10 May 2017

Canberra Black Mountain Tower birthday celebrations this weekend!

| Elias Hallaj
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Black Mountain Tower is what the locals usually call it. Its official name is “Telstra Tower”. It is arguably the most visually imposing shape on the Canberra skyline and is a welcoming sight to many Canberrans returning home to the bush capital. This Sunday on 14 May from 10 am to 2 pm, it will celebrate its 37th birthday! There will be face painting, fairy floss, popcorn, glitter tattoos and much more.

Over the past decades, the Tower has hosted millions of visitors, famous international tourists, dinners, dates and marriage proposals! Because of the amazing views from the observation decks and it’s unique location, it’s still on most visitors’ must-do lists when they are in Canberra.

The relatively short history of the tower is summarised well on several websites, including http://www.blackmountaintower.com.au/history.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstra_Tower

Like all new developments in Canberra, objections and protests against the Tower flared up in the local media and during construction, various hearings included a lengthy Supreme Court case, which was concluded in 1975, and the tower was officially opened on May 15, 1980 by the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser

Apart from being important as the transmitting station for Canberra television services and FM broadcasting services, and as a base station for other radio communication facilities, Telstra Tower is a key station in trunk communications for Canberra, and between Sydney and Melbourne.

What you need to know to help enjoy the Black Mountain Tower celebrations this weekend:

Where: At Black Mountain Tower of course! (see facebook ad).
When: From 10am – 2pm this Sunday 14 May. (Free entry from 10am-12pm, $3 per person after 12pm)

Do you have a Black Mountain personal story? Did you get to have dinner in the revolving restaurant before it closed? Do you know someone who got engaged in the revolving restaurant or met a famous celebrity on the viewing deck? Where you involved in one of the NIMBY protests to try and stop the construction of the Tower? Please let us know in the comments below.

Elias Hallaj (aka CBRfoodie) is a part-time food blogger and full-time political staffer who has joined RiotACT as a regular contributor. All opinions are his own. If you have any tips or feedback you can find him on Twitter @CBRfoodie.

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Holden Caulfield9:39 am 12 May 17

Whatever stories are shared, none will overcome the sadly inadequate facilities of the public viewing spaces. Alas, it look every bit of its 37 years up there. Thankfully the views out are worth the effort. But I think VisitCanberra, or someone, should be working with Telstra to sort this out and refurbish the public spaces in time for 40th birthday celebrations.

Maryann Mussared8:49 pm 11 May 17

I love the Tower! I used to be able to see it from a former home in Campbell, and now I can see it as I drive home from the local shops! I have had many wonderful lunches there with family and friends I always found it hard to drag myself away from the table, wanting just another quarter or half ‘revolution’ to see a part of Canberra I particularly loved. Sadly I attended a friend’s birthday lunch there the day Diana, Princess of Wales died. It was Sunday 31 August 1996. On the way there we heard on the 12-noon news that she was in a hospital in Paris fighting for her life. Leaving 3 hours later, we heard she had died. I can rarely cross the Scrivener Dam without thinking of her and the amazing presence she had in our lives back in the 1980s and 1990s

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