Googong is a new residential area that is currently under construction, located 25 minutes south east of Canberra city. For the people of Tuggeranong however, it is a short 15 minute drive from Calwell down the Monaro Highway and along the Old Cooma Road to get there. A community has formed in the township of Googong, however there are still hundreds more houses to be built - with the aim of having 6,200 homes built in total by the time it is finished.
So what is there to do in the Googong area? Although I am not a Googonian myself, as they call themselves, our family have visited there a number of times to enjoy the playgrounds, events, walks and picnic areas in the area. These are some of the attractions that we have discovered, however if you are a local or have more places that you love to visit, please leave a comment at the top of this article. Choose a bright, clear day and start exploring...
Flying High in the Googong Sky kite festival. Image: Googong Facebook
Events in Googong are a great way for the local community to get together and they also attract locals from Queanbeyan and Canberra into the area as well. The biggest event each year is Googfest, which is a family-friendly music festival held at Rockley Oval and features dance music and DJs. Kids in particular love celebrating Halloween in Googong at their event creatively called Boo-gong, with spooky costumes, live acts and fireworks! It is not for the faint-hearted however, with some seriously realistic costumes! There are also events held throughout the year such as Rural Fire Service Open Days, Flying High in the Googong Sky kite festival, fishing days and Christmas Carols. See the Googong events page and Facebook for more details.
Playgrounds in Googong are bright, colourful, creative and modern and are loved by all ages - parents too! Take a drive around the township and discover brand new playgrounds with trampolines, long slides, tall climbing frames, ropes to climb and roundabouts to spin on. You can easily visit them all on the one day, then stay for a BBQ and a game of soccer at Duncan Fields. See the article for Best Playgrounds in Googong North and also check out Gumnut Playground & Yerradhang Nguru Park, shown below.
Googong Dam is a popular place for anglers to throw in a line and catch Rainbow Trout, Golden Perch, Silver Perch and Murray Cod (see here for more details). There are restrictions on motor craft on Googong Dam, as it is the water supply for the region, so only sailing boats, canoes, kayaks and boats with electric motors are allowed out onto the water. For those who don't fish, there are also bushwalks around the dam, including the popular London Bridge Walk and Shoreline Walk, closer to town. Ensure you stop off at the Googong Dam Lookout to read the signage and take in the views of this scenic area. See here for a full brochure and details on Googong Dam and surrounds.
Cascades is a fishing, swimming and lookout area on the Queanbeyan River, just downstream from Googong Dam. There is a short 100 metre walk to get to the lookout, which takes in the view of the gorge - with deep, freshwater pools perfect for fishing. Although there are warning signs against swimming at Cascades, locals still swim in the cool pools at their own risk. See here for a full article on Cascades Walk and Lookout.
These are just some of the attractions to visit, however if you live in Googong and have a favourite walk or thing to do, please leave a comment at the top of this article with your local's tip. It is an area of contrasts - with new modern houses and playgrounds, just a short drive from natural beauty and pristine wilderness. Why don't you go exploring and discover it for yourself this weekend? Who knows what else you will discover?
Cascading water at the dramatic Cascades Gorge, downstream from Googong Dam wall