The closest suburbs to the trail head are Duffy and Wright, ACT
Start this trail at the Cotter Reserve. Once you arrive at the Cotter turn towards the Dam Wall and park near the toilet block at the end of Cotter Avenue. The trail starts about 40 metres from the toilet block
The Cotter car park back where you started
In 1915 Canberra’s Cotter Dam was completed and for many years this formed the main source of Canberra’s water supply. As the city grew and more dams were added, it was eventually decided that increasing the capacity of the Cotter Dam was the next step. Fast forward to 2013 when the new Cotter Dam was finished, Canberra’s water supply (which had been struggling to keep up with the city’s needs) was guaranteed for the foreseeable future. Even though this new Dam was in the news for a number of years, for some reason I never seemed to get the opportunity for a visit until recently. The Honyong Walk allows you to view the Dam wall up high and up close.
This walk starts at the end of Cotter Avenue and if you park your car as close as you can to the Dam wall near the end of the toilet facilities, you only have a short walk of around 40 metres. The Honyong Walk is just over 2.6 km but on checking the various interpretation signage at the base of the walk, one sign that says this walk is 5.5 km.
The walk is on management road that maintains an almost even grade the entire way up. The first stopping point is an interpretation point about 600 metres up the track where there is a small section of gabion that contains pieces of infrastructure left behind from the 2003 Canberra bushfires. This is also where the trail turns back on itself and to the final leg to the summit. The high point on this trail is actually about 90 metres from the lookout and it is at this point you can see through the fence to the Cotter Dam itself. Continue the walk to the lookout to get the views of the Dam wall. There must have been issues with people hopping the fence to get a better view (not really a sensible thing to do given the drop off) because there is a ring of razor wire as a last line of defence a few metres beyond the fence line.
Wildlife on this trail was fairly minimal consisting of a mother kangaroo and large joey. The vegetation is fairly low for most of the track so there is no real shade which is fine given this walk should take most people comfortably under an hour.
The walk back down is pretty easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Once back to the car park make use of picnic and barbecue facilities or visit the short interpretation walk on the other side of the river which is about a 600 metre walk in total.
Barbecue and picnic area
Cotter Recreation Area
View to the Dam wall from the base of the Dam
View across to the interpretation area which is a seperate short walk
Mid point interpretation centre
Mid point interpretation signage
Close up of gabions
Mum and bub
Dam rock wall
View of Cotter Dam through the fence
Trail directional signage
Cotter Dam wall from the lookout area
Video live from the trail
Views across to Namadgi National Park
View down to Cotter Recreation Area
Coming back to the trail head
On the drive back to town, this echidna was (very slowly) crossing the road
Cotter Reserve is around 59 km from the Canberra GPO and around a 60 minute drive
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker