A short bike ride for kids, with a playground at the end
Point Hut Pond is located in the southern suburb of Gordon, 25 minutes from the city centre. This scenic area is popular with local residents as it has views over to the Brindabella ranges, a variety of native birdlife around the pond, a large playground for the kids, BBQ areas and a flat and short cycling loop that circles the water. This cycling loop is particularly popular as it is only 2.7 kilometres in length, so it is a good walk or bike ride for families and people taking their dogs for a leisurely walk. As the path is flat all the way around, it is also an enjoyable walk for people with prams and is easily accessible for wheelchairs. Many locals choose to loop the track twice, to turn the path into a 5.4 kilometre longer exercise, where they can build up a sweat and enjoy the views twice over.
For kids in particular, it is a fun way to spend the morning - especially on the school holidays when the playground is full of other kids and there are plenty of things to explore along the way!
Start your walk or bike ride near Gordon Playground and follow the path around the pond
The most popular place to park is at the car park near the roundabout on McGilvray Close, which is just a short walk to the playground and toilet facilities. If the gate across the car park is closed however, there is more parking on Charles Place nearby.
If you visit with kids, they are sure to be drawn to the colourful playground for a play at the start of the bike ride, as well as the end. After they've finished, you can then choose whether to ride your bikes clockwise or anti-clockwise around the pond. Either way, just look for the rectangular white signs with arrows, which tell you where to go. Start your ride as early as you can for the best views of the active birdlife in the wetland areas and reeds. The range of bird calls piercing through the crisp, morning sky is a memorable way to start the day, for all ages.
As you walk or ride along, many birds near the waters edge take flight
If you choose to ride clock-wise around the pond, follow the concrete path past the playground and then follow the signs right and across a short bridge, to a residential area. The path then takes a shady route under a row of large trees and past the back of people's homes. Although the ride has only just started, if you want to appreciate the birdlife in this area, hop off your bikes and take a seat on the bench provided by the water. If you sit quietly, you are sure to see movement in the reeds. On our last visit, two swans and a baby cygnet emerged from the reeds, comfortable in our presence and quietly searched for food.
Follow the signs from the playground, over the bridge and then look out for bird life
As you continue on, the path leads up to a ridge which overlooks the pond, right next to a main roadway. This open stretch of the path is one of the most scenic areas of the cycle loop - with the Brindabella mountain ranges to one side and the reflections of the lake against the opposing mountains, on the other.
On the other side of the ridge, the path winds along the side of the pond and past homes, over bridges and a tired-looking playground - which is a good place to stop if the kids want a play. After a few more curves in the path, you are then back to the car park where you started. If you are surprised that it didn't take very long and the kids haven't started complaining (yet!), then why not get cracking and go around again!
Follow the signs, past the small playground and back to the car park
Canberra is fortunate to have a variety of scenic walks and bike paths around its lakes and ponds. There is Lake Ginninderra and Yerrabi Pond in the north, the scenic Lake Burley Griffin in the centre and Lake Tuggeranong and this scenic Point Hut Pond in the south. If you enjoy seeing something new when riding along, you can't beat these cycling loops to keep the exercise fun and the kids entertained along the way.
The Point Hut Pond Cycling Loop is the ideal length for kids to ride their bikes and, just like Canberra's other lakes, it has two stand-out features. If you get out on the path early, the bird life is astounding - you don't need to be interested in birds to enjoy the range of birds in flight, as they fly over the pond in front of the scenic mountain back-drop. Secondly, the smiles and greetings from the locals as you pass them on the path brighten the experience and make you feel like a local for the day. If you live on the south side of Canberra and enjoy walking or riding around Lake Tuggeranong, why not give its smaller cousin Point Hut Pond a try this weekend? If you have kids, it is a fun and free way to spend a morning - out in the wide blue skies, fresh air and green open spaces...
...and a playground with a big fort doesn't hurt either!
If you want to explore the area further, take a short drive down the road to the Murrumbidgee River and have a picnic at Point Hut Crossing or enjoy a walk or bike ride along the Point Hut to Pine Island Walk section of the Murrumbidgee Discovery Track.