As we grapple with ACT’s second lockdown, getting outdoors becomes absolutely essential for our physical and mental health. While we can only spend one hour a day outside, that is plenty of time to get moving in the fresh air while most importantly staying in your area.
Lake Burley Griffin
A stroll around the gleaming Lake Burley Griffin is always a good idea. The easy walk takes you 5km around from the Commonwealth Bridge to the Kings Avenue Bridge. Take in the lake views whilst walking by Canberra’s iconic attractions including the National Carillon, National Library, Captain Cook Fountain and more. There are a number of spots to park around both sides of the bridges.
One of Canberra’s most iconic views, Mount Ainslie is a must-do. This 4.2km walk may be steep but the views distract greatly from the leg burn. Enjoy the stunning 360 views at the peak with extensive views of the Brindabella mountains, the War Memorial, Parliament House, and surrounding suburbs. This track is easily accessible from the Centre of the City at Mt Ainslie Drive, Ainslie.
Black Mountain’s Forest Track is a 3.5km return walk. The track is well kept and bountiful with wildflowers and orchids. Then, once you reach the top get up close and personal with Telstra Tower at the summit. Access at the ACTEW Electricity Sub Station on Frith Road, Acton.
One Tree Hill Lookout
Part of the 145km Canberra Centenary Trail, the 8.4km walk is one of Canberra’s most heavily used trails. For fast walkers or joggers this just get you under one hour. Take in the beauty of the bush with gorgeous rural views, panoramic landscapes and wildlife. Access is from corner of Hall Street and Hoskins Street in the North side suburb of Hall.
Mount Painter is a great 3.7km walk all year round for all levels. Access is located at the trail head on Bindubi Street towards the suburb of Cook. The summit area comprises three separate lookouts with unhindered views of the Brindabella ranges and rolling hills. Access is at Coulter Drive on the west or behind Cook on Bindubi Street.
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.
The 7.2km Lake Ginninderra Circuit is located adjacent to the northern Town Centre of Belconnen and is an easy urban walk that is met with great lakeside views, well covered under shade. Access is around several spots of the lake.
Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve Bird Walk
Located on the outskirts of northern Canberra, Mulligans Flat is a great spot to see native wildlife. While there are three main easy walks inside the reserve, the shortest is the 7.6km bird walk. Access from Corner of Quinane Ave &, Justice Kelly St, Forde.
The walking tracks that surround the spectacular National Arboretum are perfect for a leisurely stroll. They have plenty of options depending on whether you want to take a 25-minute walk or want to take up the full hour. They have up to seven trails to choose from. Whatever you decide, their maps on site will guide you through. Parking is available in a range of spots around the Arboretum depending on what area you want to walk.
Red Hill Summit Walk
One of the most used urban bushwalks, Red Hill Summit is a relatively easy 4.1km walk with great views of Black Mountain. Access is just off Mugga Way in Red Hill.
Molonglo Gorge to Blue Tiles Trail
At Canberra’s largest commercial pine plantation, Kowen Pine Forest, you can expect extensive views of these natural treasures. Starting at the Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area, the 2.5km walking trail follows the river through towering pine trees to a picnic area called Blue Tiles.
One of Canberra’s most popular urban hikes, Mount Taylor is a 3.8km return walk and great for those after a walk in a central location. The peak uniquely provides a stunning view of the Tuggeranong Valley on one side and the Woden Valley on the other. Access this walk from the carpark on Sulwood Drive at the Mannheim Street Intersection.
A shorter hike that is equally as rewarding, this suburban gem is perfect for a short weekend stint. 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.
If you’re on the Southside and fancy a water view, Lake Tuggeranong offers a cruisy 6.7km loop and a great bird spotting location. There are multiple parking spots available around the lake.