After hiking my way around Canberra and finding fun road trips in the area, it’s time to farewell the nation’s capital.
As a ring-in public servant hailing from Brisbane, I wasn’t sure if Canberra was the place for me. I didn’t even know a soul here when I first arrived. But I thought I’d give it a go and I think I’ve experienced a lot of what Canberra has to offer.
Canberra was actually where I discovered a passion for hiking. I’d done a bit of hiking over the years, but I found myself hiking every weekend once I settled in Canberra.
It all started with Mt Ainslie, spreading to Mt Majura and Black Mountain. Then I discovered Gibraltar Falls, leading me to discover the Tidbinbilla and Namadgi reserves. Tidbinbilla is one of my favourite national parks with Gibraltar Peak and Camel’s Hump the stand out trails.
Eventually I managed to rope in some hiking buddies to share Canberra’s beautiful natural scenery with me.
Corin Forest Mountain Resort with its alpine slide also provided an enjoyable half day trip with a side trip to Corin Dam, and a picnic at Gibraltar Falls.
I discovered the other highlights of Canberra – from the National Portrait Gallery, Parliament House, Australian War Memorial, and the National Arboretum.
I also went along to many Canberra events such as Floriade, and the many fabulous markets including Fash n’ Treasure, EPIC fresh food markets and the Bus Depot Markets.
Living in Braddon, I saw Lonsdale Street grow, swelling with more and more cafes, restaurants and street food over the past three years.
Lonsdale Street Traders was knocked down, but replaced by the terrific Hamlet with its churros, roast pork rolls, Chasing Mr Morris coffees, and Brod Dogs.
Mr Frugii set up shop, brilliant burgers came in the form of Grease Monkeys, the paleo trend came to Braddon with Elemental, Paleo Café and 80/20 (some of my favourite cafes).
I taught myself to run 5km and then 10km by doing the bridge to bridge around the Lake Burley Griffin and then upgrading to ParkRun at Lake Ginninderra.
The Kingston Foreshore battled against Braddon and Local Press Café brunch and pizzas at The Dock became my favourites on that side of the lake.
I spent 15 minutes in Mooseheads and a bit longer at Academy, but spent most of my Saturday nights in Knightsbridge, Tongue and Groove and Honky Tonks.
Bentspoke Brewery and Hopscotch were welcome additions to Braddon for after work drinks.
I made several trips out to the Murrambateman wineries, Four Winds Vineyard being my favourite for their wine and wood fired pizzas, and Gallagher Wines for their cheese and chardonnay.
I discovered the south coast of New South Wales, starting out at Bateman’s Bay. Realising everyone from Canberra seemed to go to Bateman’s Bay on long weekends, I branched out to Ulladulla and Bermagui, then went inland.
Carrington Falls became one of my favourite spots, but Fitzroy and Belmore Falls were also equally fun to visit. I took in the slides at Jamberoo Action Park, and checked out Nowra and Wollongong.
I reached Australia’s highest point making it to the summit of Mt Kosciusko. No one ever did drag me to the snow because of my aversion to the cold, but at least I made it to Jindabyne and Thredbo.
I discovered another hidden gem with Yarrangobilly Caves.
I made friends through work and Meet Up groups and many of these friends I hope I’ll stay in touch with for many years to come.
The Meet Up group led me to do Tough Mudder – an obstacle course I wouldn’t have made it through without the camaraderie of my new found Canberra friends.
With all my adventures over nearly three years, I feel like I gave Canberra a good go and discovered a lot of what the natcap had to offer.
But now it’s time to move on and discover new adventures.
Thanks to all my readers and I hope you’ve enjoyed the parts of Canberra and surrounds I’ve written about during the past year with The Riot Act. If you would like to follow my hiking adventures in other parts of Australia, follow me on Facebook.