My review ‘Cycle around Lake Burley Griffin – General’ provides some general information on cycling in the ACT and cycle hire in Canberra. It also includes a map showing the location of this ride.
This review provides information on the a ride around the East Basin of the lake. Being a circular route you can start/finish anywhere you like.
I will detail the ride assuming you start at the National Carillion (hard to miss it – picture on my general review referred to above).
Facing the Carillion, turn left along the edge of the lake and make your way under Kings Bridge. The ride here is flat (as it is for over 90% of the way) and you are greeted by an uninterrupted view across the East Basin of the Lake towards Kingston Foreshore which you will ride along towards the end of the ride (picture 1).
The path is well signposted and as you leave the lake behind (it was especially beautiful when I did it last week end – shimmering in the early morning sun while mother and baby ducks fed along the bank) you ride along the Molonglo river (picture 2), popular with canoeists and the odd (brave) swimmer. Thankfully the lake and this part of the river has not (yet) been polluted by the roar of jet skis, ordinary ski’s or other motorised pleasure craft.
Along the river you will cross a black metal bridge. This bridge is a recent addition to the cycle path, added following significant damage to the original path caused by flooding and a land slippage in 2012. The bridge was formerly used to provide pedestrian access to Belconnen bus station prior to that being refurbished. The path continues on towards Fyshwick and the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve. I recommend you dismount the bicycle here and go for a walk.
In addition to some pleasant walking this is a great spot for birdwatching (picture 3). There are a number of watching hides here on either side of the cycle path and overlooking the wetlands. Of course, what you see in terms of birds will depend on the time of day you visit and the season.
Leaving the Wetlands (via the cycle bridge you see in picture 4) you make your way to the Kingston Foreshore (where you rejoin the lake). If you ride is on a Sunday morning a stop at the Kingston Markets (picture 5) is must do.
The foreshore area is currently under development but already there are loads of cafes and restaurants and certainly sufficient numbers to make it hard to resist a coffee or more at this point. Alternatively, you can make a short detour to the Kingston shops which also hosts a number of good cafes/bars. The Canberra Railway Museum (alas now closed) was also accessible from here.
When it is time to move on, rejoin the cycle path for the short ride to Kings Bridge – cross the bridge to return to the National Carillion or better still continue on crossing the lake via the Commonwealth Bridge – adding a total of 5kms to the ride and in so doing complete the Central Basin ride as well.