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Canberra is surrounded by some very beautiful bushland and mountains, making bushwalking a popular weekend activity for locals and visitors alike. There are lots of walks you can do, particularly around Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park south of Canberra, as well as Duea National Park to the east. Some of these walks have views that are nothing short of spectacular, that show off the beauty of this mountainous alpine region of Australia.
There are a couple of favourites that I would like to share, walks that offer fantastic views, are a little challenging and one which has significant cultural value. These walks also only take a couple of hours – perfect for a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Booroomba Rocks located in Namadgi National Park has one of the most rewarding views, looking northward towards Canberra. In an earlier blog, I provided this summary:
This is a really enjoyable walk, a bit steep in places, but the view at the top is well worth it, apparently it is ranked #9 of the 104 attractions in the ACT according to Trip Advisor. The pathway is mostly shaded, with lots of diverse vegetation, including some very large, burnt out gum trees. Most of the way there are stone steps with some timber ones, so it is pretty safe under foot. The granite boulders along the walk are truly spectacular.
Another quite different walk in Namadgi is the trail that takes you to Yankee Hut Paintings. The rock paintings are the only currently known Aboriginal art sites in the ACT. The Yankee Hat art sites are located in the Gudgenby Valley, nestled in a group of boulders located at the foot of Yankee Hat Mountain. Here are some of my comments from my walk:
The walk is a lovely and relatively easy 3.5 km distance each way from the car park – walking around the valley to the foothills where the paintings are situated. There are many scenic views of the mountains, lots of interesting boulder formations and creeks, not to mention many kangaroos, plus we also saw dingoes chasing rabbits near the paintings.
This is a nice walk if you like walking mainly on the flat, there is not much upwards walking, with the exception of about 15 minutes slight incline to get to the paintings.
These walks were the inspiration for an art exhibition in 2013, at the Belconnen Arts Centre titled Finding Balance: Mura Gadi. Some of the prints are still available for sale, contact us for enquiries.
Useful resources: You can find my walking tracks recorded on Every Trail.
One of the great places to find products that have been handmade by local artists, designers and craftspeople is through Handmade Canberra. They have a shopfront located at City Walk, 20 Allara Street in Civic, which features the work of over 170 local designers. They also run regular markets at the Canberra Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Avenue 4 times a year. The next market is scheduled for June 7 & 8, 10am to 4pm.
I love this lollypop as it says a lot about Canberra’s reputation. There is a stereotyped idea that it is a place of dull monuments and boring public servants, which is simply not true. To the contrary, if people take the time to look around they will find it is a rich, creative and diverse community. Ironically, I also held this belief that public servants were dull, until I joined the APS and worked alongside other people who had identities as artists, musicians, healers, scientists and aid volunteers.
So, no, Canberra doesn’t suck, though it is true that in Winter, the wind can blow.
Today we headed back to the beautiful Namadji National Park and visited “Yankee Hat Paintings” – some amazing Aboriginal rock art nestled in the foothills of the mountains. The walk is a lovely and relatively easy 3.5 km distance each way from the car park – walking around the valley to the foothills where the paintings are situated. There are many scenic views of the mountains, lots of interesting boulder formations and creeks, not to mention many kangaroos, plus we also saw dingoes chasing rabbits near the paintings.