Looking west to the Brindabella Ranges
Brindabella Ranges from Square Rock

Looking west to the Brindabella Ranges

Namadgi National Park encompasses the southern end of the Australian Capital Territory, approximately 262,000 acres. The park has about 160 kilometres of walking trails, many of which will allow you to see the park from several vantage points. In the last month, I have tackled two of them, Mt Tennent and Square Rock. Both give you panoramic views of the Brindabella Ranges and the western edge of the Australian Capital Territory’s border as well as Canberra. A key feature of the park are the granite outcrops and boulders.

Mt. Tennent is just over 14 kilometres to hike (return) starting from the Namadgi National Park Visitors Centre. The walk follows part of the Australian Alps Walking Track and rises about 1000 metres, to a fire spotting tower at the top. As you climb you travel through a mix of Teatree and eucalypt forests. You also cross a few small bridges over creeks, numerous stairs and the occasional rock shelf. Most the trail is single track with the last kilometre on fire trail. Due to the 1000 metre ascent over 7 kilometres the walk can be a five-hour return trip for most. This walk is considered hard and requires a good level of fitness. From the top of Mt. Tennent, you get 360 degree views of your surrounds which include Canberra the Brindabella Ranges and the Bimberi Wilderness.  For the best views of Canberra Mt. Tennent is my choice.

Canberra, Black Mountain, Mt.Ainslie and Red Hill from Mt. Tennent
Canberra from Mt. Tennent (Canon 5D MK III, 24-70mm lens)

To the west, the significant peaks are Mt Gingera that has a flattish top, Mt. Ginini to its right and Mt. Franklin further to the right again. In the foreground and a little to the right is the massive granite face of Booroomba rocks, another walk. Mt. Gingera lies directly behind Booroomba Rocks in the far distance. In the middle distance is Blue Gum Hill which is not accessible unless you like to go off track.

While still gazing west into the depths of Namadgi National Park, Square Rock lies hidden behind Blue Gum Hill. Square Rock is about 14 kilometres to the west of Mt. Tennant and again provides panoramic views of the Brindabella Ranges and Canberra.

Namadgi National Park from Mt. Tennent, Mt Gingera, Mt Ginini and Mt Franklin in the distance
Namadgi National Park from Mt. Tennent (Canon 5D MK III, 24-70mm lens)

Square Rock is another granite feature, which provides another fine vantage point of Namadgi National Park and Canberra. The walk is approximately 10 kilometres return and will take about three and a half hours to complete. The Square Rock walk is considered medium and much more accessible for most than Mt. Tennent. This walk climbs gradually through slightly different terrain with a mix of eucalypt forests of Alpine Ash and Snow Gums. At the mid-way point you cross Smokers Flat which is a grassy herd field come bog.

Once you reach Square Rock, again looking west, you are afforded a panoramic view of the Brindabella Ranges. Mt. Gingera to the far left and Mt. Franklin on the right. Stockyard Spur snakes its way from left to right in the middle distance. Mt. Gingera, Mt. Ginini and Mt. Franklin are all able to be accessed from Mt. Franklin Road, via Brindabella and Uriarra Roads.

Brindabella Ranges from Square Rock with Mt. Gingera, Mt, Ginini and Mt. Franklin in the distance
Brindabella Ranges from Square Rock (Canon 5D MK III, 24-70mm lens)

To the north from both Mt. Tennent and Square Rock is Canberra, the Capital of Australia. Between the two walks I think the view of Canberra is best from Mt. Tennent, the view unobstructed. However, the view from Square Rock won’t disappoint you either. For the best views of the Brindabella Ranges and the Bimberi Wilderness I would choose Square Rock.

An important note, when walking in the Australian Bush you need to take ample water, snacks and warm clothing if the weather changes without notice. At the time of writing mobile phone coverage was available at both Mt Tennent and Square Rock, but this was dependent on the telecommunications provider.

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