• Distance 22km
  • Altitude max 1441m
  • Altitude min 681m
  • Duration 8 hours
  • Trail type Return or loop
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Five

Grade Five

Very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20km.

The Australian Hiker Difficulty Grading System is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Parking
Toilets
Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds
Showers

Camels Hump ACT (22-30km)

ACT

Nearest Town

Canberra

Starting Location

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve main car park

Finish Location

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve main car park

Best Time to Travel

Year round:

  • However early spring and mid autumn is the peak time
  • If you go in summer be advised that this walk is closed if there is a total fire ban and it will be very hot
  • The walk is best done when there is no cloud or fog to take advantage of the views. Expect possible snow on the ground during winter

Camels Hump (Long version) Trail Review

Please note that this is an extremely demanding walk and should only be done by fit hikers

The Camels Hump walk, located in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, can be done from two different starting points. Starting from the Mountain Creek car park this walk is 12.6 km hike. However if you feel like a walk with a difference and want something particularly challenging then do the longer version starting from the main car park at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre. This longer version will vary between 22-30 km depending on the route you choose. On the day we did this walk, we hiked the long way out and a shorter route back, which gave us a walk of 26.2 km and took us around 7.5 hours. Whether you do the long or the short version, either way this has become our  ‘hardest’ (designated) ACT walk. The walk to the ‘hump’ itself is challenging requiring a bit of scrambling both on the way up and on the way down so if you are a bit unsteady on your feet, take your time or stop at the base of the hump.

The Tidbinbilla walk guide is available online but is due for a revamp given that a new enclosure has been recently built and impacts on some of the internal roads. We followed the signage through to Webb’s Picnic Area and and picked up distance signage to the Camels Hump along the way. We followed the arrows on the way there and this added an additional 4.6 km to the trip which made for a very tough day but we didn’t mind as it took us into parts of the Reserve we had never seen before. Signage is reasonably good throughout but the walk guide doesn’t clearly identify the ‘roads’. There are toilet facilities at Webb’s you can access as you pass by means of a very short detour. By the time we connected into the shorter version of this walk which starts at the Mountain Creek car park we were starting to see lots (and lots) of hikers on the track. In fact in the first 30 minutes of cinching with the Mountain Creek walkers, we counted around 18 hikers consisting of all ages doing this walk.

The walk up to the hump is the most physically demanding. If you have a fear of heights and don’t feel like doing a mountain goat impersonation you may not want to do the summit as the trail is narrow, overgrown and requires scrambling over rocks. There are a number of routes people have taken to reach the summit so take it slowly and ensure you don’t go off track as some of the options are very difficult. The trip up and back down provides some great view and in fact the view at the summit is a bit treed-in so once you have reached the summit and had a short rest, turn back around and park yourself at one of the stop offs along the way down. Both times we have done this walk we have stopped to record some video at exactly the same location which provides some excellent views down into the valley at the back of the hump as well into the Tidbinbilla valley below. Continue descending taking care to place your feet carefully and hang onto the smaller trees as you descend.

In making your way back to the visitor centre you have a couple of choices. Which way you go is up to you but we strongly suggest you head back on ‘Spur 2 track’ as this will shorten you return trip quite noticeably.

Tidbinbilla is well known for its animal life and on the day we did this walk we came across emus, kangaroos, and black cockatoos. You will also encounter snakes in the park during the warmer weather.

If you are doing this walk you should start early at around 7:030 am which is when the reserve opens. Depending on the route you take, the average hiker should allow around 8 hours for the return journey. In addition, to letting you take in the cooler part of the day it gets you back to the car park well before the reserve closes at 6:00 pm. Don’t forget to sign in and out at the trail register which is located just to the lefthand side of the park information sign.

Tidbinbilla trailhead showing trail register

Emu

Information signage

Some of the many kangaroos

Sundew in one of the wetter areas

Fungi

First stop Webb’s Picnic Area

Toilet facilities near Webb’s

Small bridge near the creek

Crossing the water

Second trail register just past Webb’s Picnic Area. You don’t need to sign in here if you have already signed in at the main car park

Follow the arrows

The Hump is visible on much of this walk

Choice 1 – the way we headed to the Camels Hump

Choice 2 – the route we took back to the visitor centre

Joining the short track which is where most people start from on this walk

Lichen in one of the shadier areas

Rock formation

Approaching the Hump

Start of the Hump ascent

The summit of Camels Hump. I’m not a fan of rock cairns preferring instead to leave the environment as I find it – this one has grown since our last visit

Views from the summit are limited due to the tree growth

The best views are one the way down. We stop at this one location each time we do this walk to take a break

Panorama view from the lower lookout. The lower lookout is about 50-60 metres from the summit and has great views

Heading down off the Hump

Green and lush in the shade

All coiled up

Views into the valley below

Shorter route on the way back

Follow the markers home

Black cockatoo

Almost home

Signing out

This video is a compilation of images from the start to the finish of the walk to provide a visual overview of the journey

Getting There

Image from Google Maps

The trip from the centre of Canberra is approximately 47 km and around 45 minutes duration.

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve contains a series of walks that are closer to Canberra than those at nearby Namadgi National Park. Many of the Namadgi walks, particularly those that go into the Bimberi Wilderness Zone, are more remote requiring a higher level of skill but with it a higher degree of seclusion. The Tibinbilla walks are easier to access but you are unlikely to be alone on the trail.

Vehicle access into the reserve requires a permit which ranges from a single visit at $11.50 per vehicle with up to eight people or $33.00 per year. If you are a keen walker it’s worth buying the annual pass as it only takes three visits over the year to make it economical.

If you have an annual pass you can enter the park via the boom gate and scan you pass from as early 7:30 am in the morning. You will need to be out by 6:00 pm at the latest (8:00 pm in summer). If you are buying a single entry into the park you will need to wait until the visitor centre opens at 10:00 am (9:00 am in the summer). Please note that try is free until January 2021.

Entrance to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre and boom gate. If you have an annual pass you can just swipe your card to access without having to go to the visitor centre

Things to Know

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve requires a pass to enter with your car (with up to 8 passengers) (free until January 2021)

  • The annual pass is $33 and if you plan on doing at least three visits over the year is the cheapest option
  • A day pass is $11.50
  • The reserve is accessible before the visitor centre opens so long as you walk in or have an annual pass
  • The visitor centre sells snacks if you need
  • The closet toilet is at the Webb’s Picnic Area which you pass on the way to the Camels Hump
  • This trail is closed when there is a total fire ban
  • There is phone signal throughout the trail but not along all of the track
  • WARNING: Ascending the ‘hump’ requires you to be comfortable with very steep inclines and treacherous declines. Ascending/desecnding the ‘hump’ is not for the feint hearted
  • NO DOGS ALLOWED

Disclaimer

This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

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