The Taylor estate is opposite on the other side of Horse Park Drive. This area is quite flat and the bike infrastructure is good. The estate planning in Gungahlin has worked out well for cyclists. All the more puzzling why the estate planning in Molonglo Valley, which started later, has been so patchy. One of the successes of urban planning in Gungahlin is certainly the Moncrieff Community Recreation Park Playground. It is also known as “Move at Moncrief”.
Tharwa is a great idea for a day out and there is a lot to see in a small area. You could consider riding there south through Canberra, or if you are keen then try the loop ride from Stromlo Forest Park south through the suburbs to Tharwa, where you cross the Murrumbidgee River and return to Stromlo Forest Park on the other side of the river via Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Cotter.
As a cyclist, you will quickly notice the number of obstacles that are thrown in your path. The older areas of Canberra were not built for the cyclist. As a cyclist, we are accustomed to being careful, and we know that many motorists and pedestrians do not seem to notice us. A bike is either too fast or too quiet for many people. This is one of the reasons why we need to be seen – as we cannot be heard. We need to keep our eyes open crossing roads and travelling along community paths. The barriers are an extra burden and sometimes it gets a little too much. 🙂
Exploring Canberra Nature Park is easy with a smartphone. An app will help you find your way. You may use different apps for walking and cycling and that’s not surprising at all. In the car, you are likely to use something different again. So, what do we use and recommend for the walkers and hikers among us?
The National Arboretum features a quirky central path and the trees are laid out on a grid in blocks. Two prominent hills dominate the landscape like camel humps. The larger of the two is Dairy Farmers Hill, and the smaller to the north is unnamed. The peak of Dairy Farmers Hill is about 100 m above the park entrance. If you like hills, the National Arboretum is for you.
In 1988 the National Horse Trail was rejuvenated and relaunched as the Bicentennial National Trail. The Bicentennial National Trail extends from Queensland to Victoria. A section of it passes through the ACT. It is not to be confused with the Canberra Centenary Trail which came later and is only in the ACT. The Bicentennial National Trail and the Canberra Centenary Trail alignments are at times in close proximity and cross. Both pass through The Pinnacle Nature Reserve in Hawker, Belconnen, but one on the north side and the other on the south side. This ride was predominately on the Bicentennial National Trail but a section was on the Canberra Centenary Trail.
We explored the Bicentennial National Trail in Belconnen by bike. We had a mountain bike and one touring bike with fat tyres. In the muddy conditions, the mountain bike is the better option. It was soggy and pays off the trail were slippery. Canberra does not get much rain though, so we must be grateful. We joined the Bicentennial National Trail at Hawker and rode through to the new suburb of Strathnairn in Belconnen’s far west. Many have never heard of Strathnairn. Strathnairn is part of the Ginninderry development that will one day extend into NSW.
Another important document for active travel in Canberra and urban planning, and another very long title. This post is an introduction to Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline (ACT Government, January 2019). Because the title is so long it is often simply referred to it as PATACT.