• Distance 2.6km
  • Altitude max 750m
  • Altitude min 631m
  • Duration 1 hours
  • Trail type Circuit
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 Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Davidson Hill Circuit ACT (2.6km)

Urban bush walk

Nearest Town

Red Hill, Canberra

Best Time of the Year to Travel

Year round

Starting Location

Trail head car park located just off Mugga Way in the suburb of Red Hill

Finish Location

Trail head car park located just off Mugga Way in the suburb of Red Hill

Davidson Hill Circuit Walk Review

While having lived in other parts of Australia and overseas the majority of my life has been spent in Canberra and it was no small surprise to me I had never walked up Davidson Hill; so recently I took the opportunity to rectify this. One of the reasons that Davidson Hill is not well known is that its immediately adjacent to Red Hill and given that summit has a cafe, toilet facilities, parking and a TARDIS,  it’s not surprising many walkers don’t tend to do this walk.

This walk can be commenced from a number of sites around the hill but the main starting point is in the suburb of Red Hill along Mugga Way which is also the starting point point for the Red Hill Summit Walk. Like the Red Hill walk the best way to do this walk is as a circuit although by walking up to the TRIG on Davidson Hill and returning the same way will shorten this this walk by about 250 metres.

Start this walk by heading up towards the Red Hill summit; the trail at this stage is not overly steep. Once you reach a ‘T’ intersection at the signposted Red Hill saddle instead of turning right towards Red Hill, turn left which will take you to the summit of Davidson Hill which is marked by a TRIG Station. The views from this summit are different enough from the adjacent Red Hill and you can see most of the major summits in the city of Canberra from this point and also have views to the nearby Brindabella Ranges. Continue on walking in the same direction until you come across a turn to the left onto the Gandalf Trail which will loop you back around to the trail head car park.

While there are better walks in the Canberra urban area, this short walk doesn’t take much time and is still worth doing if only once for the different views on offer than what you get form the Red Hill Summit. This is a great walk for families with young kids or for those wanting some exercise.

Once you get out of the car head to the top corner of the car park corner then over to the trail head

Trail head signage just after you start. This is the only interpretive signage on the Davidson Hill walk

Management trail as you head up the hill

View as you walk up the hill

The bushland is dry at the best of times

In doing this walk you are on part of the Canberra Centenary Trail


When you come to the to intersection turn left towards Davidson’s Hill. Turning right will take you to the Red Hill Summit 

Follow the summit trail and not the Garran fire trail

Up the hill we go

A good walk for kids although at this age you can see that two of the adults have child carry packs on

Approaching the summit

Views across much of the city with Black Mountain in the distance

Davidson Hill summit

Davidson Hill summit

Woden Town Centre to the south

Mount Ainslie in inner north Canberra

Head down to form a loop. Mount Mugga Mugga is in the background

Strategically placed seat

Down the hill

Just a Galah. Australia is blessed with our parrots

As you head down the hill keep left to return to the car park

Gandalf Trail. Someone has way too much time on their hands as well as being a Lord of the Rings fan

Turn left on the Gandalf Trail

It’s not unusual to see these bird nesting boxes scattered through the Canberra bushland but this is the first time I’ve seen a bee hive in one!

Back to the car park

Getting There

Google Map to the Red Hill trail head car park from the Canberra GPO:

  • This walk is centrally just south of Canberra’s largest Lake; Lake Burly Griffin
  • The start of this walk is only 9km from the GPO

Red Hill car park on hill side of Mugga Way in the suburb of Red Hill

Things to Know

  • Phone: The mobile phone coverage is excellent on this trail (all networks)
  • Water: You need to bring your own water
  • Toilets: There are no toilets on this trail
  • Trail: This trail consists of management road and formed track and is walkable year round
  • Dogs: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Other: 
    • This walk is done in an out and back fashion
    • There are various starting points for this trail all around the base of Red Hill and Davidson Hill but this walk is the main one


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

* All fields are required

Please Wait.

Thank you for sign up!