3 January 2013

Mayor Rattenbury presents his top five walking trails around Canberra!

| johnboy
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walking trails

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury is suggesting the best walking tracks to hit around town if you’re in need of suggestions:

“The Granite Tors walking trail within Namadgi National Park offers a seven kilometre, three hour walk that takes visitors through tall forests to a natural viewing platform created by massive granite boulders that overlook the Orroral Valley. The walk, which has some steep sections, can be accessed via the Orroral Road.

“The Shepherds Lookout to Molonglo River Walk is a gentle 3.5 kilometre, two hour walk that meanders across the hills west of Belconnen to the sandy shores of the Molonglo River. The newly upgraded lookout offers fantastic views over the Murrumbidgee to the majestic Brindabella mountains. Parts of the walk are dog friendly and family friendly picnic spots are available. The walk can be accessed via Stockdill Drive in Holt.

“The Gibraltar Peak Trail at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a moderate to hard 8.2 kilometre, three hour walk. Starting from the valley floor at Dalsetta, the trail passes groves of Xanthorrhoeas, along ridge lines and across mountain saddles to the peak of Gibraltar Rocks and some of the best views in Canberra.

“If you are looking for something a little closer to town, the Kambah Pool to Pine Island walk offers a one way seven kilometre, three hour meander along the flowing Murrumbidgee River. The walk follows the Murrumbidgee River upstream from the Kambah Pool recreation area through the Red Rocks Gorge, occasionally dipping to the water but also offering beautiful views from several natural lookout points.

“For more adventurous walkers the Camel’s Hump trail at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve offers two difficult walks, a 19 kilometre eight hour option or a shorter 11.6 kilometre six hour trip. The trail offers a demanding trek through some of the more remote areas of the nature reserve. Travelling along the slopes of Johns Peak to the rocky outcrop of Camel’s Hump, walkers are rewarded with the best views across the Tidbinbilla Valley,” Mr Rattenbury said.

[Photo of Gibraltar Rocks Courtesy TAMS]

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So that’s what the view’s like.

Couple of years ago, boyfriend and me did the Granite Tors trail on a damp day in October. Found the walk relatively easy and there are a few nice stops on the way to rest too.

When we got to the top the weather had closed in. The whole view was a complete whiteout beyond the rocks with the mist. Just the rock platform and then nothing. Eerie. Beautiful too in its own way. Though it spooked my boyfriend.

At the time, some track maintenance was needed. I think the rangers rely a little on walkers letting them know about any problems.

Part of the Orroral Observatory still stands up there too, for those interested.

You reckon the ranger in the picture walks to many of these spots?

While I encourage Canberrans to get out and enjoy these walks (which is a great list of walking trails), I urge caution on the Camel’s Hump walk. The climbing to the actual peak is best done with someone who has already been there. The path is not very obvious (especially at the lower levels) and entirely without markers. It’s possible to do it without knowing the way, but take it slow, be safe and not afraid to backtrack.

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