Black Mountain Peninsula



Black Mountain Peninsula photo

Black Mountain Peninsula, in the suburb of Acton, is located adjacent to one of the best parts of Lake Burley Griffin for water based recreation including canoeing, rowing and sailing. It is accessed off Lady Denman Drive on the north side of West Lake.

Created from the 1960s onwards this large area of foreshore parkland, some 22 hectares in extent, provides opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the waters of the lake, whether for boating, swimming, paddling or strolling along the water’s edge. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds where families can enjoy themselves in a lakeside environment. The playground features a range of toddler and young children’s play equipment including a swing designed for children in wheelchairs

The park has parking, toilets, water, barbecues and a playground.

No dogs allowed.



A part of the history of Lake Burley Griffin

The peninsula has been the subject of two different landscape schemes since the commencement of the National Capital. The first, which never proceeded, came in 1916 when Walter Burley Griffin saw it as part of his 'continental arboretum' on the lower southern slopes of Black Mountain. The second scheme came in the 1960s when the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) developed it as a waterside recreation area as part of the development of the lake. Previously natural tree cover extended down from Black Mountain and along the peninsula. Prior to the 1960s the peninsula's tip was a rubbish dump, however this was covered over as part of the NCDC's lake development.

Designed to fit into the landscape

The NCDC plan envisaged retention and strengthening, mostly with eucalypts, of the existing native landscape sweeping down from Black Mountain along the ridge. Near the shoreline it introduced deciduous species, while on the waters edge it used willows (Salix sp.), the swamp cypress (Taxoduim distichum) and the local river oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana), both for bank protection and aesthetic purposes. Further native species plantings were added in the 1980s. The diversity of flora provides interest for the visitor, the swamp cypresses making a magnificent display in the autumn.

In other development emphasis has been placed on provision of access for lake and lakeside recreation. Other facilities include: a boat launching ramp (power boats prohibited); swimming area; picnic areas; playgrounds; and two public toilets. There are two rowing sheds.


Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of Selected Urban Parks in Canberra.

Facilities and activities

Facilities and activities

  • BBQs
  • Boating/windsurfing
  • Canoe entry point
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Playground
  • Cycling
  • Walking trails
  • Drinking water
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair access
  • Wheelchair accessible Liberty Swing
  • Dogs prohibited



About urban parks

Transport Canberra and City Services manages urban parks and open space in Canberra. There are three main types of urban parks in Canberra: town parks, district parks and neighborhood parks. Other landscaped components of the park system include:

  • Pedestrian parkland which are corridors of open space provided for pedestrian movement within and between suburbs.
  • Semi-natural open spaces which are areas of remnant grazing land or native vegetation, and include creek corridors, hilltop areas, ridges and buffer areas between suburbs.
  • Native grassland or woodland sites which contain endangered plant species.
  • Major road verges and medians.
  • Informal use ovals which are non-irrigated open dryland grass areas for informal sport and recreational use.
  • Special purpose areas which are large open spaces dedicated to specialised recreational activities or sporting events.

Plans of management

Plans of management for urban parks identify what is important about the areas and how they are to be managed. A plan of management is intended to provide direction and guidance to the land custodian, management staff, visitors, neighbours, volunteers, and others with an interest in the area.

More information and feedback

For more information or to provide feedback, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or complete an online feedback form.