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Picnic Hotspots in the North of Canberra

Too often Canberrans use the phrases ‘there is nothing to do in Canberra’ or ‘Canberra is boring’. Well I may have the solution that can solve that problem. Canberrans go through the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and very rarely put aside the time to relax and enjoy the scenery around them. Here is what I propose. You pack a basket full of snacks and drinks, chuck in a picnic blanket, grab some friends, your partner, or even your pet, and chill in the blissful Canberra air.

Now that you’re prepared for your picnic all you are some interesting locations in Canberra. Here are the Top picnic hotspots that can be found on the North side of Canberra:

The National Arboretum

It is located at the north end of the Tuggeranong Parkway and is about 10 minutes from the city, 10 minutes from Belconnen and almost 10 minutes away from everywhere else. The open pastures for you to spread out a picnic blanket and munch on a homemade snack are endless. The views from the hills of the National Arboretum are amazing and really capture the inner beauty of Canberra. I highly recommend scheduling a Saturday mid morning tea session on the hill to watch the hot air balloons float across the Canberra skyline.


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John Knight Memorial Park

Only a stone throw away from the University of Canberra, John Knight Memorial Park offers plenty of cosy picnic spots that look out on to Lake Ginninderra.  The thing the that is most captivating is the amount of birdlife wondering about and listening to the birds whistle. It has a playground for the little ones, miniature water rapids, green grass and plenty of recreational opportunities for all ages. Would certainly recommend for larger groups of people, but also caters for intimate couple dates.

The Autumn leaves of the beautiful John Knight memorial park

Mount Ainslie

However you may choose to get to the top, whether that be to walk, ride or drive, the view is breath-taking. You are welcomed with a full 360 view of Canberra’s North. There aren’t a lot of grassy spots to lay out the picnic rug, but there are benches and spots to sit whilst taking in the scenery Canberra has to offer. The Mount Ainslie summit walk begins behind the War Memorial and is a 4.2km haul up the mountain (takes approx. 1hr 45mins). If you are short of time, then driving to the summit is also a great option. I recommend holding your picnic in the late afternoon. You can whip out the cheese and bickies along with a glass of bubbly and watch the sun set over the horizon.

Breath-taking views from the summit of Mount Ainslie

Commonwealth Park

New extension on to Commonwealth Park

Commonwealth Park is essentially a haven for perfect picnic spots. Plenty of grassy fields and lakeside views, make this an ideal picnic hotspot. The new shorefront extension on the western side of the bridge has BBQ areas, a playground and picnic tables.

It is only a short walk away from the CBD and I believe a picnic by the lake followed by a blockbuster movie at Dendy’s in the city would cap off the perfect date.

When Canberrans think of Commonwealth park, the first things that spring to mind are Floriade, Spilt Milk and Skyfire. Commonwealth Park is so much more than just an open space that is used for days at a time. Worth checking out. Also worth bringing an umbrella on windy days, you may be in the splash zone if the big water fountain gets going.

Views over the lake from Commonwealth Park

Honourable mentions for North Canberra’s Picnic Hotspots:

Canberra isn’t seen as a very vibrant and beautiful city and is often under-rated. However there is a lot that the city has to offer in terms of outdoor space and recreational areas. Canberra is worth exploring and by trying out the picnic hotspots, it is a great way of experiencing the capitals .


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