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Canberra’s Best Walks, Treks and Hikes

Feb 21, 2018  ·  3 min read

“Over, under, pull it tight. Make a bow, pull it through to do it right”.

Despite its clunky flow, this more-helpful-than-dope rhyme might have been your lace-tying saviour back in the day. And now, whether you’re rocking Nike Frees, Vibram Fivefingers, Targhee II Mids or the classic Dunlop Volleys – once you’re laced up – you’re ready to explore Canberra’s best walks, treks and hikes.

We look at the where you can stretch the legs in the bush capital.

NAMADGI NATIONAL PARK

The sprawling Namadgi National Park takes up about 40% of the ACT and offers 160km of first-rate bush walks, treks and hikes. The park is managed in cooperation with local Indigenous leaders and is home to an abundance of Indigenous art sites. It’s possible to walk on your own, with a ranger (inquire at Namadgi Visitor Centre), and even spend a night at various campsites.

CANBERRA CENTENARY TRAIL                        

Do a little or do a lot. The 145-kilometre loop winds through Canberra’s stunning natural sites and man-made icons. If you’ve got some spare time, the track is broken up into sections and if you tackle 20 kilometres each day, you’ll have it done in a week.

Highlights: The Murrumbidgee Discovery Track, One Tree Hill and National Arboretum Canberra are standouts on the CCT, as is the abundance of wombats, echidnas, wedge-tailed eagles, and the odd platypus.

MOUNT AINSLIE

If you’re looking for something a little more precipitous, there’s the 4.5 kilometre return of the Mt Ainslie Summit Trail (Kokoda Track). The steepish, well-marked and medium intensity trail winds through scribbly gums and up to a viewing point over the Parliamentary Triangle and is one of the most popular walks among locals.

If you’re unable to walk up or you can walk but are feeling particularly lazy, the Mount Ainslie Drive can be accessed by car or bike.

LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

Taking you across Commonwealth Bridge, past Regatta Point, Rond Terrace, the National Carillon, the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden, and back to Reconciliation Place, the 5km Bridge to Bridge Lake Burley Griffin walk is the essential walk in the nation’s capital.

Also check out Jerrabomberra Wetlands. Tucked away on Lake Burley Griffin’s eastern shore, these picturesque marshes a teaming with wildlife.

DON’T FORGET

The one-hour loop Black Mountain walk, a wildflower and orchid-loaded trail through lichen, ferns, flowers and orchids; and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, on the fringe of Namadgi National Park and is home to the challenging Gibraltar Peak walk, Gibraltar Falls, koalas and the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby.

words by niall roeder


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