Black Mountain Peninsula is a 22 hectare parkland that extends out into Lake Burley Griffin, from the bottom of Black Mountain and Telstra Tower. It is a scenic recreation area, with calming water on both sides of the peninsula and views out to the city and Weston Park, on the other side of the lake. Each weekend it attracts families, cyclists, rowers and locals to its grassy reserves, to take advantage of its secluded and peaceful location, less than 10 minutes from the city centre. It is just one of many popular reserves along Lake Burley Griffin, which stretches for 11 kilometres through the centre of the Canberra. Here are 5 reasons why you should check it out, this weekend.
Telstra Tower (top left) and a colourful mix of old and new play equipment at Black Mountain Peninsula Playground
This colourful playground is ideal for toddlers and pre-schoolers, with swings, a small slide, climbing apparatus, spinning toys, musical instruments, soft padded flooring and plenty of shade. This playground is spread out into various sections, so children can run from one area to another. Some of the play equipment is a little run-down, however most of the playground is modern, colourful and popular with the littlies to explore. There is also a Liberty Swing, for children in wheelchairs to enjoy the playground and scenic location. A feature of this playground that stands out amongst others in Canberra, is the shade. This makes it popular with mothers groups and families in the summer months, especially early in the morning before it gets too hot. It is also conveniently located near a large toilet block and gas BBQ area, so you could easily set up a family BBQ and stay for a couple of hours, looking out to the scenic Lake Burley Griffin.
Although Lake Burley Griffin has many BBQ areas around its shores, Black Mountain Peninsula has 5 public BBQ's which are all free and easy to use. The peninsula is a popular area to visit for BBQ's as they are spread out, so families and friends can gather together and play a game of cricket on the grass, without feeling too close to anyone else. When you first get there, go for a drive all the way to the end and choose your favourite spot. Before you go, however, check the ACT Government Weekly BBQ Report to ensure that all of the BBQ's are working. Don't forget the sauce!
A short walk from the playground is a netted swimming area, which finishes in line with a small island on the lake. Along the shoreline there is also a little sandy beach with a smaller swimming area for children, which is shallow and a good place to cool off on a hot day. Before going in, ensure you read the sign at the lakes edge, to check that it is open and the water quality is acceptable for swimming (also check the ACT Government website here). On our recent visit, there were families having BBQ's, swimming and kayaking out to the small island at the edge of the netted off area. Although the sign said the water quality was good for swimming, we were happy with just a splash and a paddle to cool off on a hot day.
* This swimming area is also the hub of fun activities for the A Day At The Lake event, held each March.
Around the perimeter of Lake Burley Griffin there are 3 cycling loops - the Central Loop, Eastern Loop and Western Loop. Black Mountain Peninsula is part of the 16km Western Loop, so many people park their cars along the peninsula and start their ride from there. The cycling path is located just a short drive from the entrance, so look for other cars with bike racks on the back and park along the roadside, or down towards the rowing club. This scenic loop is enjoyed by thousands of people each weekend, cycling or walking, starting from various points along the route. See here for map and details.
Lake Burley Griffin Western Loop - which way will you go?
This small lookout is a relaxing place to stop, if you want to drive up and view the scenery from your car. There are also benches to sit on, so you can quietly take in the view across the water to the top of the National Museum of Australia and Parliament House in the far distance. On a recent visit, we sat and enjoyed the array of colourful kayaks and rowing boats that were gliding along the lakes flat surface, as kookaburras laughed above us in the trees.
Black Mountain Peninsula is just one of the many scenic reserves to explore around Lake Burley Griffin, with Commonwealth Park, Kings Park and Weston Park a few of the most popular. Black Mountain Peninsula may not attract as many people, as it is a little further to get to, however it is a relaxing and shady place to enjoy the views and serenity, this weekend.
Take in the views across the water from Black Mountain Peninsula Lookout