by Frank Pryor
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.
Placed a stone's throw away from each of the Kingston and Manuka shopping centres, Bowen Park is the closest Lake Burley-Griffin joy for South-east Canberra residents.
The path through Bowen Park is encroached by trees
As someone who has cycled many times around Lake Burley-Griffin, I can confirm the main drawcard at Bowen Park is the birdlife - it is without a doubt the best place to feed the black swans. The congregation of birds found will range from ten to forty and will also include waterbirds, ducks, seagulls and even pelicans.
This pelican thinks it's a swan
Canberra's best bird feeding bench
It's always a charming experience to feed these birds, with the swans in particular being a trademark Canberra experience. Two swans - one black and one white - sit on the ACT Government emblem. With barbecue facilities so close to the water's edge, it's best to make a family picnic of it.
The charming black swans
Bowen Park has a fair swathe of trees which in turn create ample shade. These trees are varied in type, most evident in Spring and Autumn when the diversity in colours can be quite magnificent. Combine this with a couple of ambling paths cutting through the oscillating sunlight and this park offers a truly revitalising stroll.
The trees of Bowen Park
Well kept open fields are perfect for the kids
When cycling, if travelling anti-clockwise around the Lake, Bowen Park marks the last lakeside greenery before hitting Kingston Foreshore - an increasingly built piece of land which is the main interruption to the Lake ride. Consequently, Bowen Park can and should be incorporated into the beginning or end of a Lake ride/run, whether as part of an entire lap or just a trip between bridges.
Lakeside cycling from Bowen Park is a treat
One could even work in a visit to nearby attractions the Old Bus Depot Markets (which runs on Sundays) and the Canberra Glassworks.