New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published October 23rd 2016
Update February 14th 2018
This pub has new owners and has had a modern makeover since this article and they don't offer the "kids eat free deal" anymore. See the Lighthouse Pub Facebook for their latest offers.
A family friendly afternoon by Lake Ginninderra
Lighthouse pub is located in Belconnen, 15 minutes north of the CBD. This scenic pub overlooks Lake Ginninderra and is a popular pub with all ages - uni students, families, couples and groups of friends catching up over a drink or pub meal. Sundays, in particular, are popular with families, as it is Kids Eat Free with any full priced adult meal (correct at the time of writing, October 2016). For kids, there are several meal choices to choose from and it also includes a drink of their choice.
For our family, this was one of the reasons why we chose to visit the Lighthouse Pub, as well as its waterside seating area. With the chilly months behind us and Spring in the air, sitting outside by Lake Ginninderra was an attractive idea for a Sunday afternoon. When we arrived early for lunch we had the whole place to ourselves, however a short time later the outside area filled up fast with young families and excited kids, all enjoying the weather and their day by the lake.
The interior of the Lighthouse Pub is light and airy with the windows open to look over the lake, however in the cooler months it is also big enough to enjoy a cosy meal inside. On our Sunday morning visit, there was a disco ball hanging idly from the roof, a few sad looking helium balloons still hovering by the ceiling and some glitter scattered on the floor. It appears that the Saturday night before had been a big one for the Lighthouse Pub. On Friday and Saturday nights this popular pub has live music from 6pm and then DJs from 9pm. For the uni students of Canberra, "The Lighty" is a party spot where they can let off some steam and party into the wee hours.
Before our visit to the Lighthouse Pub, our family had spent some time across the lake at John Knight Memorial Playground, so our daughter could have a play before lunch. Interestingly, many of the families we had seen at the playground were also walking into the Lighthouse Pub for the Sunday deal. It seems that we had stumbled upon a popular family Sunday ritual in Belconnen - playground then pub. It wasn't a bad combination.
When we first arrived, we sat outside to have a leisurely look over the tasty menu and enjoy the Sunday vibe. At the back of the menu are the kids meal options, with chicken nuggets, cheese pizza and several choices on offer. For adults, there is a good range of stone fired pizzas as well as burgers, toasted gourmet sandwiches, chicken schnitzels and other pub grub that you expect to find here. What we didn't expect however, was the size of the meals when they came out. It is no wonder this friendly pub fills up so quickly - with a Kids Eat Free Sunday deal and delicious meals for Mums and Dads, it is easy to see why people keep coming back each week for more.
BLT and Chicken & Sundried Tomato toasted gourmet sandwiches with chips - $15 each
On Sunday afternoons there is acoustic music from 1pm and sports games shown live on the big TVs. If you choose to visit later in the day for a few drinks and then stay for dinner you may need to reserve a table, as many of the outside tables were reserved after 3:30pm. With daylight savings and lighter evenings, it is easy to see why locals would want to spend Sunday evenings relaxing by the lake in Belconnen.
If you enjoy bike riding or walking, the pub is also on the popular Lake Ginninderra Lake Walk, so you can ride your bikes to the pub, have lunch, then ride back. This was a popular option for families on the Sunday we visited, with a multitude of scooters, bikes and skateboards all making their way to the outside area of the pub. With so many things to do around Lake Ginninderra each weekend, why not stop in at the Lighthouse Pub after some playtime at the park or a ride along the lake? For families, it is a winning combination.