Cycling around Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin

Australia’s best cycle network can be found in Canberra.

The cycling loops created around Lake Burley Griffin offer an excellent way to experience Canberra.

We took our mountain bikes to Canberra and rode the 28km cycleway around Lake Burley Griffin.

The ride took us about 5 hours.

We parked our car at Black Mountain Peninsula in Acton. There’s plenty of free parking at this location — and public amenities.

Black Mountain Peninsula has a good lookout over Lake Burley Griffin.

We rode the Lake Burley Griffin cycleway anti-clockwise. We noticed a lot of other cyclists riding anti-clockwise too — and, it turns out it was a good move because it helped us to navigate the westerly wind.

The ride is mostly at lake-level, but you’ll come across a couple of small hills or rises.

After leaving the Black Mountain Peninsula we came across Scrivener Dam — this is where the water level of Lake Burley Griffin is controlled. You’ll ride straight across the top of the dam wall.

The filling of the lake was officially commemorated in October 1964 by Prime Minister Robert Menzies.

You’ll ride past Australia’s National Zoo & Aquarium — it’s located next to the dam wall.

Heading east, the cycleway takes you past the front gates of Government House at Yarralumla. Government House is the official residence of the Governor-General. The front gates receive a lot of coverage on the TV when there’s rumours that the Prime Minister is about to visit the Governor General to call a federal election.

Government House Lookout is located along Lady Denman Drive — It’s worth visiting — the cycleway passes through a tunnel under Lady Denman Drive.

Crown Customs agent Francis Mowatt bought land at Yarralumla in 1833 and built a hunting house.

Government House Lookout — Looking south

Mowatt built a hunting lodge on the property.

Government House — Yarralumla

Frederick Campbell owned the property from 1881 and began building the 3-storey Yarralumla homestead. The Commonwealth acquired the property from Campbell in 1913.

Government House — Yarralumla

In 1931, Sir Isaac Isaacs became the first Governor-General to live permanently at Government House.

Government House wharf

As the cycleway winds alongside Royal Canberra Golf Club, you’ll be able to see the Government House wharf — which is located near the Ceremonial Lawn.

Heading east you’ll pass Weston Park, Canberra Rowing Club and Lennox Gardens. Lennox Gardens is home to two landscaped gifts from Japan and China; each celebrating the sister city links between Canberra, Beijing and Japan’s ancient capital, Nara.

The cycleway passes the International Flag Display at Commonwealth Place — it’s not far from the National Library of Australia.

You’ll find plenty of places to grab something to eat in Kingston after passing through Bowen Park at Barton.

The ride between Kingston and Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is possibly the most remote section of the ride around Lake Burley Griffin. Follow the cycleway at the end of Eyre Street — this will take you to Dairy Road and then across the Molonglo River near Canberra Airport.

Riding alongside the northern edge of Lake Burley Griffin you’ll pass the The Boat House and Grevilla Park.

We rode our bikes onto Aspen Island to view the National Carillon — a gift from the British Government that features 55 bronze bells. In 1970, the National Carillon was accepted, on behalf of Australians, by Queen Elizabeth II.

Closer to the city centre, you’ll ride through Commonwealth Park and past the Captain Cook Memorial Jet.

The ride back to Black Mountain Peninsula passes Acton Peninsula — you’ll need ride up a final hill along the cycleway near Parkes Way.

We hope you enjoy your ride. I’m interested in knowing how you found the cycleway — drop me a note on social media @brendenwood.

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