Black Mountain Tower in Spring sunshine

1 Oct

Today was a great day. It was Monday. It was the beginning of October. Most of us weren’t at work! And the SUN WAS SHINING. This is what Canberra is about!

Boyfriend and I got on the scooter for the first weekend ride in months and decided to make good use of the 2012-13 Canberra Entertainment Book’s two-for-one voucher to head up Black Mountain Tower. After five years in Canberra, I’ve never been! We’ve always said we’ll do it after we’ve done a walk up Black Mountain (given if you don’t you just end up in a carpark with no views!), but we’ve done that once and you can’t take dogs, and we’re loathe to go anywhere without our Whippet. A ride was the perfect opportunity!

While there are plenty of carparks at the top, we’re in the middle of Floriade (it ends in mid-October) and therefore an even greater influx of tourists than usual! It was pretty packed, particularly close to the entrance.

There’s always something pretty cool about viewing things that you always see from far away up close, and Black Mountain Tower is no different.

Had to take a pano because I couldn’t fit it all in!

On entrance it’s a simple matter of heading up to the counter and paying for your tickets. It’s $7.50 per adult (unless you’ve got an Entertainment Book voucher!) and $3 for kids, with a Family Pass of 2 adults and 2 children for $17 (see here for more deets). It’s open from 9am to 10pm (for those romantic pics of the Canberra lights!) every day of the year. You swap your cash for a token which you put into a turnstile machine, and voila! You’re through, and waiting for one of two lifts to take you to the viewing platforms.

It’s a surprisingly long lift ride to the top, and once you’re there you’re confronted with a large platform surrounded by metal bars.

Mt Tennent in the distance!

But of course, that’s not where it ends, and why it’s there makes sense. Up a few flights of stairs (I tried but could not find anyway to get up higher that was wheelchair accessible), you get to the second viewing platform. It’s interrupted, but if you fell there’s no way you’d make it further than the next platform. Somewhat comforting!

The views of Canberra are spectacular. I’d highly recommend going late afternoon (after 4pm for the next week or so, and after 5-5.30pm once daylight savings kicks in next Sunday) to get the best Canberra light across the region.

View across Civic, the inner North and Mt Ainslie

While I’ve been up Mt Ainslie and Red Hill, I was still pretty surprised to see just how ‘bush-y’ Canberra looks. It’s the Bush Capital for a reason, but that fact that only the Town Centres and a few major arterial roads can be seen peaking through the trees against the backdrop of our stunning mountains is a credit to the design of our fair city.

Glenloch Interchange – the bane of my existence

It’s easy to spend a long time up there. There’s a restaurant (Alto) if you’re interested in a decent meal at night (have not reviewed so cannot yet vouch!) and for the casual visitors there’s a cafe with an ice cream shop ($4 for a scoop!) and a few gifts.

The postcard on the left reads, “Why did the emu cross the road? To prove it wasn’t chicken.”

There’s also a vending machine from which you can buy postmarked postcards, ready to send from right up there. That’s because Canberra’s highest post office box also resides within the tower!

All in all, a lovely little outing out. Can’t believe I haven’t done it before!

Date: 4.30pm, 1 October

Attendees: T1 and Boyfriend

Cost: $7.50 for two (would normally have been $15)

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile (especially if you have an Entertainment Book voucher)

Want more?


4 Responses to “Black Mountain Tower in Spring sunshine”

  1. Gary Lum October 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Lovely images. We’ve been to the restaurant. It was nice but expensive and there is better food in Canberra. I reckon going to dinner in Summer is better when you can see more at night.

    • inthetaratory October 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Good tip, Gary! Had heard it wasn’t the best food but surely the revolving restaurant part is a bit cool? 😉

      • Gary Lum October 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

        It is very cool. It’s worth doing for the scenery.


  1. Spring in Canberra « Teh's Tales, Ian's Yarns - October 16, 2012

    […] Black Mountain Tower in Spring sunshine ( […]

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