Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published January 16th 2019
Enjoy life on our lake
Lake Burley Griffin is Canberra's lake. Yes, there are two others, but Lake Burley Griffin is the centrepiece of our Bush Capital. Exactly as the artificial lake's architect American Walter Burley Griffin had planned it to be way back in 1912 when he won an international competition to design the new capital city.
Lying at the heart of Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin stretches over 11 kilometres in length with a surface area of over 664 hectares (or 6.64 square km). Many national institutions, parks and national public places are located on or near its shores.
There is so much to see and do on our Lake. Here are ten reasons for you to get out there and enjoy it!
1. Beat the summer heat and head to the beach! Did you know that Lake Burley Griffin has three designated swimming 'beaches' and enclosures? You'll find them at Yarralumla Beach (West Lake); Weston Park East (Tarcoola Reach); and Black Mountain Beach (Tarcoola Reach). The water quality at these sites is tested and monitored each week during summer.
2. Enjoy a picnic. There are so many lovely spots for a picnic on the lake. Some of my favourites include Weston Park, Yarralumla Bay, Aspen Island (where the National Carillon stands), the Canberra Beijing Garden, Canberra Nara Peace Park, Black Mountain Peninsula, and Henry Rolland Park at West Basin. Go here to find your favourite lakeside picnic spot.
3. Feast on yummy fish n chips at 'Snapper on the Lake'. Arguably Canberra's best fish n chips are here, at Snapper on the Lake, Yarralumla. And they come with fantastic views as well! Plus live music every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday during summer.
4. Cruise the lake aboard the MV Southern Cross. If you want to get into the lake without getting wet, then why not cruise it? The MV Southern Cross offers daily 90 minute sightseeing cruises as well as lunch and dinner cruises and cruises for special events such as Australia Day, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
With 40.5 km of shoreline, Lake Burley Griffin is perfect for walking and cycling. A very popular walk is the Bridge to Bridge where you cross Commonwealth Bridge, loop your way to Kings Avenue Bridge, and go back again. You can also take it very easy and enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the lake, soaking in Canberra's famous landmarks, national institutions, special places and memorials along the way.
6. Enjoy the music of the National Carillon. The National Carillon on Aspen Island was a gift from the British Government to the people of Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national capital. Enjoy a picnic near the Carillon and listen to recitals every Wednesday and Sunday from 12.30pm-1.20pm.
8. GoBoat-ing! Don't let someone else do the driving for you. Be your own captain and hire a self-drive, sustainable, electric picnic boat via Go Boat and enjoy our wonderful lake. The boats can be operated by anyone over the age of 18 and no licence or prior experience is required. GoBoats can seat up to 8 people.
9. Sail away, sail away, sail away! The Canberra Yacht Club, located at Loftus Bay, offers sailboats as well as stand up paddle boards for hire. The club also offers adult and family sailing courses as well as children's programs. Visit their website for more information.
10. Re-live the past at Blundell's Cottage. Blundell's Cottage was built in 1860. The Blundell family lived there for about 60 years from 1874-1933. When the Cottage was first built, it was surrounded by paddocks. Located at Wendouree Drive, the historic Cottage is now open to visitors on Saturdays from 10am-2pm.
Whether you're swimming in it, cruising it, walking or biking around it, or savouring the views from your dining table along the Kingston Foreshore, Lake Burley Griffin has plenty and more to offer Canberrans. It's our lake, Canberra! So let's get out there and enjoy its wonders.