Hill climbs of interest in the wilderness

Pond, Namadgi Visitor Centre, Namadgi National Park, ACT, after the fires in 2020

Some love hills. As meditation or to test oneself, the key seems to lie in enjoying the experience. Here are a list of hill climbs that lie in the remote wilderness of the ACT including the Namadgi National Park.

You may also be interested in the article “Hill climbs of interest in the suburbs.”

Mt Coree is the nort-west corner of the ACT and hard to get to. The remaining peaks are south of that.

Water catchment determined the position of the border for much of the ACT. With no watershed to follow on this occasion, the line of the border runs straight from Mt Coree’s summit to One Tree Hill (Gungahlin).

ACT Heritage Trails, Belconnen Border Walk, accessed 12 May 2021.

Mount Tennent

Mount Tennent is easy to see from Tuggeranong as a prominent peak at the edge of the plain. The walk starts at the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre and the trackhead is therefore easy to find.

The map of the area is found here.

Mount Tennent
remotenesswilderness
typedirt / gravel
climb distance6.5 km
vertical climb765 m
maximum postive gradient25 %
ratinghard
Mount Tennent on road, list of hill climbs in Canberra. canberra.bike
Looking towards Mount Tennent, Tuggeranong c1972. Photo ACT Archives, Flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Looking towards Mount Tennent across the Tuggeranong plain, Tuggeranong c1972. Photo ACT Archives, Flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Honeysuckle Creek from Orroral Valley

Honeysuckle Creek can also be approached by a climb from the Orroral Valley from the old Orroral Tracking Station car park at the end of Orroral Road. The Tracking Station is nothing but ruins now and has been turned into a picknick area with good facilities.

Orroral Road is currently closed due to flood damage for motor vehicles but could be ridden with care. The Orroral Road is blocked just off Boboyan Road, but space has been left to park a number of cars. The area is pretty, and it is a short walk from here to the Gudgenby River. The Orroral Valley Campground is about 1 km from this point.

The map of the area is found here.

Honeysuckle Creek from Orroral Valley
remotenesswilderness
typedirt / gravel
climb distance10.2 km
vertical climb493 m
maximum postive gradient20 %
ratinghard
Honeysuckle Creek from Orroral Valley on dirt, list of hill climbs in Canberra. canberra.bike

Honeysuckle Creek via Apollo Road

This route follows the public road from Naas Road. It was opened again in 2021 after the fires. With good facilities at the top, it is a nice place to stop. On the way up, there are great views of the back of Mount Tennent. The road hugs the side of the hill with a deep drop into the valley that never fails to impress.

Apollo Road is narrow with tight corners that provide poor visibility for motorists. Recent rains have washed out the drain ditches on either side of the road and they are now quite deep. There is no road shoulder and the guard rails on corners make it impossible to get off the road. On busy, long weekends it doesn’t look all that safe, and we personally don’t ride here.

The map of the area is found here.

Honeysuckle Creek via Apollo Road
remotenesswilderness
typeroad
climb distance9.4 km
vertical climb494 m
maximum postive gradient14 %
ratingintermediate
Honeysuckle Creek via Apollo Road on road, list of hill climbs in Canberra. canberra.bike

Mount McDonald Cotter

This climb starts at the car park on Brindabella Road, follows Lookout Road before turning right up Mount McDonald Road to the peak at 789 m. From here there are excellent views of Cotter Dam.

The map of the area is found here.

Mount McDonald Cotter
remotenesswilderness
typedirt / gravel
climb distance2.7 km
vertical climb202 m
maximum postive gradient13 %
ratingintermediate
Mount McDonald Cotter on management trail, list of hill climbs in Canberra. canberra.bike

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