Tag Archives: hiking

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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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 Majura

9 Oct

I’m not sure whether Boyfriend still hasn’t forgiven me about stretching the truth re our last walk being ‘mostly flat’, but he disappears to play golf the next time I mention a leisurely afternoon walk. It’s a shame, because I think Mt Majura might now be my new favourite walk. (And that is a big call.)

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Percival Hill

7 Oct

It’s only a few years ago that I discovered what trigs are, and what they look like. But that’s all I needed. As soon as I knew, I started seeing trigs everywhere. Quite a few particularly stand out from the road or ground level. There’s the trig on Reservoir Hill (part of the new suburb in Lawson). The trig on top of Mt Painter. The trig on top of Big Monks. They’re everywhere! And, once I see one, I want to get to it. One trig which has been bugging me for many years is the trig on Percival Hill. It’s the one you spot from William Slim or the Barton Highway, between Crace and Nicholls. I just had to bag it. Finally, that day has come.

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Battling through the thistles on Big Monks

10 Dec

If you’ve ever sat in somebody’s backyard in Banks or Conder, or have looked up when you’ve been travelling to or beyond Tharwa, there’s a chance you’ve probably seen a trig at the top of what looks like a nicely formed mountain. I’d spent a fair bit of time gazing at it from various positions a few hundred metres below, and after finally confirming it was ‘Big Monks’, knew it was a challenge I had to undertake.

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Booroomba Rocks, Namadgi National Park

8 May

There are so many good bushwalks to do in and around the ACT. It took me a few years to realise this, and a few more years to get an appreciation of just how great they are. A great half day walk (even a quarter day walk!) is Booroomba Rocks. It’s nestled just on the other side of Mt Tennent in Namadgi National Park, and provides some extraordinary views of the ACT.

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Mt Painter

6 May

We’re incredibly lucky to have so many good walks within Canberra. My favourite trek of these is Mt Painter. It’s nestled behind (in front of?) Cook and if you’ve driven down William Hovell Drive you’ve likely driven right past it.

Entrance from Bussell St, Cook to Mt Painter

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Revisiting Mount Kosciuszko

7 Apr

With visiting parents, I thought it might be quite lovely to take them down (and up) to see Mt Kosciuszko. We’d sworn ‘never again’ to the Main Range Track walk (>20km) which we’d done in early January, but had thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and thought it would be a nice tourist spot. We settled on taking the chairlift up from Thredbo (we’d walked from Charlottes Pass on the previous occasion) and walking the 13km return track from there.

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Dominating Mt Tennent

16 Feb

Mt Tennent in the distance

Mt Tennent is a bastard*. There’s no other way to put it. The first time I braved it was August 2011, and on finishing it I made the promise myself to never, ever do it again. That was until I got my new Heart Rate Monitor, which piqued my curiosity – if Mt Tennent is such a hard slog, how many calories does it burn? Of course, the only way to find out was by doing it again.  And that’s how, exactly six months later, I found myself back on Mt Tennent, and cursing it.

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Oakey Hill wander

9 Feb

Oakey Hill trig

It was Australia Day, and, having some idea of the huge amount of calories I was going to consume in the afternoon, I decided that it would be worth my while to try to burn off a few beforehand.  As one of walking God John Evans’ first recorded walks ever, Oakey Hill had stuck in my mind as an area I wanted to explore.

Oakey Hill is that hill you drive by just before (or after) Mt Taylor when you’re on the Tuggeranong Parkway, situated just on the edge of the suburb of Lyons. We parked at the entrance in Dennes Place and entered it from there.

The first thing we came across was horses! Oakey Hill has an equestrian trail on it, and the whippets were very curious about what these ‘big dogs’ were doing. There was an alternate route so we managed to avoid crossing paths.

It’s steady going on the track with only a very small ascent as you come around the side of Oakey Hill towards the Parkway and it’s easy

View from Oakey Hill towards Black Mountain

to do it quickly. Fortunately, the hill does live up to its name, as the trek towards the summit is a steep one. Before you reach it you encounter a proper road – indeed, you could probably just drive to the top of Oakey Hill if you were so inclined! – and then a 50m walk through a narrow dirt path to the trig.

What surprised me about Oakey Hill is that it’s actually got some really great views (not like Black Mountain!), particularly of Mt Taylor and Mt Tennent behind it, as well as views of the very recognisable Camels Hump up in the ranges of the Tidbinbilla Nature Park. Of course, it’s also got some great views of the Parkway and the surrounding suburbs, too!

It’s an easy walk back down but felt like a good use of 45 minutes (as opposed to the activities we had planned for the rest of the day!). If you’ve got visitors and you want to give them a view of Canberra without wearing them out for the rest of their stay, this track is a good one.

Dogs are allowed!

And finally, as a special treat to you, dear reader… I recently purchased a Heart Rate Monitor to get an accurate estimate of how embarrassingly slow I can be. But better yet, the HRM has a GPS, so it also records the track we took. You can also check out the elevation, the distance and my calories burned here.

Date: Thursday, 26 January

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile, particularly because it’s one of the few nature parks where you can bring dogs

Want more? http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/13536/cnpmapoakey.pdf