Do you want to get the most out of your daily training?
It is estimated that no Canberran lives more than 3.5 km from a nature park or forest. This means that there are plenty of great nature reserves to explore without leaving your region.
Nature reserves are great for taking care of your physical and mental health, but always remember to share these spaces with both nature and your other hikers.
To help preserve our parks, keep an eye on the trails, leave the landscape as you found it, and check the park rules before taking your dog or bike with you. Remember to pack your mask.
To be safe on COVID-19, always wear a mask, maintain good hand hygiene, keep your distance from others and stay within your region. You should also check in using Check In CBR signage in parks where it is available.
Here are just a few of our favorite nature reserves to explore across Canberra.
Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve
This stunning 104-acre reserve is a do-it-yourself adventure for nature lovers.
You can see wallabies in the grasslands or explore the endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland. Raise your heart by climbing through the woods, or walking among the snow rubbers in the frost cave – rumored to be the coldest place in Canberra.
Can’t decide where to start? The 3 km long Frost Hollow to Forest Walk takes in many of the park’s most amazing sights.
Find out more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/aranda-bushland-nature-reserve
Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve
There is something for everyone in this 98-hectare forest reserve.
Bruce Ridge’s multi-use trail network — the only one of its kind in Canberra Nature Park — makes this unique park a mecca for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, orienteers, dog walkers, bird watchers and all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.
Keep an eye out for orchids, parrots and even eagles as well as stunning views of the north of Canberra.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/bruce-ridge-nature-reserve
Pinnacle Nature Reserve
It’s wildflower season at The Pinnacle. Over the coming weeks, this 154-acre reserve will be filled with pink, yellow, white and purple.
Look up from the flowers and you will be greeted with views that stretch across the Molonglo Valley and all the way to Mt Tennant and Brindabellas.
And it’s all backed up by the soundtrack from Crimson Rosellas, Yellow-thumped Thornbills, White-throated Treecreepers and Gray Fantails.
What should one really not love?
Find out more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/the-pinnacle-nature-reserve
Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve
There is so much more to Mount Ainslie than its summit look. Just take the ‘Kokoda Track’ from the War Memorial and you will see a whole new side to Canberra’s monumental mountain.
Spot wildflowers and rare orchids in the sub-story, and if you’re lucky, the shiny black cockatoos are in the hanging she-oaks.
Enjoy panoramic views that you simply cannot get from the summit and tell the story of the Kokoda campaign from the many plaques along the route.
Keep an eye out for ‘No Parking’ zones along the Treloar Crescent at entrances to the reserve while construction continues at the Australian War Memorial.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/mount-ainslie-nature-reserve
Red Hill Nature Reserve
Did you know that Walter Burley Griffin wanted red flowers to cover Red Hill?
Crimson Bottlebrush and Rosemary Grevillea were planted here between 1917 and the early 1920s, and many of these plants survive today.
But there are many more colors to enjoy on Red Hill. The yellow box-red chewing gum is grassy forest is an important breeding habitat for gangs as well as many other endangered plants and animals, from bats to possums to birds.
The 3.2 kilometer long red lane is a great way to explore the fascinating natural and cultural heritage of this iconic hill as well as its wonderful views. Just follow the red markers from the cafe.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/red-hill-nature-reserve
Mount Majura Nature Reserve
At 888 meters, the majestic Mount Majura is the highest peak in the suburb of Canberra.
While the view from the top is worth every sweaty step, it’s not the only thing this 502-acre reserve goes after. The forest is home to many rare orchids and is the only known ACT nesting site in the iconic Glossy Black Cockatoo.
Mount Majura is also a special place for Ngunnawal people as a place of men and has many places of Aboriginal cultural significance including scarred trees, ceremonial sites and stone stands.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/mount-majura-nature-reserve
Mulligan’s flat nature reserve
Step through the gates into Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary and you will not know what to find.
Protected by 11 kilometers of fence with rabbit, cat and fox, this 485-hectare forest rubber forest is home to many iconic native animals not found anywhere else in the Canberra region.
Take a twilight walk and you can see eastern Bettongs, Bush Stone Curlews, New Holland mice and even a quoll or two. The reserve is a bird-watching hotspot, home to some of Australia’s most iconic birds, from the Tawny Frogmouths to the Wedge-Tailed Eagles.
No dogs are allowed in the sanctuary.
Find out more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/mulligans-flat-nature-reserve
One Tree Hill
On a clear day you can see four of Canberra’s five city centers from the One Tree Hill summit, but there is much more to see on the way up.
This popular section of the Centenary Trail winds through critically endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland with the suburbs of Gungahlin scattered below. If you start your trip from Bonner, you will also see remnants of the original stone boundary marks between ACT and NSW.
The extensive native plantations on the way to the summit attract a large number of forest birds, and the charismatic shingleback lizard is a common sight when the weather warms.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/rural/canberra-centenary-trail/section-maps/shorter-walks – on the centenary
Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve
On the entire 829 acres, you can spend a week hiking to explore Goorooyaroo alone — and there’s plenty to see in this endangered yellow box — red chewing gum Grassy Woodland.
Goorooyaroo is one of only two breeding grounds in the ACT for the iconic Superb Parrot, as well as a prominent habitat for the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth. Or if you want to sweat, you can climb Sammy’s Hill or Gooroo Hill to get a wonderful view of Gungahlin and the surrounding NSW.
For those eager for challenging multi-peak day trips, try starting at the Mt Majura Nature Reserve, navigating north through the hills of Goorooyaroo, into the Mulligans and ending at Forde for a well-deserved takeaway coffee and cake.
No dogs are allowed in Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve.
Find out more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/goorooyarroo-nature-reserve
Urambi Hills Nature Reserve
There is nothing like a leisurely stroll around Lake Tuggeranong, but if you are looking for something a little more strenuous, head to the Hills.
Just north of the city center, the Urambi Hills Nature Reserve offers stunning views of Tuggeranong Lake and the entire Tuggeranong Valley.
But there’s much more to see than just the view: this endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland is home to many of our beautiful, endangered bird species. A break at the summit can reward you with views of the wedge eagles running on the thermals or chasing a meal.
Find our more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/urambi-hills-nature-reserve
Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve
Tuggeranong Hill is sometimes mistakenly called Mount Tuggeranong, and it’s not hard to see why.
This landmark of 855 meters is higher than Black Mountain and towers over Theodore, Calwell and Lanyon Valley. It is a steep climb to the top, but with panoramic views from the city to Namadgi you will be glad you made the effort.
There is plenty to see here, even if you do not defy the top track. The arid woodlands of Tuggeranong Hill are a haven for honey eaters and home to some of the oldest and largest Scribbly Gum trees in the ACT.
Find out more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/tuggeranong-hill-nature-reserve
Wanniassa Hills Nature Reserve
Spring is the best time of year to visit the Wanniassa Hills. Considered one of the best wildflower displays in Canberra, this stunning 262-acre reserve is full of color.
But that’s not all you want to see. Look up and you might spot an iconic Glossy Black Cockatoo or even a wedge-tailed Eagle nest.
Then look for great views of southern Canberra, all the way to Namadgi.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/wanniassa-hills-nature-reserve
Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo
Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve
Weston Creek has a spectacular southern border in Cooleman Ridge.
If you feel energetic, you can follow the ridge to the ridge of Mount Arawang Peak for panoramic views of Canberra and Brindabellas.
Or if you’re looking for something more low-key, take the marked Cooleman Ridge Nature trail and look for some of our favorite bird species, including Diamond Firetail, Flame Robin and Speckled Warbler.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/cooleman-ridge-nature-reserve
Farrer Ridge Nature Reserve
If you are a mountaineer, dog walker, social stroller, cyclist, hill climber or just want to enjoy great views, you will love Farrer Ridge.
But it’s not just us humans who love this. The 185-acre reserve protects endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland, nine regionally rare plant species and many of our favorite forest birds.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/farrer-ridge-nature-reserve
Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve
On 387 hectares, there is much to explore at Isaacs Ridge, from pine forest to forest to stunning views of hilltops over the Woden and Jerrabomberra valleys.
You can go with your dog, hop on your mountain bike or ride your horse on the marked equestrian trails. And if that’s simply not enough to explore, extend your trip north to Mount Mugga Mugga or south to Farrer Ridge.
Learn more at https://www.environment.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/canberra-nature-park/isaacs-ridge-nature-reserve