17 October 2018

Canberra Day Trips: Molonglo Gorge – a natural wonder on Canberra’s doorstep

| Canberra Day Trips
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View of Molonglo Gorge. Photo: Lisa Martin.

Molonglo Gorge is a picturesque natural corridor where the Molonglo River has carved its way through the impressive rocks surrounding it, and it’s a fabulous unspoiled, scenic environment with pools, cascades and small waterfalls. The gorgeous bush around the gorge is perfect for a picnic, a walk or just to enjoy the serenity of the natural surroundings by the river. And best of all, the spectacular environment is practically on Canberra’s doorstep.

Molonglo Gorge Recreational Park is just a 15-minute drive from the centre of Canberra. Right on the border of ACT and NSW, it’s a well set up and quiet spot to enjoy a barbecue, let the kids run around, or enjoy a longer walk discovering the sights along the Molonglo River.

Molonglo Gorge entrance. Photo: Supplied.

Why you’ll love it

  • Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area has a great set-up for a picnic, with undercover tables and chairs, barbecue facilities and toilets nearby.
  • There is a fantastic shaded adventure playground that the kids will love.
  • The views of the natural landforms are impressive, and the gorge is an imposing sight.
  • There’s a picturesque walking trail along the river, which continues all the way up to the Blue Tiles picnic area. Read more about the Blue Tiles walk
  • Dogs are welcome, and there are a few spots where they can enjoy a swim in the river.
  • Depending on when you go, the area can come alive with wildflowers.
  • We’ve seen kangaroos and all kinds of birdlife in the area, and there’s plenty of other resident native animals like wombats to keep an eye out for.

Photo: Supplied.

Getting there

Molonglo Gorge is about a 15 minute drive from the city. Head towards the airport, then turn into Sutton Road. From there, you’ll see the Molonglo Gorge turnoff. The road down to the car park is partly gravel but fine for two wheel drive vehicles.

When to go

It’s best to avoid extremes of heat and cold when visiting Molonglo Gorge, especially if you’re planning on doing the walk up to Blue Tiles. The milder months are perfect for picnics or exploring and the wildflowers put on a lovely show in spring.

Photo: Supplied.

Key details

  • Distance: Around 30km east of the centre of Canberra.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Recommended for: bushwalkers, anyone with kids who have energy to burn, hikers, and photographers. It’s also a good spot for fishing, swimming and picnics.
  • More information: Visit Queanbeyan: Molonglo Gorge

Do you have any recommendations for other geological wonders around Canberra that we should visit?

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