• Distance 5.7km
  • Altitude max 620m
  • Altitude min 501m
  • Duration 1.4 hours
  • Trail type Loop
One Stars

One Stars

Don’t bother unless its for training

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

River Walk Kama Nature Reserve ACT (5.7km)


Nearest Town

Cook, ACT

Starting Location

Kama Reserve carpark. Please note the carpark is on the opposite side of the road to the reserve and you walk under an underpass

Finish Location

Kama Reserve carpark

River Walk Kama Nature Reserve Review

This walk on the western edge of Canberra wasn’t one I had planned to do any time soon but at the time much of the southern part of Australia was on fire and I wanted a walk that was close to the city and safe from any potential fire activity.

The Karma Nature Reserve is located on the western side of Hume and Hovell Drive if you are heading north from the city centre to the suburb of Cook. If you are travelling from this direction you will need to head up the road to a large roundabout and loop back down the road to the carpark on the left hand side of the road. The carpark will fit about 5-8 cars. There is interpretation and directional sign at the carpark. From the carpark you head down a ramp under the road and come back up at the gate to the Kama Nature Reserve. This walk is marked by a series of wooden posts with metal arrows so you can’t really go wrong.

This walk actually consists of two walks with the first taking you down to the dam and the second which is the subject of this review taking you on a longer loop down to the Molonglo River. There are a couple of choices on this walk with the first being once you hit the dam – you can go left or right to do the walk in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. The second option is to walk along the road as you approach the river or walk down the hill and walk along the river itself.

When we did this walk it was during a very dry summer and apart from the odd kangaroo and bird there wasn’t a great amount to see and overall it was very exposed. The best part of the walk was down by the Molonglo River but given the high temperatures and dry conditions it didn’t really make up for the barren landscape.

If you decide to do this walk I would leave it to the cooler months of the year. Overall this wasn’t very exciting and it certainly wouldn’t be my first choice with so many other better options nearby. It was however an opportunity to get out and about and do a walk on a day when so many other walks were inaccessible.

Trail Head signage

Sign to the reserve

Tunnel under the underpass

Through the gate we go

Trail signage. Note the post with the arrow – follow these arrows throughout the hike

Trail example

Trail interpretive signage

Choose a direction. Right to go anticlockwise (our preference) or left to go clockwise

Paper daisy on the trail

Dried up dam. I have a natural preference for walking anticlockwise so took the righthand branch

Kangaroo on the trail

Follow the fence down to the road

The next decision point. Turn left and walk along the road or go down to the river before looping back up to the road again

Molonglo River. We skirted the river before gradually walking back up the hill to meet with the road

Looking down to the river once we had angled back up towards the road

Live on the trail

Surrounding hillside

Back onto the road

Through the gate

Heading back home

Back to the starting gate then under the road to the car

Getting There

Google map showing the distance from the Canberra GPO to the trail head. This walk is only around 11 km from the Canberra GPO and will take around 15 minutes to reach from the city centre

Turn off road to carpark

Pulling into the carpark

Things to Know

  • Bring your own water or a filter to use the river water
  • Bring fly repellent in the hotter months because the flies are numerous and active
  • There are no toilets on this walk at any stage
  • Carry your rubbish out


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

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