With its sculptures, bike trails, walking paths, and ponds, Commonwealth Park is one of Canberra’s best public gathering places. The park sprawls across the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin, and makes a convenient place to rest when touring Canberra’s sights. From a shaded bench on the manicured lawn, gaze across the water at the Parliament House and the National Museum of Australia, or simply stroll around the grounds and admire the public art. A park favorite is the impressive memorial that celebrates Captain Cook, wherein at certain times of the day, a water jet explosively erupts from the lake and shoots a geyser of water over 450 feet in the air.
Commonwealth Park is also the venue for the annual Floriade springtime festival, which runs for 30 successive days every September and October. During this time, over a million flowers colorfully bloom in every corner of the park, and the flowerbeds and lakeshore are illuminated by night in a display of music and lights.
Commonwealth Park is a five-minute walk from the downtown Canberra city center. There are public bike racks for locking up bikes, and in the adjoining park you can hire a boat for a kayak or paddle of the lake. The Captain Cook Fountain usually operates from 2-4pm, as well as 7-9pm in summer.