Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve

11 Jan

In the spirit of getting amongst Canberra’s bushland in the hours that stretch out after work in January, our next pick is Aranda Bushland. Nestled between Mt Painter and Black Mountain, I drive past it regularly but have never taken the time to get amongst it. As usual, I’m pleasantly surprised.

We park at one of the three entrances on Bindubi Street.

One of two entrances to Aranda Bushland from Bindubi Street

One of three entrances to Aranda Bushland from Bindubi Street

Having never been in the bushland before, we follow the management trail instead of taking one of the many small trails which come off it. It follows the powerlines and is aptly named…

We follow the Powerline Track

We follow the Powerline Track

Following the Powerline Track

Following the Powerline Track

The track soon turns steep and gets the heart pumping. However, it’s well-maintained and not slippery at all, allowing us to concentrate on getting to the top.

Looking back as we rest half way up

Looking back as we rest half way up

Well-maintained track

Well-maintained track

Bikes are allowed on the management trails, but not the smaller tracks. Just one passes us in the whole time we’re in the reserve.

Lots of lovely trees providing shade and habitat for wildlife

Lots of lovely trees providing shade and habitat for wildlife

We could keep following the Powerline Track which could take us through to Caswell Drive, but we divert, turning left to follow the Aranda Summit Track.

Following the Aranda Summit Track

Following the Aranda Summit Track

This one is even steeper! But we’re rewarded with views of Black Mountain Tower.

Looking back down the steep path

Looking back down the steep path

Views of Black Mountain and its Tower

Views of Black Mountain and its Tower

Cooper and Boyfriend near the summit

Cooper and Boyfriend near the summit

The summit is 681 metres. I’m surprised with the walk so far – I really thought Aranda Bushland was mostly flat!

Views of Lake Burley Griffin peek through the trees

Views of Lake Burley Griffin peek through the trees

We continue a flatter walk past the summit, which pops us out at a line of Aranda houses which back us onto the bushland. There’s another track which follows this line, and again, it’s aptly named.

Intersection of the Summit and House Tracks

Intersection of the Summit and House Tracks

At this point we choose to take a smaller trail, which gently takes us down through thick bushland.

No bikes allowed on smaller trails

No bikes allowed on smaller trails

Posing with a very happy Cooper

Posing with a very happy Cooper

It’s a windy trail, but we’re popped out almost right back where we started, at the Powerline Track.

Thick bushland

Thick bushland

Back at the beginning of the Powerline Track!

Back at the beginning of the Powerline Track!

It’s a gorgeous, peaceful walk. A big change from our walk the day before at Red Hill, where there were plenty of people. I love that it’s a kind of ‘choose your own adventure’, and can’t wait to explore more tracks.

WALK SNAPSHOT

Time required: The walk was under 40 minutes, even with the steep sections! Perfect for after work.

Height: 680 metres, with an elevation gain of maybe 80-90 metres.

Distance: As long or as short as you want it to be.

Views: Reasonable. The walk is more for the exploring rather than the views, but I love seeing Black Mountain Tower and sections of the lake poke through.

Flora and fauna excitement level: Medium – there are lots of birds and plants. Check out this great brochure by Friends of Aranda Bushland.

Effort expended: Low-medium – it really depends on how far you want to walk and which trails you take.

Quality of track: High.

Value for effort: High. Like most of the Canberra Nature Walks, I wish I’d discovered it sooner.

Date: Tuesday, 7 January

Where: Entrance from Bindubi Street, near Cook/Aranda in Belconnen

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile. The area is dog friendly, except for the Snowgum area close to William Hovell Drive.

Want more? Check out the TAMS map. Of the three entrances on Bindubi Street, we took the middle one.

 

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One Response to “Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve”

  1. neildoody January 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    Know this area quite well from the competitive bush walking (aka orienteering) we do here in winter.

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