the Lake. Most appealing is the picturesque pond with foot bridges running over it, nestled down in the heart of the park. To the east of the peninsula is a beach which is sometimes suitable for swimming but is more often a great spot to see the pelicans which inhabit Lake Burley-Griffin. On the theme of wildlife, along the approaching drive to the main park area is an open space in which can often be seen a troop of kangaroos.
Looking down to the beach where pelicans may often be seen
Weston Park's diverse set of play equipment places it amongst the very best that Canberra has to offer. The equipment isn't exactly conventional, taking on a more sculptural and themed look. It can essentially be broken down into three areas: the blue and white, water themed zone (probably suited to smaller children), the rope climb just adjacent (for kids a little bit older) and the bone-like sculptural set a little further away.
Another major attraction within the expansive park is the miniature railway, located some way back from the water. The railway is home to a cafe which offers hot food favourites such as pies and pizza as well as sweets such as gelato and lollies. The cafe operates Thursday to Sunday, from 9:30am until 2:30pm on Thursday and Friday and from 9am until 3:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The railway itself operates within these hours, usually starting and finishing with around half an hour's margin after/before the cafe.