NP & SF
NP & SF
Canberra & Queanbeyan
WALK IT! RUN IT! EXPERIENCE IT!
1. Mount Ainslie Summit Trail
While many walks are about exploring natural wonders, this one gives you the opportunity to see one of the great man-made wonders of Australia; the unique architectural design of Canberra.
A fully planned city, Canberra was originally designed by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin in 1913. Look down from the Mount Ainslie Trail today and you can see the fruition of their vision; a city geometrically set out in a wheel and spoke pattern, with a land axis and a water axis. Mount Ainslie marks the northernmost point of the land axis. From the summit you can see the Australian War Memorial, the Parliamentary quarter, and Lake Burley Griffin.
While the city views are eye-catching, the trail is not without its natural beauty too. In Spring and early summer you'll see everlasting daisies and bluebells, and at dusk some scurrying possums and maybe even a sugar glider. The trail is sealed and well sign posted, and just to really entice you there is usually an ice-cream van at the summit!
Where? Canberra, ACT
How do I get there? The walk begins directly behind the Australian War Memorial on Treloar Crescent. Alternatively you can drive straight to the summit via Mt Ainslie Drive. Directions for Mt. Ainslie
How long is it? 2.2km
How hard is it? Easy to moderate, steep in places, but well maintained.
2. Molonglo Gorge - Blue Tile Picnic Area
The trail starts at the Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area - where there are toilets, wood BBQ's and a children's climbing frame. The track starts off following the gently flowing Molonglo River and quickly ascends high above the river giving you spectacular views. On the hillsides you'll see eucalypts, acacia, black cypress pines, ferns, and if its been a wet season lots of moss. After about an hour you'll reach a small grassy area with BBQ's and picnic tables called the Blue Tile Picnic Area - this is a great place to rest and refresh before you begin the return journey!
There is no drinking water at the Blue Tile picnic area though, so make sure you've carried enough in - it's not advisable to drink the river water as it still has a high mineral content from the days when up-river was a mining area. There are no bins either so make sure you take your rubbish with you.
If you're feeling energetic you can extend the walk by continuing on after the Blue Tiles Picnic Area to the historic ruins of 'Glenburn" homestead in the adjacent Kowen Forest.
Where? Queanbeyan, NSW.
How do I get there? Molonglo Gorge is located just 15 minutes from Canberra's city centre and 10 minutes from Queanbeyan. Access is off the Sutton Road. Directions for Molonglo Gorge
How long is it? The trail is 3 km long and takes around 1 hour each way.
How hard is it? Easy to moderate.
3. Googong Foreshores
The Googong Foreshores is a vast recreation area just 10 minutes south of Queanbeyan. There are numerous walks here, from easy strolls to more arduous treks, just take your pick!
There are two main access areas: the northern end, and the southern. (see directions below)
Short walks at the northern end:
Short walks at the southern end:
Long day walks and bike rides at the northern end:
Long day walks and bike rides at the southern end:
Where? Queanbeyan, NSW
How do I get there? The northern end is 10 km from Queanbeyan, and accessed from the Cooma Road via Googong Dam Road. The southern end is another 10 km further, accessed by turning off at Burra Road and then into London Bridge Road.
The Googong Foreshores is open from 8 am to 5pm, with later closing times in summer. Public toilets are at both ends of the park, but there are no bins so please take your rubbish with you. Dogs and horses are not allowed, and all plants and animals in the Park are protected. Camping is not permitted.
BBQ facilities are located in the Park; at the northern end there are gas BBQ's at the Foreshores car park and wood BBQ's at the Downstream Picnic Area, and at the southern end there are BBQs at both the Tin Hut car park and London Bridge car park.
There is a Ranger Station at the northern end of the park, Ph: 02 6207 2779 Fishing: 02 6226 3867.