One of the best things about living in Canberra is the accessibility to an abundance of unspoilt nature without leaving the city.

As we take the name of the ‘bush capital’ to new heights, we love hiking for the bountiful views and wealth of health benefits that stem 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 the cherry on top.

You may have mastered the 10 best nature walks in Canberra by now, so let’s step it up an incline or two. Grab the Kathmandu puffer and put your calves to the test because we have rounded up some of the greatest hikes in the city where the colossal views may just distract greatly from the leg burn.

Northside

Mount Ainslie (Kokoda Track)

This 4.5km hike may be steep but it’s home to 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. Home to a plethora of native wildlife and bushland, you may even come across threatened species including the Glossy Black-cocktaoo and the Rosenberg’s Goanna. Make sure to stay on the tracks as the eastern side may contain unexploded ordnances from the military’s occupancy. Access from behind the War Memorial at Mt Ainslie Drive, Ainslie.

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Mount Majura

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.

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Black Mountain

Home to the Eiffel Tower of Canberra (some call it 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. Get up close and personal with the momentous figure situated at the summit or splash $7.50 and take the lift up to get an unhindered view of local bushland. Access at the ACTEW Electricity Sub Station on Frith Road, Acton.

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Mount Painter

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.

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Southside

Mount Taylor

One of Canberra’s most popular urban hikes, Mount Taylor is a 3.8km return walk and centrally located for Southsiders. 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.

Gibraltar Peak

Similar to Mount Tennant, you’ll need the day for this escape located 45 minutes from the CBD. A renowned walking trail in 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. Access is from Dalsetta Carpark.

 

 

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Mount Tennant

For the 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 CBD. Before embarking take the 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.

 

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Mount Arawang

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.

 

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If you would like more tracks or non-incline walks, check out 10 best nature walks in Canberra.