Mount Arawang Summit Walk

This walk is one of three summit walks, the shortest one, located between the ‘town centres’ of Woden and Tuggeranong which I had discounted for over 20 years as offering little of interest to walkers, other than locals seeking exercise for themselves and or their dogs. I hadn’t expected much in the way of scenery. As it happens, I was wrong in relation to all three walks.

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Urambi Hills Summit Walk

For many Mt Painter in the northern suburbs of Canberra is the ‘go to’ walk for scenic views of the northern part of the city, with minimal effort. While some consider Mt Arawang to be the Mt Painter of the south, for me the Urambi Hills summit walk earns this accolade though it is a little longer at 2.1 kms return. Either way, both walks offer sweeping views of the southern part of the city and out across the Murrumbidgee river towards the Brindabella mountains to the west.

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Shoreline Walk – Return via Western Foreshores Walk (part) – Googong Foreshores

The Shoreline Walk is a popular and easy four kilometres return lineal walk along part of the western foreshore of the Googong reservoir, within the Googong Foreshores reserve. Rather than return via the same route I continued along Shannons Inlet (otherwise the turnaround point) until I connected with the management track and the Western Foreshores walk and used that track to complete my walk. This added nearly a kilometre to the walk’s length and sightly increased its difficulty but it let me walk through, and enjoy, an area of open grassland with sweeping views of the countryside, the reservoir and the Queanbeyan escarpment to the east. It also gave me a less picturesque view of suburbia housing in Googong village, off to my left, as I approached the end of the walk. Give yourself at least an hour and a half to enjoy this walk.

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Bradleys Creek Walk – Googong Foreshores

Bradleys Creek walk, at 14.2 kms return, is the longest and most difficult walk in the northern section of the Googong Foreshores reserve. It is also one of the most rewarding in terms of views and in getting a good cardio work-out. It requires a reasonable level of fitness and, with that, will take around four hours (plus stops) to complete.

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The Black Wallaby Loop Track and Googong Lookout – Googong Foreshores

The Black Wallaby Loop Track is a relatively easy 2.6 kms loop walk within Googong Foreshores reserve and for me has the largest bang for buck, in terms of scenery, of all the walks in the reserve. This bang for buck can be increased if you vary the walk slightly to include a visit to the Googong Lookout and return via the tail end of the Bradleys Creek walk, rather than returning via the bitumen road, as outlined in the reserve’s brochure. Opting for this variation (covered in this post) will add 1.8 kms to the walk making it 4.4 kms, without increasing the walk’s difficulty rating. Allow at least 1.5 hrs for the extended walk.

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The Honyong-Cotter Track, Cotter Reserve

Having completed the Mt McDonald Summit walk by just after 11am my plan was an early lunch break by the Cotter River, down by the Dam, and then to do the slightly longer Bullen Track walk to the Cotter Caves which, due to vandalism, I had heard were no longer open to the public, but thinking that the walk would still be worthwhile.

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Mt McDonald and the Cotter Catchment Lookout Walk

On a recent walk into the former Sherwood Homestead I had views of Mt McDonald in the distance – one such view depicted below. This reminded me that while I had walked part-way up the mountain, to the Cotter Catchment Lookout, I had not yet visited the top. To-day’s early spring walk would put that right and I would make a slight deviation on the return to re-visit the dam/catchment lookout. As it turned out, this was one of the best walks with the best views for the effort required that I have done in a while – highly recommended.

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Tin Hut Dam Walk – Googong Foreshore

At around 1.5 kilometres (or just over two kilometres if take a short side trip for a look at the Queanbeyan River and the lower reaches of the Googong Reservoir as I did) the walk around Tin Hut Dam is one of the shortest and easiest walks in the Googong Foreshore reserve. While there is no defined path along the western side of the dam, rather you walk through open reserve close to the bank of the dam, you cannot get lost.

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Queanbeyan River Walk – Googong Foreshores

Do not be fooled or lulled into a false sense of security by the name of this walk (or the associated Queanbeyan River Loop Ride). This is no genteel promenade along the banks of the Queanbeyan River but rather a hard eighteen kilometres hike up and down park management trails which, apart from at two points, is not within sight of the river. Don’t let that put you off though, if you have a reasonable level of fitness this is a very worthwhile walk.

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