Take a hike: Exploring Canberra’s bush tracks

Posted 15 Jan 2018

Story by Visit Canberra

These walks in and around Canberra offer sensational scenery and will get your heart pumping.

Strap on your hiking boots, pack some sunscreen, a hat and water bottle, then head for the hills – these trails are awaiting your adventurous spirit.

Namadgi Treks

Namadgi National Park is about 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Canberra and makes up about 46% of the ACT! The park has 160 kilometres of marked walking tracks ready for your hiking boots.

Starting near Corin Forest, try the Square Rock trail with its huge granite boulders and Snow Gum woodlands. Hike to Square Rock Lookout at 1400 metres above sea level for breathtaking views. Allow about four hours for the 8.5 kilometre route.

Booroomba Rocks offers up a couple of walking track options – from 2.5 kilometres to a 10.5 kilometre return trip. Be prepared for a short steep incline to capture panoramic views – it’s worth it!

Booroomba Rocks in Namadgi National Park, Canberra

It’s worth the effort for the view from Booroomba Rocks.

Yankee Hat features the only known Aboriginal art sites in the ACT and is a six kilometre easy walk with mountain views.

Gibralter Peak is a renowned walking trail within Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Allow about three hours return for this 8.2 kilometre hike where your reward will be looking out over Gibraltar Falls and the vast skyline. There are also more than 20 other marked trails to choose from within Tidbinbilla.

Download a map of Namadgi National Park.

Gibraltar Peak in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra

Perch yourself atop Gibraltar Peak.

Beyond the border

Cooleman Cave is the feature of the Nichols Gorge Walking Track – a challenging seven kilometre walk in NSW – about 3 ½ hours’ drive from Canberra.

Not far away from this walking track you can explore the Clarke Gorge Walking Track where you’ll see beautiful rock features and Cave Creek falls. There’s also a campground nearby.

Closer to town

Try Mount PainterRed Hill LookoutBlack Mountain and Mount Ainslie for a cardio blast not far from the city. Each will showcase the local flora and fauna along the way.

There are plenty of walking trails within the 250-hectare site of the National Arboretum Canberra, or try the Canberra Centenary Trail, a self-guided loop trail spanning some 145 kilometres. Take on parts or spread it over a seven day walk.

Shepherds Lookout is part of Woodstock Nature Reserve and provides a birds eye view of the great Murrumbidgee River. You can even take your dog on-lead. Further along the river, the Uriarra Loop Walk takes you across the Murrumbidgee to the Molonglo River and back, with a nice picnic spot for a rest.

The Cotter Avenue Recreation Area is a 25 minute drive from the city centre and a popular spot for picnics, swimming, fishing and bushwalking. The more tricky trails are the Mount McDonald Summit and Stony Creek Skyline.

Kangaroos at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra

Get to know the local wildlife on your bushwalk.

Be a good scout or guide

As with any bushwalk or hike, check weather conditions before you go and let someone know your plans before you leave. There isn’t always mobile reception in the bush, so make sure you’re prepared before setting out.

Remember, you can learn so much more on your hike with an experienced guide. Check out the tour options to suit your fitness level.

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