The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) which is home to Canberra also contains just one National Park, Namadgi. What we lack in numbers of parks we make up for in size with Namadgi covering 46% of the ACT’s land mass. In addition there are a series of hills, ridge, and buffer zones spread throughout the city that help to give Canberra the name of ‘bush capitol’. While these green spaces, right on our doorstep, are often taken for granted by many locals, those in the know take the opportunity to get out and hike both within the city limits as well just a short drive away from residential areas.
The following hikes are our top five summit hikes for those into peak bagging. Our top five range in distance from 3.6 km to 22 km for those of you with a bit of energy to burn. Gill and I have walked all the trails and each trail has something that makes it special for us. If something catches your eye, you can click on the links below for our full reviews.
So whether you are a visitor to the ACT or a local exploring your backyard, we hope you enjoy!
The reason this hike is at the top of our list is not the actual walk itself but the destination. The Mount Gingera Summit has that ‘special something’ – a feeling of solitude and remoteness, a feeling of wilderness. I have done this walk three times over the past 18 months and have always felt at home on each occasion.
Out favourite walk under 10 km and also one of our Top 10 Favourites. This is without a doubt the best shorter summit walk in the Canberra region providing some spectacular views to the valley below. Located within the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, this walk is easy to access; just remember to start early to avoid the crowds and wear ‘grippy’ footwear for the summit where the rocks can be a bit light on for traction.
This is probably the most walked trail in Canberra. Located behind the Australian War Memorial this walk provides excellent views to the central core of Canberra. Great as either a day time or night time hike. This walk is also spectacular as an early morning hike in winter when the fog blankets the city centre.
I must admit I’m usually not a fan of walking up hills just for the sake of it – I just don’t see the point but this one is different. The Mount Franklin Summit Walk is a remote walk on the western border of the ACT that combines views to Canberra’s remote wilderness regions along with an insight into our historic past.
Mount Painter is located in northern Canberra and has views to nearby Black Mountain and Lake Burley Griffin. Turn to the right and you are looking at views of adjacent rural Canberra and the Brindabella Mountains.