Tag Archives: walking

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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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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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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Uriarra Loop from Shepherd’s Lookout

7 Oct

It’s innocent enough. We’ve spied the walk from our usual trips to Shepherd’s Lookout, and we’re keen. Uriarra Loop is a 3.5km round trip, and I’m sure it’s just a little way from Shepherd’s Lookout to the start of the walk. Boyfriend’s sceptical. “It’s mostly flat,” I say. I might be stretching the truth being overly optimistic, but it convinces Boyfriend. We set out down to Stockdill Drive just before midday.

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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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Easter in the Snowy Mountains – Day 2

9 Jun

Following a huge first day, we wake early the next morning to almost freezing temperatures, and a layer of fairly magical fog. Despite sleeping on some pretty hard ground, we’ve had a deep sleep – I think we can thank the beautiful fast flowing Swampy Plains River. Again, we’ve got another big day ahead of us, so we pack up early.

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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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Bridge to Bridge – Lake Burley Griffin ‘jog’

10 Feb
Lake Burley Griffin lakeside walk

As you may have gathered from my whinging about the act of hiking (even though I like doing it), I’m not fit. I’m definitely not one of those people who exercise during their lunch hour because frankly it seems like way too much of a hassle. That’s not to say that a lot of other people don’t like to exercise at lunch time (and risk me screwing up my face at them). Jogging the Bridge to Bridge around Lake Burley Griffin appears to be a favourite around these parts, with most people who brave it easily doing it in under an hour. After four years of avoiding it, I decided it was probably worth reviewing. (But not at lunch time. And there was not much running involved.)

Instead, I figured twilight at LBG would provide a rather stunning background for the Bridge to Bridge, and I was right. Most people seem to wonder just how long Bridge to Bridge is going

Lake burley griffin02

to take them. Well, it’s about 4.86 kilometres according to the GPS/Heart Rate Monitor. I started at the carpark near the flags on the Old Parliament House side and went clockwise, heading to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and over the Kings Avenue Bridge before back to the car in about 45 minutes. The only real ‘steep’ part of this is the steps heading up to the first bridge, so upping the ante is all up to you.

All in all, it’s a good walk. It’s under an hour, the walkways are generally quite wide, and it’s not unusual to enjoy a great sunset – both in the sky, and shimmering across the water.

Of course, I also had my trusty new HRM attached so you can see just how much effort I did (or didn’t) exert!

Date: Saturday, 28 January

Cost: Free!

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? Well, I don’t have any more. It’s hard to miss the lake and the bridges!

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