Credit to “Out In Canberra” for their fantastic article about the 8 Best Mountain Walks of Canberra. I can’t improve on perfection.
One of the best things about living in Canberra is the accessibility to an abundance of unspoilt mountains without even leaving the city.
In fact, Canberra takes the name of ‘bush capital’ to new heights. Its mountain trails offer bountiful views and a wealth of benefits beyond the physical. Setting foot to higher altitudes improves mental agility, self esteem, stress levels and general wellbeing all whilst improving stamina, endurance and strength in the upper and lower body. Plus, the views at the peak are simply spectacular.
MOUNT AINSLIE (KOKODA TRACK)
This 4.5km hike is steep but also hosts the most iconic sights of Canberra. Enjoy the peak’s stunning 360 views of the Brindabella mountains, the Parliamentary Triangle, Lake Burley Griffin and surrounding suburbs. Access from behind the War Memorial at Treloar Cres, Campbell.
The highest peak in the Canberra metro area, Mount Majura Circuit is a 6.1km hike that provides expansive views over the city and Majura Valley. Providing more remoteness to others, this hike will leave you feeling like you have left the city in the surrounds of native birds, wildlife, yellow box and red brittle gum. Follow the zig-zag Casuarina Trail before joining the steep fire trail to the top. Access at Hackett Gate, Mackenzie Street, Hackett.
Home to the Eiffel Tower of Canberra (otherwise known as the Telstra Tower), Black Mountain’s Forest Track is a 3.5km return walk. The track is well kept and bountiful with wildflowers and orchids. Access at the ACTEW Electricity Sub Station on Frith Road, Acton.
Mount Painter is a 3.7km hike suitable for walkers of all levels and makes for a great walk all year round. The summit area comprises three separate lookouts with unhindered views of the Brindabella ranges and rolling hills. Access at the trail head on Bindubi Street towards the suburb of Cook.
One of Canberra’s most popular urban hikes, Mount Taylor is a 3.8km return walk. The peak uniquely provides a stunning view of the Tuggeranong Valley on one side and the Woden Valley on the other. There are a few park benches along the way to take in the view or go without stopping and you’ll be sure to break a sweat. Access this walk from the carpark on Sulwood Drive at the Mannheim Street Intersection, Kambah.
You’ll need the day for this escape located 45 minutes from the city. Access this walking trail via Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. This 8.2km hike has it all from house-sized boulders, views of the picturesque falls and creeks, native wildlife and enchanting flora. If you need to cool off afterwards, take a dip in the stunning Gibraltar Falls.
For experienced hikers or those after a challenge, Mount Tennant is must do. Take a day trip as this is located out past Tharwa, roughly 1 hour 15 minutes from the city. Take time to stock up on snacks, maps and weather information at the Visitors Centre. This walk ascends for the first 5km through magnificent bushland towards the Cypress Pine lookout and continues up the fire trail to the summit. After exploring the remote wilderness through the crisp air, expect mind blowing views towards Canberra and the Bimberi Wilderness. Access from Namadgi National Park Visitor Information Centre.
A shorter hike that is equally as rewarding, this suburban gem is perfect for a short weekend stint before brunch. As part of the Cooleman Ridge Nature Trail, Mount Arawang is a 1.3km hike. The summit offers views of the Woden and Tuggeranong Valley on one side and the rolling Brindabella ranges and Telstra Tower on the other. Access from Lincoln Place or for a longer walk park at Namatjira Drive in Chapman.
Source: Out In Canberra – 8 Best Mountain Hikes