Over the past three years, we’ve roadtested an amazing array of fitness activities around Canberra…
Grab a light jacket, a water bottle and lace up your walking shoes to make the most of Canberra’s cooler weather and golden light.
These five walks focus on older suburbs known for their deciduous trees that flare different hues of red, orange and yellow in Autumn. Just remember to always keep 1.5 metres between you and others.
1. National Library of Australia to Lotus Bay
Start on the terrace of the National Library of Australia (NLA). From there you’ll get panoramic views across the rows of oaks that line the lake, all the way across the Kings Avenue Bridge—perfect for some autumnal Insta snaps.
Then, head straight down to the lake, making sure to turn left, as Lake Burley Griffin is now clock-wise only. Head along the edge of the lake, past the plinths to past Australians of the Year. Fun fact: their asymmetrical shape is because they form the musical notes to ‘Advance Australia Fair’.
Admire the ornamental pear trees on the promenade before you head under Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, then emerge into gorgeous Lennox Gardens.
Stroll along Lotus Bay, and then end your walk at the Southern Cross Yacht Club at Mariner Place, where a (socially-distanced) takeaway coffee or fish and chips from Snapper can be enjoyed on expansive lawns overlooking the lake.
How long? Approximately 36 mins one way / 2.9km
Want to extend your walk? Keep following the Bay along towards Weston Park.
2. Kingston Foreshore to the NGA Sculpture Garden
Start at the Kingston Foreshore, then head along the lake, past grassy Bowen Park and the swans that bob along at the water’s edge.
New eatery On Lake Cafe has popped up next to the lake’s edge and is serving takeaway coffees and sweet treats, so if a stop-off is in order, this is where to do it.
Pass under King’s Avenue Bridge until you reach the National Gallery of Australia (NGA)’s iconic Sculpture Garden. Here, wander around the 26 sculptures made by International and Australian artists, set in amongst hardy native plants —an interesting contrast to many of the deciduous trees along the lake’s promenade.
How long? Approximately 21 mins one way / 1.7km
3. THE RED TRACK
Red Hill has walking trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty to choose from but the popular Red Track is hard to beat.
People often start at the top on Red Hill Drive and loop all the way back around. It’s especially worth it in autumn, when you can see the vibrant colours of the deciduous trees far below.
How long? Approximately 90 mins / 3.2km
4. YARRALUMLA LOOP – WESTON PARK
Start at the Heritage Nursery Yarralumla on Weston Park Road. You might even want to pop in and grab some gardening supplies while you’re there. Just make sure to practice social distancing and strict personal hygiene in the Nursery too.
Start the loop going clockwise, walking past the grazing kangaroos through Weston Park, to see the lake reflecting autumn colours.
How long? Approximately 51 mins / 4.2km
5. LIQUID AMBER AMBLE: HACKETT TO DICKSON
Why not map out your own path through northside suburbs?
You can go for a long walk through Hackett and Dickson where certain streets are well-known for their leafy displays.
Begin at the red oaks on Harris Street, see the claret ashes on Burn Street and Atherton Street, the liquid ambers on Bradfield Street, and the Chinese pistachios on Gardiner Street and Edkins Street, then wind your way down to the Dickson Shops where cafes like Highroad are offering takeaway coffees and baked goods.
How long? Approximately 1hr 2 mins / 5.2 km
All images by Martin Ollman