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Queen Elizabeth Terrace

Home > Canberra > Art | Cafes | School Holidays | Walks
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published April 14th 2016
Cafes & Segways along Lake Burley Griffin's Foreshore
Queen Elizabeth Terrace is the name of the road along the main foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. Originally part of Parkes Place, this stretch of waterfront was renamed in 2012, with The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall officially opening the road in honour of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Each day, hundreds of Canberrans park their cars near Queen Elizabeth Terrace (around the corner in Parkes Place West) and walk or run along the foreshore, taking in the scenic views which change with the seasons. The trees along the foreshore burn brightly with orange foliage in Autumn, lose their leaves in Winter, gain them back again in Summer and then blossom white blooms all Spring. The Capital's seasons are all displayed along this foreshore, in a spectacular show of beauty and colour.

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Entrance to Queen Elizabeth Terrace


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Queen Elizabeth Terrace in Spring


Flanking each side of Queen Elizabeth Terrace is the International Flag Display, with 96 flags of United Nations countries as well as nations that maintain a diplomatic presence in Canberra. Fortunately, for those less-recognised flags, there are plaques at the base of each pole identifying the flags above. There are two displays at either end of the Terrace, with overseas visitors often seen tracking down their flag and getting a photo taken by it. Children also enjoy riding between the poles or reading aloud all the names of the 96 countries - which takes some time!

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International Flag Display alongside Queen Elizabeth Terrace


Walking along Lake Burley Griffin's foreshore, there are two unusual, square kiosks between the two jetties. One is the shopfront for Seg, Glide, Ride Segway Tours, where you can join a tour and explore the area on these fun-filled machines. You can hire them for a private group or a general tour, with a practice session held before each ride. Whilst walking along Queen Elizabeth Terrace, the sight of a dozen or more Segways burning a silent path along the foreshore is a common sight - and a delight for kids to watch.

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Segway kiosk and foreshore


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Coming through! Segway's along Queen Elizabeth Terrace


The other kiosk on the foreshore is Doms Coffee Bar and Gelato, a popular spot for bike riders and locals to stop for a coffee and enjoy the view from this waterfront location. This is another position along the lake that displays the changing of the seasons to its fullest. Locals know when the weather is turning due to the colour of the trees outside this kiosk and along this scenic foreshore.

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Dom's Coffee Bar and Gelato in Autumn..


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...and Spring


Behind Queen Elizabeth Terrace is Commonwealth Place, a turfed bowl used for family picnics with a walkway down the centre - popular with children to ride their bikes and scooters. The walkway in the centre leads up to an open tunnel cut through the hill, providing an uninterrupted view between Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. The imposing walls in the walkway are made from Australian sandstone and create an ideal echo chamber for kids to enjoy when riding back down on their scooters.

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The turfed bowl of Commonwealth Place


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A smooth incline for kids to run or scooter, with Parliament House seen at the top


Underneath one lip of the turfed bowl is Waters Edge Restaurant, a fine dining restaurant for a special occasion or wedding reception. This one-hatted restaurant serves Modern Australian cuisine and can be enjoyed with panoramic views across the lake and foreshore.

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Waters Edge Restuarant


Situated under the other lip of the turfed bowl at Commonwealth Place, is the National Gallery of Australia's Contemporary Art Gallery. Take some time to explore this gallery, with free entry, to see some of Australia's top contemporary artists display their work in a variety of different mediums. Even if you don't usually enjoy contemporary art, it is worth a look around to experience the different, the extraordinary and the shocking. This intriguing gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday only, 10am - 4pm.

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NGA Contemporary Art Gallery


Queen Elizabeth Terrace is a meeting place, an exercise route, a children's scooter-riding path and a social hub of the Parliamentary Triangle. It should be the first stop for any tourists visiting the city to take in the views and enjoy this lakeside, peaceful setting. It is also a handy location to start exploring the many museums and attractions nearby. Although a short stretch of road, Queen Elizabeth Terrace has a number of attractions located within it for visitors to enjoy.

When down on the foreshore, don't forget to look up in the trees for beautiful birdlife hiding there, also enjoying the views at this royal and scenic location.

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A juvenile King Parrot enjoying the berries & views at Queen Elizabeth Terrace
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Why? An easy way to spend a morning in the sun
When: Open all day and night
Where: Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes, Canberra,
Cost: Free to explore!
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