Readers of others of my reviews and those otherwise vaguely familiar with Canberra will be familiar with Lake Burley Griffin, an artificially created lake in the central Canberra area. There are, in fact, a number of other lakes in Canberra, all of them man-made. The largest of these lakes, each located in a ‘town centre’ are Lake Tuggeranong (in Tuggeranong) , Lake Ginninderra (in Belconnen) and Yerrabi Pond (Gungahlin). These are represented by the numbers 2-4 respectively on the map in picture 2 below. Number 1 marks Lake Burley Griffin.
Individually these lakes each afford the visitor with excellent cycling and walking opportunities and I have (to date) written a number of reviews centred on Lake Burley Griffin (start with Cycle around Lake Burley Griffin – General and one on Lake Tuggeranong – Lake Tuggeranong – enjoy a great walk.
Should you be up to a 100km ride I strongly encourage you to spend a day and cycle between, and around (well mostly), all four lakes – route per picture 2 attached. Not only is riding around the lakes beautiful, especially early in the morning, but the ‘corridors’ between the lakes are also quite beautiful and give you an excellent introduction the Canberra – the Bush Capital.
Obviously the average visitor with no cycling experience would not be advised to set out on the full 100km ride. That said I am not overly fit though for the past few months I have been riding to and from work most days (about 16kms return) and doing the odd ride at weekends.
A couple of years ago, without preparation, I set out on this same ride and abandoned it after about 50kms with leg cramps and an exceedingly painful posterior. I was very pleased when I completed the circuit last weekend in 4.5hrs plus a breakfast and lunch stop with neither cramps nor an aching posterior. I should say that the track I had marked on my gps device was only 99.8km and when I actually rode it, it became apparent that the circuit would only be around 97kms. Clearly if I was going to ride that far I wanted to reach 100kms (if only for the better bragging rights!). Accordingly I rode around Yerrabi Pond (Gungahlin) – the smallest of the lakes – a couple of times such that, in total, my ride was just over 101kms.
I won’t go into specific details (scenery and sights) of this long ride as more details are available on separate reviews on specific rides, the lakes and sights on this page.
A major bonus of this ride is that all but a couple of kilometres or so was along Canberra’s world class sealed cycle path system.
As this is a circular route you can start it anywhere but I recommend starting in the city/ Lake Burley Griffin and doing the ride in a clockwise direction such that you finish with the totally downhill section from Gungahlin back to the city/Lake Burley Griffin.
Should you want a shorter ride then (based solely on leaving out the harder section) I suggest you leave out Lake Tuggeranong. The resultant three lakes ride is around 74kms. Again do it in a clockwise direction starting in the city/at Lake Burley Griffin.
I noted above that these rides are on excellent sealed cycle paths. Those seeking an even longer ride/ greater challenge should consider the Centenary Trail (145kms) which I have walked but not ridden – see my separate review – Walk around Canberra – Centenary Trail. This trail follows the hills circling the city though it does skirt a couple of the lakes in part and is on mixed quality paths.
Irrespective of what ride you choose remember to carry sufficient water, protect yourself against the sun and wear a cycle helmet. The latter is compulsory everywhere in Australia.
Should I have piqued your interest, do have a look at my general cycling review Cycle around Lake Burley Griffin – General for more details on cycling in Canberra and some information on hiring a bicycle if you don’t have your own.
This is my last CANBERRA – NON LOCATION SPECIFIC review.
For other CANBERRA reviews click HERE.