115.6km return, 834m max elevation and 1,376m total elevation gain. See map here.
Starting and ending at Canberra’s Capital Brewing Co. in Fyshwick (we’ll come back to that later), this ride offers a bit of everything; flat sections, popular landmarks, Lakes George and Burley Griffin and a sharp climb up Mount Ainslie. It’s a great option for new visitors to Canberra who may want to take it all in, but it’s also a popular weekend ride with locals and we think it might have something to do with finishing up at the brewery.
The first 30km are flat, taking you around Lake Burley Griffin and if you’re new to Canberra, you could take this slowly and stop at several places along the way. Kingston Foreshore is a great place for breakfast or a coffee to kick off your ride. Then, you’ll pass landmarks along this first stretch including the National Gallery, Capital Hill, the Governor General’s residence and some colourful gardens. If you skipped Kingston Foreshore at the beginning and you’re needing a good coffee, don’t go past Farmer’s Daughter café in Yarralumla. This family-owned business has an all day breakfast menu that is incredibly tempting!
As you hit the city centre, you’ll turn left and head out to Lake George. It’s about 35km from here, passing nature reserves and farmland. As soon as you leave Canberra city, the road climbs up to about 694m and it’s rolling hills from there to our Lake George destination, Weereewa Lookout. Weereewa is the indigenous name for Lake George meaning “bad water,” given to the lake because when the lake is full, the lake is one of the saltiest bodies of water in New South Wales. But to that point, it’s been 5 years since the lake was full and before that, the lake had been empty for 20 years. So don’t be surprised if you arrive at Weereewa Lookout to find an empty lake with sheep and cattle grazing on it.
Taking the same road back into Canberra, take a left-hand turn when you hit Lake Burley Griffin and get the legs going for the climb up to Mount Ainslie. You’ll get picture-perfect views of Canberra and if you’re into photography, try to catch a sunrise or sunset from here. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some of the local wildlife too!
Less than 10km after the descent from Mount Ainslie and after passing through Jerrabomberra Wetlands, you’ll reach your starting point, Capital Brewing Co. This popular brewery and taphouse is the perfect endpoint for a weekend ride year round, with a log fire for those icy Canberra winters and outdoor seating to enjoy warmer weather in summer. Capital Brewing Co. have a hugely popular core range of craft beers as well as limited edition ranges on tap that use high quality, all-natural ingredients to make the best beer possible. CEO, Laurence Kain, also a keen mountain biker, is striving operate the brewhouse with zero waste which we think is pretty special. He’s also partnered with Brodburger so that visitors can fill up on a burger or hotdog with all the fillings you can imagine (our favourite is the Deluxe burger with 2 patties, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, relish and aioli)!