Tag Archives: bushwalking

Hidden treasures in Dunlop Grasslands

12 Jun

Blogging has introduced me to some of Canberra’s very best, and that includes people like bushwalking legend John Evans. John has an extremely popular website where he documents every single walk he takes with plenty of detail and maps. John’s simple goal is to inspire people to resist sedentary life, head outside and enjoy some fresh air, and appreciate our surroundings. I look on in awe at his commitment to providing as much information to make that possible for people.

John and I have been on a few walks together – Mt Coree and Urambi Hills. As well as being knowledgeable, John is a gentleman and has a great sense of humour. When he offered to show me a part of Belconnen with which I wasn’t yet familiar, I jumped at the chance.

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Woolshed Falls, Reids Creek Walk, Spring Creek Cascades

5 May

After eating at a one-hatted restaurant, a two-hatted restaurant, a no-hatted but still awesome restaurant, and enjoying this delightful brewery (not to mention all the wineries), we’re feeling a tad guilty, and go in search of a bushwalk (but not too onerous of course – we’re on holiday!).

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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.

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Coming Up in 2014 #1

11 Jan

One of the most regular bits of feedback I got in 2013 was “I wish I’d known about that event you reviewed sooner! I would have attended.” That’s awesome feedback for me in that it means I’m reviewing things you’re interested in, but it also highlights the restrictions on being a review blog.

I’ve said elsewhere, but I’ll state it again: this ain’t a preview blog. I don’t claim to know the scoops around town. Honestly, I usually learn about things opening up when everyone else does.

My main sources of ‘review ideas’ are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Visit Canberra. Look, “Visit Canberra” isn’t the right name for this institution. They should be something like “Visiting and Living in Canberra”. The people behind Visit Canberra showcase all the things on in Canberra – suitable whether you’re a tourist or living here. Their website is pretty easy to navigate, and they’ve got a great presence on social media, and encourage Canberrans to share what’s going on. It will also point you in the direction of the Visitors Centre on Northbourne – even if you live here, don’t be ashamed to stop in.
  • Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog. If you’re looking for bushwalking ideas, you’ve got to start at John’s page… or mine. But I will freely admit that John’s page is hands down the best resource for walks in and around the ACT. John is a seasoned walker (understatement!), has a great sense of humour and diligently documents every single walk he’s on. Canberra’s lucky to have John and his website as a resource, and long may it continue. Some of John’s walks are a little bit long for me (sometimes I’m lacking a bit on the patience, time or energy side – or all three!), but he provides critical detail with maps and what you should expect – as well as highlighting things you might have never heard of before!
And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

And one of your humble correspondent in her fashionable bushwalking outfit at the summit on a walk with John Evans

  • The Riot-Act is Canberra’s pulse. It’s full of Canberra content, including reviews, advice on businesses in Canberra, images of Canberra (more bushwalking ideas! Or submit your own pics), and a user-compiled list of things to do on the weekend.
  • Twitter. A lot of people don’t get Twitter. For years I just had an account to read Twitter, instead of contributing. Now, I love contributing. Either way, it’s a great source of advice and well of ideas about things to do in Canberra, and what people are enjoying (or not!). Search for the hashtag #canberra to get an idea of what’s on the boil. Through Twitter, I’ve learned of things to do that I might be interested from people including our Chief Minister. And, it was through Twitter that I learned about what became my most favourite Canberra event ever. Can’t argue with that!

With those main sources out of the way, I’d like to start up a semi-regular post on the blog letting you know of things to do in Canberra which have caught my eye and/or which I reckon I might head along to. I’m not sure if this will be weekly, monthly or simply ad-hoc, but I’m sure a rhythm will reveal itself! Without further ado!

Coming Up in 2014 #1*:

  • PM’s XI v England at Manuka Oval. There are still tickets available* for the game this Tuesday, 14 January! *at the time of writing. No idea how good they are.
Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

Me and my dear dad in #likecanberra shirts at Manuka Oval last year

  • Sunday arvos throughout January at Old Parliament House / Museum of Australian Democracy. Enjoy drinks at OPH each Sunday in January (including Australia Day), with live performances. Inside on Sunday arvos you can be drawn as a caricature (free!). (We’re still waiting to hear whether OPH drinks will be back on after what seemed like a successful showing throughout December.)
  • The Sculpture Bar appears again at the National Gallery of Australia on Thursday, 16 January. For those who haven’t been, it’s a bar at the back of the gallery amongst some rather lovely mist (perfect on a 39 degree day) and the NGA’s lovely sculptures. Drinks in the past have been expensive. Looking forward to seeing what’s planned with their Peruvian/Chandon theme (in the past it’s been Veuve, explaining the $ tag for drinks). Here’s my review from a few years back.
Drinking in front of a sculpture in 2012 - very refined, I assure you

Drinking in front of a sculpture at the NGA in 2012 – very refined, I assure you

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

So privileged to go on a behind the scenes tour of the broadcasting service at Parliament House in late 2013

  • Valentine’s Day (Friday, 14 February if you need reminding!). BOOK IN QUICK. Canberra restaurants are starting to issue their pricing plans/menus for the big day, including some tempting degustations at some of Canberra’s best. Before you book, you may want to read what I’d like to describe as my public service announcement for what you should NOT expect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • AfterDARK Grazing Tour at the Botanic Gardens. Includes a tour in the evening and a three course dinner at night. There are still sessions available for Valentine’s Day (~$85) and Friday, 7 March (~$50).
  • Enlighten Canberra is back on between 28 February and 8 March (why they don’t extend it for the long weekend MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Despite the silly dates, just block those eight dates out. You won’t regret it.
Just a little bit amazing.

Just a little bit amazing.

  • The Mapping Our World expo at the National Library (free, but you really should book online to avoid disappointment – here’s the linky) ends on the long weekend date of Monday, 10 March. This is only two months away. You could spend two months at this exhibition. For this reason, you need to get there and spend time with these remarkable maps as soon as possible.
  • Finally, the Canberra Craft Beer Festival has been pushed forward thie year to Saturday, 29 March (it’s been April or later in previous years). Don’t confuse this with the Small Brewers Beer Fest (dates still to be confirmed for 2014) or Canberra Beer Week (hopefully to be held again in November 2014).
With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

With the Centennial Beer at the Canberra Craft Beer Festival in 2013

* Not one of these venues/institutions/events asked me to tell you about this stuff that’s happening – it’s all of my own research/knowledge.

Happy blocking out your calendars!

Red Hill Nature Reserve

10 Jan

I love Canberra in January. Maybe I’m making too much of it, but I love the (relatively) quiet roads, and that it feels like the few of us around have the city to ourselves. Most of all, I love the days that seem to stretch out – getting home from work and still having hours of daylight left. It’s the perfect opportunity to get out and explore some more walks which are right on our doorstep. (Here’s one we did this time last year.)

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Mt Clear

24 Nov

Have you ever been on a ride where you just want to get off, but can’t? It’s spinning around and you just want it to be over, but you have to just hold tight and wait? This is exactly how I’m feeling, bush bashing down the western side of Mt Clear early on a Saturday afternoon. It’s littered with fallen timber, spikey bushes poke through my clothes, and it’s all on a steep slope. Unlike a ride I can’t get off, the only way I can get off this mountain is to keep going.

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Canberra Centenary Trail – Section 1 (Mt Majura to Mt Ainslie)

18 Nov

I have a confession to make. I’ve never walked up Mt Ainslie. Ever. Okay, that’s a lie. I never had walked up Mt Ainslie. However, the Canberra Centenary Trail is a good motivator. On Sunday afternoon, I find myself taking part of an official Cententary Trail walkers-only detour between the two peaks of Majura and Ainslie.

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