New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published April 9th 2017
Take a picnic and spend the day by the lake
Lake Burley Griffin is the central recreational area in Canberra, where visitors and locals come together each weekend to enjoy the many activities on offer. From early morning to late at night, people are walking around it, kayaking on it, enjoying a coffee overlooking it or simply just sitting on its shoreline, appreciating the views around the city. Families, in particular, are drawn to the lake, with bike riding, duck feeding and picnics enjoyed along the 11km waterway. The playgrounds around the water also become busy on weekends and school holidays, as families enjoy the variety of creative playgrounds to be found. The following are 5 playgrounds that can be discovered around Lake Burley Griffin, which the kids will enjoy playing at for an hour - or all day!
1/ Commonwealth Park Playground is located back from the lake, near the scenic Nerang Pool wetlands area. This playground is the most unusual playground that our family has seen - and one of the most fun! It is built like a medieval fort and underneath there is a network of tunnels which take kids from end of the fort to the other. If you have small kids, parents may need to go in with them to check it out to see where they lead, with the easiest access from the bottom tunnel. At the top of an internal staircase, there is a long metal slide down. Kids enjoy playing knights and dragons and make-believe games around the outside, or walking on top of the outside walls. This playground is ideal for primary school aged kids who are confident in exploring. Toilets are a short walk away. See Google map here.
2/ Boundless Playground is located close to the National Carillon, in Kings Park. It is one of the most popular playgrounds in Canberra, with its large fenced area to play in, as well as a variety of play equipment to play on. It is particularly popular with toddlers and preschoolers. Parents also enjoy picking up a takeaway coffee from the Burley Grind coffee cart (open weekends only), at the start of the walkway up to the playground. Once inside, there is an extensive ramped area for kids to explore with slides, bridges and toddler areas to play. It is called Boundless as it can be accessed by children with all abilities. See here for details. As well as this ramped area, there is a spinning roundabout, water play area and modern, automated toilets.
In the middle of the playground is a sandpit with diggers and a dinghy to sit in and lower down in the park is a variety of swings and grassy areas to sit. See Google map here. It is hidden amongst the trees near the National Carillon carpark - but it is worth the walk to find it!
Spend the morning at Boundless Playground, Kings Park
3/ Weston Park Playground is located in the spacious 40 hectare Weston Park, which is a peninsula that juts out into Lake Burley Griffin. Weston Park has a variety of attractions for families to enjoy, with the Yarralumla Play Station mini golf and miniature train ride located opposite the playground. This playground has a toddler play area with small slide, water pump, bridge with bells to stamp on and musical instruments up and over the bridge. In the past, this playground has had fresh water coming out of the pump and kids enjoy splashing around in the waterways, however the last few times we have visited it hasn't been working (hopefully rectified before your visit!). A short walk away is a sandpit with diggers, popular swings and a large rope climbing frame, with great views from the top. In this area, there is a new BBQ platform and walks to do along the lakeside. Toilets are located at the playground. See here for details and Google map here. For a full article on the Top 10 Things to See & Do at Weston Park, see here.
4/ Black Mountain Playground is found at another peninsula that juts out into Lake Burley Griffin. When you drive into the Black Mountain Peninsula, you know you have reached the playground when you see the row of crayon sculptures near the carpark. Inside there is a colourful toddler area with musical instruments to play, spinning toys, slide and BBQ area. There is also exercise equipment to try out and plenty of grass to run on. This playground is another popular area for BBQ's, with a small "beach" with sand to walk along and swans along the shoreline. Toilets are located near the park. See here for details and Google map here.
Toddler area of Black Mountain Peninsula Playground
5/ Regatta Point Playground is situated along the lake, at the top of Regatta Point just opposite the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, National Capital Exhibition and The Deck at Regatta Point cafe. Although not large, it is in a handy location if you are popping into the Visitors Centre or are walking around the lake. Parents are always pleased to see a takeaway coffee window at The Deck cafe, to enjoy while the kids play - especially in winter. There is a large and bumpy slide as well as spinning toys, bouncy equipment and ladders to climb up the side of the slide. Toilets are located nearby. See Google map here.
These fun and colourful playgrounds are an enjoyable way to spend the weekend with kids, with scenery, wildlife and picnic areas also making the stay even more enjoyable. Why not pack up the car, fill up the esky and spend the day exploring Lake Burley Griffin and its many parks and playgrounds. One thing is for sure - the kids won't tell you they're bored!
Regatta Point Playground, opposite the Canberra and Region Visitor Centre