Having just walked up Mt Painter and soaked up the stunning views there-from I decided to walk up to The Pinnacle in the nearby Pinnacle Nature Reserve which I had heard offered equally good views.
Like Mt Painter, there are numerous entry points to the 140 hectares Pinnacle Nature Reserve.
I entered from a small car park along Springvale Drive at the south – western edge of the suburb of Weetengera. This is probably the ‘main’ entry point and results in the shortest walk to the summit – less than 500m.
The initial few hundred metres of the walk were pleasant enough, through bushland along the central trial though with no views apart from a glimpse of Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, at one point. A short side track of around a 100 metres off to the left of the trail, to The Pinnacle (summit at 709 metres), is clearly marked. The altitude gain from the car park to The Pinnacle would be no more than 20-30 metres – so easy going.
On reaching The Pinnacle my thesaurus tells me I should have found a pointed piece of rock, a stand-out apex, an upright stone structure, a lofty peak or the like. I found a few scraggly, scattered rocks among some Red Stringyback Eucalypts with views of Mr Painter (below), Mt Tennent, Mt Arawang and the Brindabellas, which while reasonable and worth the short walk were no where near as good as those from nearby Mt Painter. Hence the disappointment expressed in the title of this review.
Having time on my hands, rather than abandon the reserve at this point I decided to go for a wander along some of the multitude of the tracks indicated on my map – disappointment soon turned to pleasure.
While the views out towards the Brindabellas, etc ranged from extremely limited to non-existent having returned to the central trail and other tracks, this was more than made up for by the flora (open grassland, acacia, yellow box/ red stringyback and other eucalypts and other woodland), the fauna and a beautiful, if small, lake on the south-eastern side of the reserve. While I have seen tonnes of kangaroos I still derive great pleasure from seeing them and see many I did on this short walk. I also saw a few crimson rosellas, cockatoos and other birds with a nice close-up of a kookaburra being the highlight of the walk. 104 separate species of bird have been sighted in the reserve so a bit to go yet if I want to see them all.
In just over an hour, I probably covered a total distance of around 2.5kms, partly on well formed vehicle trails (no you can’t take your vehicle in!) and partly on barely discernible tracks. Do exercise some care as you enjoy wandering through the reserve as red bellied blacksnakes and eastern brown snakes are present though they will generally scamper quickly if encountered.
Despite being on the edge of the city with major roads around it, that part of the reserve I visited offered a peaceful haven from urban life, making it a place I would certainly return to. In that regard I subsequently located a self guided walk brochure focusing on the flora and fauna of the north western part of the reserve which I used on my net visit – though, in reality, neither a brochure nor a map is required. My goodness. referring to the parts of the reserve by their compass locations suggests some element of expansiveness – in reality a couple of hours would leave no part of the reserve unexplored.
I hoped that next time I would see one of the swamp wallabies, red-necked wallabies,possums or echidnas known to inhabit the reserve – (later update – I didn’t!).
Notwithstanding my disappointment with the views I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Pinnacle Nature Reserve – but do combine it with Mt Painter for your ‘view fix’.
Dogs, on leashes, are permitted within the reserve.
Address – Springvale Drive where De Salis Street intersects
Getting there by bus –Not a great service but workable – Route 17 from Belconnen with frequent connections to/from the City (717 weekends only from the City) . Check out – https://www.action.act.gov.au/ – for timetable and stops.
Entry Fee – Free