25 March 2022

Hidden gems to discover on new walking track to Shepherds Lookout

| Ginninderry
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platform and lookout

The new platform taking in the vista made famous by painter Elioth Gruner. Photo: Ginninderry.

Ginninderry residents and the wider Canberra community can now access parts of their natural surrounds previously inaccessible to the public, thanks to a new walking track.

The track connects the urban area of Ginninderry to the popular Shepherds Lookout. Starting from The Link, it twists its way for 3.4 km before connecting up with the existing ACT Government track network. From there it’s a further 800 m along the existing pathway to Shepherds Lookout.

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Weaving through two forest types and native grassland areas, the track passes ever-changing vegetation types and landscapes, including the vista down the Murrumbidgee River captured in the painting Weetangera (1937) by one of Australia’s most prominent landscape painters, Elioth Gruner.

The picturesque track crosses through protected flora and fauna communities including a Yellow Box Gum woodland, Natural Temperate Grassland and a Pink Tail Worm Lizard habitat. It’s also home to a variety of native orchids and varied landscapes including a Callitris forest, Stringybark woodland, Tea Tree scrub and several valley edges.

Views across the conservation corridor to the Murrumbidgee

Views across the conservation corridor to the Murrumbidgee from the new walking track. Photo: Ginninderry.

As well as giving the community a new go-to walking destination, the track also forms part of Ginninderry’s conservation efforts in the area. Local company Makin Trax spent three months building the track, using a light touch method that incorporated local materials, ensuring minimal impact on the natural environment.

The project team also worked with Indigenous groups to capture the stories and culture of First Nations people of Australia, which are authentically and respectfully told within the landscape.

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Users can encounter three sculptures along the way, with interpretation signage to be installed to further enhance the experience.

The first of a whole network of tracks in the area, the new track is a great introduction to the 596-ha Ginninderry Conservation Corridor. The overall master plan includes about 120 km of tracks running through the Conservation Corridor that will be created to reflect the development of the urban areas.

Ginninderry's new Walking Track Map

Introducing Ginninderry’s new walking track. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for a return trip. Photo: Ginninderry Conservation Trust.

The track provides access to areas that were previously inaccessible to the public. It weaves through two forest types and native grassland areas and passes ever-changing vegetation types and landscapes, including the vista captured in the painting Weetangera (1937) by Elioth Gruner.

The track is now open to the public. Parking is available at the beginning of the track, The Link, which is accessible via McClymont Way, off Pro Hart Avenue, Strathnairn. Bikes and dogs are not permitted in the Conservation Corridor.

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The track is a welcome addition to the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor. However, in at least one section near Gruner’s Vista poor construction on steep slopes has already led to erosion rendering the track potentially dangerous to smaller children and other less than nimble users. This problem should be rectified as a matter of priority before an accident occurs.

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