If you’re looking for an activity to raise your spirits and your heart rate at the same time, check out our list for the ultimate walking trails that Canberra has to offer!
If you are after picture perfect views over Canberra, look no further than Mount Ainslie to take in a 270 degree view over the Parliamentary Triangle. Also known as the Kokoda Memorial Trail, the Mount Ainslie Summit Trail begins behind the Australian War Memorial in Remembrance Park. The slightly steep and mostly sealed bitumen path winds through woodlands, where you are likely to encounter a rosella or two, which are very common to the area. The walk is set to take you about 1.5 hours in total, with a distance of 4.5km return.
Bridge to Bridge at Lake Burley Griffin
The most frequented walk in all of Canberra, with its constant influx of walkers, runners and cyclists, the Bridge to Bridge at Lake Burley Griffin is beautiful at any time of the day! There are a number of starting points to this 5km walk, however the most popular is by the flags at Reconciliation Place, due to its ample parking. This walk is generally easy, with the steepest parts being the steps heading up to the first bridge and will take you between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
Red Hill Nature Reserve
For stunning views and a medium level walk, you can’t look past the Red Hill Nature Reserve. Park your car at the Flinders Way/Mugga Lane intersection and begin your walk to the top! It will take you just under an hour and is quite short in distance, but does boast a number of stairs.
Situated between Torrens and Kambah, Mount Taylor provides the only 360 degree views of Canberra! Dirt parking is available on the side of Sulwood Drive, almost opposite Manheim Street. From here, you can begin your walk up Mount Taylor, the second highest point in Canberra, at 856 metres. The majority of this walk is uphill but the path is concreted and/or tarred and will take between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The National Arboretum
Spanning over 20 hectares of rolling hills and valleys, the National Arboretum hosts a number of walking tracks. The Himalayan Cedar Trail is one of these walks, at 2.2km, start off near the Pod Playground and wind through the regional botanic garden, allow an hour in total. The Dairy Farmers Hill Circuit is another fantastic walk, similar size to the Himalayan Cedar, this walk is 2km in length and will take one hour. Starting from the Events Terrace, the circuit travels through nine forests and offers fantastic views on the way to the Dairy Farmers Hill viewing platform.
Just one of the fantastic hikes on offer in Namadgi National Park, the Yerrabi Track is an easy to follow track, yet not one for the faint hearted! The track climbs slowly but is mostly made of rock so can be slippery at times. The walk is all made worth it when you reach closer to the summit, where you can enjoy stunning 360 degree views of the surrounds. If you are keen to take it one step further, continue on following the signs to the Granite Tors, where you will be greeted by a stunning natural rock formation which provides an even better viewpoint than the summit. Expect to spend around 2 hours on this 4km trail, including time admiring the views! Access to the walk begins at the Boboyan Trig car park on Boboyan Road, which is located 35km south of the Namadgi Visitor Centre.
Yet another hike within the Namadgi National Park, the Booroomba Rocks hike is one not to be missed. The hike starts off Apollo Road in the National Park and you can expect to spend 30 minutes getting to the rocks from here. Ensure you soak in the views of Telstra Tower and Namadgi National Park and maybe even take a picnic to enjoy!
In the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Gibraltar Peak is one of the most popular hikes in the Canberra region. Starting at the Dalsetta carpark in the Reserve, the hike is 8.2km return, with a well maintained path, plus tables and benches along the way if you wish to take a break! Expect for the walk to take about 1 hour to the top and 45 minutes back down. Be sure to soak in the views across the reserve and Telstra Tower!
If you are after a short yet stunning walk, look no further than Shepherd’s Lookout. Located about a 30 minute drive away from the CBD, the lookout is the ACT’s northernmost viewing point of the Murrumbidgee River. You can access the lookout via Stockdill drive in Holt, with an easy 250m walk from the carpark to the beginning of the walk. The path is narrow however very simple to follow.
The All-of-Canberra Walk (Centenary Trail)
This 145 km trail loops around all of Canberra, swooping up towards the NSW border and all the way down to Murrumbidgee as well as winding its way in and out of the city, which means there's plenty of opportunity to stop off at a nice cafe for lunch. If you don't feel like spending several days on your feet then there's plenty of great sections you can choose from to get a taste. We recommend the Murrumbidgee Discovery Track and One Tree Hill, which offers some truly breathtaking city views.
Want a side of education with your exercise!? Why not make use of one of the many self-guided walking tours on offer?
Old Parliament House Gardens Walk
Lake Burley Griffin Walk
Magna Carta Walk