Mt Ainslie is hands-down the best lookout in Canberra. Basically, this is because after hiking all the way to the top it makes you feel like doing a Leonardo di Caprio, “I’m the King of the World!” (Except that actually requires having to catch one’s breath, which takes a bit longer than I would care to admit). I went up there just to double check for this purpose and, yes, it’s definitely the best.
However, in fairness to the other lookouts of Canberra I chose two others for this week’s Best of Canberra: Mount Pleasant and Dairy Farmers Hill.
Mount Pleasant is, in fact, quite pleasant, (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Once you find your way through Duntroon and up General Bridges Drive (be sure and stop by the grave of General Bridges) there is a lovely area to look out from. It has a similar aspect to that of Mount Ainslie but comes up behind the Russell offices and has a much closer view of Lake Burley Griffin. It also overlooks the grounds of Duntroon. Watch out for ADFA recruits on the road as you drive down!
For a differing view of Canberra, I also went with Dairy Farmers’ Hill, near the Arboretum. Quite by chance, I went out on the stormy Sunday evening just passed. It was still calm when I arrived and the view is spectacular. You can take in Woden Valley and the far-reaching Brindabellas as well as the steady Black Mountain and accompanying Lake. I settled in and watched the storm roll in and it was spectacular. The clouds were dark with rain and lightning lit up the sky over the Brindabellas. I was captivated by it and didn’t want to leave until I was chased away by the rain.
With such an experience, I award this week’s best lookout to the Dairy Farmers’ Hill. Through the call out, I came across many other choice lookouts and I am looking forward to exploring them over the summer.