Gossan Hill amble

13 May

Gossan Hill Nature Reserve is another one of those places in Canberra which I suspect few people know about – it’s a hill (well, there are two hills) with some pretty decent and at times dense bushland, at a height that allows for some lovely views, and it’s right in the centre of the northside.

Gossan Hill Nature Reserve is nestled in the middle of what is known as ‘old Bruce’, or the more established (and from what I can tell, more expensive!) area of the suburb of Bruce. Gossan Hill Nautre Reserve is bordered by Radford College, College St, Crisp Circuit and Jaeger Circuit, and the Courts and Places which spider off those streets. Fortunately, this also means there are plenty of entries to it. This past cool Saturday morning, we started our journey from the end of Hytten Place, which comes off Crisp Circuit.

The entry is well marked, and we happened to choose one of the many bitumen tracks that heads up behind the backs of the houses in the suburb. The first 400 metres were quite steep (a shock to my not-quite-awake self), but we were rewarded with rather lovely early morning views of inner and greater Belconnen, and the mountains to the west. (These views also probably explain those expensive housing prices!)

Good morning, Belconnen!

The bitumen path appears to continue around the bushy part of the nature reserve, but it wasn’t long before we started seeing well-worn paths that headed straight up and we turned onto them and headed into the bush. The paths are obvious – I’d normally say this means it’s easy not to get lost, but the thing about the reserve is that there are just so many paths. In our very short walk, we came across a number of junctions. A few of them were signposted as Fire Trails, but curiously some were called ‘Gossan Six’ and ‘Gossan Seven’. I presume this means there is also Gossan One – Five, but are there more than Seven? Will have to head back to find out!

As I said, we only had a short time available so I ignored my sense of curiosity (and tried to stop nerdily quoting Robert Frost poems) and, after almost stumbling on top of 25 rather well-camouflaged kangaroos and wallabies we headed back onto the bitumen, doubling up a little on our earlier tracks but then heading down into the suburb. Even the suburb is rather nice for an early morning stroll, with some lovely houses and a few hills to keep you going. If you don’t have much time or just want to get amongst the bush in the middle of the city (without having to deal with the steepness of the mountains), I’d highly recommend. I look forward to checking it out again!

You can have a look at our tracks (and the roads not taken – noting that while we were in the nature reserve, we didn’t actually go to the top of Gossan Hill itself) here. (You might have to click in the top right hand corner to get it to show metric data.)

Date: Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/13438/cnpmapgossan.pdf

Postscript: This post has been updated to reflect that while we were in the nature reserve, we did not actually go up the ‘hill’ itself, which from what I understand is closer to Radford College.

4 Responses to “Gossan Hill amble”

  1. Gary Lum May 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Sounds like a good place to explore.

  2. Guy March 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    That’s not Gossan Hill. I don’t know what that hill is called, but Gossan Hill is on the Eastern side of Gossan Hill Nature Reserve, which has two hills.

    • inthetaratory March 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      You may well be right. A map I’m looking at seems to suggest Gossan Hill is 669 metres and unnamed is 667.

    • inthetaratory March 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      I’ll make sure to edit to clarify every time I say Gossan Hill that I mean the nature reserve itself (generally my intention with most of these posts). If that’s not correct, do let me know – certainly don’t want to share wrong info!

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