Have you ever thought about walking the Centenary Trail? The 145km loop was established in 2013 to celebrate Canberra’s Centenary, and passes over our picturesque mountain scapes, rivers, fields and forests. Not only will you see stunning natural scenery, you’ll also explore many of Canberra’s suburbs and the Parliamentary Triangle, discovering hidden gems and visiting iconic cultural institutions along the way.
The Centenary Trail was designed to be walked in 7 separate legs, or biked in 3. However, I’ve designed a plan that tackles walking the trail continuously over 8 days, with recommendations for interested places to eat and sleep along the way.
The trail is set out with markers that will guide you on your way at the turning points, and maps and more information are available on the TAMS website.
For the second leg, we’ll be looking at the stretch from the Wright to Tuggeranong via Coleman Ridge and Kambah Pool. The route is approximately 29kms long, but mostly flat.
Today’s trail starts at the Canberra Bushfire Memorial, which commemorates the 2003 bushfires.
However, if you’ve been following on from our last article, you will start at Wright where we left off on the last leg, between Cotter Road and Dixon Drive. From here, you can take a slight detour to grab a quick breakfast and coffee at the Niugini Arabica café at the Duffy shops, which imports its coffee beans especially from Papua New Guinea. I had a bacon and egg toastie which set me up nicely for the long day of walking ahead! Make sure you’re well-stocked on food and water for the rest of the day, as there is nowhere else to buy food along this leg. You can stop in at the 5 Star convenience store here if you need to buy anything.
From here you will need to rejoin and follow the trail to the Canberra Bushfire Memorial. I’d definitely recommend taking a moment to have a look at the photographs, sculptures and other tributes before continuing along the sealed path which soon turns into a gravel track.
Continue following the trail markers until you cross Cotter Road, and then take the path parallel to Eucumbene Drive. Keep an eye out for the signposts which will direct you to the left after you pass the Equestrian Centre entrance.
Here you will enter the Cooleman Ridge Reserve which offers sweeping views of the Brindabellas on one side, and Canberra city on the other. Be careful at the second gate you pass through, you need to take a sharp left and continue along parallel with the fence, rather than going straight ahead as you might be tempted to do. At the time of writing this turn was not signposted.
When you pass the gate at the end of the reserve, turn right until you come to the junction between Namatjira Drive and Kambah Pool Road. Continue along Kambah Pool Road for about an hour, past the golf course, until you reach Kambah Pool. Take the left had turn and keep following the Centenary Trail markers to the swimming area, unless you want to go to the nude beach, in which case you can take the right hand path!
Kambah Pool is a great place to rest and eat some lunch. If it’s warm enough you can also take a nice refreshing dip in the water!
When you’ve had a good breather and are ready to move on, head back up the steps where you came from and continue following the trail markers parallel to the river. Look out for the ancient volcanic rock formations along the way, particularly at Red Rock Lookout, a popular spot for rock climbers.
Keep following the path until you reach Tuggeranong Town Centre and the end of the road for this leg!
If you’re looking to stay the night, I stayed at the Apha Hotel Canberra, which was very comfortable with amazing air con, although the shower wasn’t fantastic, which is a shame after a long day of walking! It is however in a great location, just a few minutes off the trail and close to the Hyperdome with plenty of shopping and food options.
For dinner, try the Little Istanbul Turkish restaurant outside the Hyperdome. I had the Karisik izgara which included a generous serving of delicious sis kebab, sis tavuk, kofte & lamb cutlets, served on a bed of rice.
Happy hiking! Have you walked or biked any of the Centenary Trail? Which part was your favourite?