Canberra’s self drive picnic boats: GoBoats comes to Lake Burley Griffin

Sophia Brady 1 December 2017
Photo by local photographer Anthony Croke – Instagram @cecil1958

Photo: Local photographer Anthony Croke – Instagram @cecil1958

A new addition to Lake Burley Griffin, GoBoats is adding a whole new fun factor to the lake and opening up the possibilities for those without a boat license to explore the beautiful waterways and scenery.

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-timer, GoBoat offers self-drive, sustainable, electric picnic boats which seat up to eight people. They take care of all the safety equipment, give you a full briefing of how to operate the vessel, provide a map and advice on all the best spots to explore, you just show up with your picnic and enjoy! As someone who loves to walk around the lake, I have spent many hours on the different tracks watching the landscape change as the seasons do. I have been following the news of the GoBoat launch with anticipation and jumped at the chance to be one of the first to take it for a spin.

Photo by Sophia Brady

Photo: Sophia Brady.

Photo by Sophia Brady

Photo: Sophia Brady.

Nick Tyrell, the owner fell in love with GoBoats when on a holiday to Stockholm, says “The boats are just so sexy. The sleek lines, designed by a Danish architect, just have this allure to them. There are some old-fashioned lines to them, but at the same time, they’re super modern. Aside from the design of the boats, the experience of taking some friends on a boat with a picnic table left a real impression – it was our favourite memory of Stockholm!”

Nick says “I grew up on the north coast of New South Wales so have always loved being out on the water, which is a bit hard for a lot of people in Canberra! Other than that, I’ve owned my own cafe before and for the last ten years or so worked in government and communications behind a desk mostly, so it’s exciting to be working outdoors with some beautiful boats, and putting smiles on people’s faces.”

Smiling we were! From the moment we jumped onboard from the dock at the Kingston Foreshore, our party of four were beaming with anticipation as we navigated the boat out through the water. Noshing our way through the picnic we had packed, enjoying a few glasses of bubbles while watching the hustle and bustle of the late afternoon cyclists, joggers and commuters go by.

Nick recommends “Of a morning, while there’s no wind it’s a great opportunity to sail the length of the lake, maybe even to Springbank Island – a hidden gem 95 percent of Canberrans have never visited. During the day and of an evening, a really romantic option would be to fill a couple of glasses and sail around the Carillon, between the little islands with all the bird life. Either way, it’s just such a fantastic, relaxing way to watch the world go by.” Currently you can self-cater your trip and pack your favourite picnic items or pick up some water, soft drinks and locally fresh made Bombolini doughnuts from the GoBoat kiosk, but Nick has plans to expand the options saying “We’re collaborating with a couple of local businesses, so keep an eye out for picnic hampers from Graze Expectations, and maybe even some pizza or pasta from Molto Italian. We’ll be adding options to our website so people can order their food & drinks as they book, knowing they can just turn up and it’s all done for them.”

Photo by Sophia Brady

Photo: Sophia Brady.

To get onboard visit or pop into Kingston Foreshore to see the bats in action at Jetty 2, Trevillian Quay.

Sophia enjoyed her experience as a guest of GoBoat Canberra.

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