Walking the Canberra Centenary Trail

Last month John and I put our walking boots on to hike a section of Canberra’s newest walking trail, the Canberra Centenary Trail.

So-called because it was launched for Canberra’s 100th birthday in 2013 and gifted to its citizens.

Canberra, for those who don’t know much about Australia, is the nation’s capital. It sits in the Australian Capital Territory, a small spot about three hours from the east coast in New South Wales.


Map of Australia from www.whereis.com website

The trail’s a 140 km loop that rings the city, passing through the city, suburbs and surrounding bushland, taking in many of the local landmarks, man-made and natural. It’s broken up into seven sections, each do-able in a day.

There isn’t any overnight accommodation en-route, except for what you can find on the city and suburban sections, so you need to arrange transport to and from.

We had a standing date with some friends to do the walk in autumn when the weather was still fine but cooler. They had done part of section 4—Hall Village to One Tree Hill—last year and were keen to do it again, and as it was new to us we were happy to cruise on their advice.

walk map

Map of part of the Canberra Centenary Trail from www.canwalk.org.au website.

It was one particularly pleasant Sunday morning in March when we got the call: ‘Let’s do it!’

As per the arrangement we drove to Hall Village, parked behind the village at the start of the track, met up with our friends and set off. The plan was to walk to the One Tree Hill lookout, have lunch, then walk back to Hall Village. And that’s exactly what we did!

It’s not a long or arduous walk so you can concentrate on the scenery and picking out the various parts of Canberra, with your attention constantly diverted by the local birdlife. I was convinced that at times they were telling us off for disturbing them!

We had a good day. Weather warm but not hot, so no sweating involved. And fine skies, great for good photo results.

The one thing I hadn’t expected was the number of mountain bikers. They whoosh by, generally without warning, no bell ring or call of ‘Bike coming through’. The ones coming towards you are no problem, you can see them. It’s the ones approaching from behind that startle. The track is narrow and they’re not given to steering a wide berth because it would mean leaving the track, so they tend to cut it fine as they pass. Pity, because if they’d let us know they were coming we would have stepped aside.

We finished our walk at the One Tree Hill lookout and admired the view while munching our sandwiches. It’s a great view all around—no wonder a fire tower was built there—but I especially loved looking towards the local mountain range, the Brindabellas. They’re what I see from my front deck at home and I never get tired of their moods.


One Tree Hill lookout


Across the valley to the Brindabellas

And then another leisurely stroll back to Hall Village for a coffee before parting ways to drive home.

A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Across England on the Coast to Coast walk-visiting Whitby

Our walk across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea may be over but we’re not in a hurry to leave North Yorkshire.

So we stay an extra day and take the local bus up to Whitby.  I’d visited the town in 2000 with our oldest daughter and wanted to show it off to John.

What I found was a town that had been discovered by the masses.  In 2000 there were tourists, sure, but it certainly couldn’t have been described as congested. Nowadays I’d say the locals would have a real love-hate relationship with the hordes that descend.

For those of you who don’t know, Whitby is a seaside town in North Yorkshire on the mouth of the River Esk.

The day we visited the sun was warm and the sky a bright blue with no clouds. It was gorgeous and we ambled around taking in the sights, enjoying just being able to stroll and not be anywhere in particular.

One of the features of Whitby is the Abbey.  In 2000 I was able to ramble through the ruins but today it’s walled off and you have to pay to get in.

Whitby 10Back in 2000 my daughter and I overnighted in the YHA converted stables alongside the Abbey.  We were the only occupants for the night.  They’re now being converted into five star accommodation.

Whitby 6

One of my intentions while in Whitby was to buy something made of Whitby Jet as a momento of our walk.  While exploring the laneways we chanced across W Hamond, Jet Merchants, whose claim to fame is that the jet they use is actually Whitby jet.  Shock horror that not every store in Whitby sells the genuine article!

I bought a lovely sterling silver and jet bangle, but I’m not going to post a photo of it because it was stolen about three weeks later and I still get angry thinking about it. But here I am inside while buying it, and then outside, clutching the bag with a very pleased grin.

After that we mooched riverside for a while people watching and contemplating, but deciding against, the Captain Cook Experience on the Bark Endeavour.

It’s a lovely spot, as is North Yorkshire generally.  If you’re in the area take the time to visit.  You’ll be pleased you did.  There’s much more to do than we did as we had only three hours.  Next visit we’ll factor in the time to at least have a day out on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The next day we boarded the train for home and enjoyed first class travel and benefits all the way to London!