Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A delightful Canberra walk

Since returning home from the England and Jordan trip I had not done any long walks. OK, I know that my Mt Taylor circuits are just a shade under 10kms but that never seems long. Yesterday I decided to do a leg stretch and after lunching at the National Library, their food is always interesting and nice, I headed for home on foot.

My starting point: the National Library
The National Library sits on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin and I commenced my walk by following the south western shoreline of the lake.

The Teltra Tower on top of Back Mountain is visible from many spots around the lake
Passing under Commonwealth Avenue the National Museum of Australia looms on the Acton Peninsula which juts out into the lake from the far side.

There were quite a few walkers, joggers and people on bikes out and about taking advantage of the pleasant day and the network of paths.

A couple of the walkers I encountered

The Japanese city of Nara is twinned with Canberra and this association is marked by the Canberra Nara Peace Park. This was the site of a candle lighting event on the previous evening with some 2000 candles expected to be lit.

Landscaping in this area has a japanese feel to it.

Once again, there were people out and about

and numerous swans ...

Dotted along the lakeside path are exercise stations. I'm not sure how much use they get as I am yet to see anyone actually using them but they do exist and are intended to encourage people to do a tad more than just walking or running.

As the path wanders around towards Lotus Bay the flag pole on top of Parliament House peaks over and through the trees.

The path tends to be close to the lakeside road and is often shaded by mature trees.

There is the occasional water fountain along the path, generally in areas with BBQ facilities nearby.

One of the water fountains
I decided to follow the route marked as Woden and Tuggeranong rather than Weston Creek so I left the lake edge and walked through the centre of Yarralumla.

Looking back towards the lake and Black Mountain
The route passed the primary school and a number of sporting fields and tennis courts.

I can't remember seeing the Yarralumla tennis courts before
Crossing Adelaide Avenue and the Deakin overpass there are good views down the valley towards Woden and back towards Capital Hill.

Looking south west towards Woden

Looking north east towards Capital Hill. The Parliament House flag pole is just visible
Deakin boasts an array of fitness stations gathered in a single site.

A short distance further along the path the Royal Australian Mint comes into view. A visit to the Mint would be only a short deviation across the ovals that sit in front of the Mint.

The path continues along the edge of Adelaide Avenue which eventually becomes Yarra Glen. It crosses Yarra Glen at the Carruthers Street overpass and the path continues through the leafy suburb of Curtin.

Nearing the junction of Yarra Glen, Yamba Drive and Melrose Drive you come across the Woden Flood Memorial. This memorial commemorates the people who died when a flash flood in this area swept away a number of cars in 1971.

From time to time the Lovett Tower, the tallest building in the Woden Town Centre, pops its top up above the trees and surrounding buildings. Eventually, as I walked along Melrose Drive it could be clearly seen.

Leaving the Woden Town Centre behind I passed under Hindmarsh Drive heading towards the Chifley shops. By this time I had 11km and a stop for a cup of coffee was in order. The Chifley shops have two places where you can grab a coffee and food. A Bite to Eat offers an interesting selection of food from their blackboard menu as well as cakes and a wide range of drinks while the IGA Supermarket offers good coffee, cakes and snacks.

Suitably refreshed I headed up Macfarland Crescent towards Mt Taylor.

Like many of the older, more mature, suburbs Chifley is a target for knock down rebuild. Here is just one of the new houses being built in the suburb. It is certainly much grander than the house it is replacing.

Turning off Macfarland Crescent through a reserve the mass of Mt Taylor looms ahead.

The path climbs steadily until it reaches a step through entrance to the Mt Taylor Nature Reserve.

I'm never quite sure what I will come across inside the park. This walk was no exception. While I was keeping a good eye out for rigglely things I came across a large lizard. It played the "If I don't move you can't see me" game. Unfortunately for it I had seen it. Still, it remained still giving me a chance to take a series of photos.

If anyone can identify my lizard please let me know what it is. It was quite a reasonable size, possibly as big as a Blue Tongue, and had colourful markings on the legs, face and back.

The Golden Everlastings are putting on a lovely display. All the new flowers are providing some glorious yellow splashes across the park.

The flowers will persist right through until later winter next year.

Within our parks mature trees are generally left to nature. Hollows develop over time in many of the eucalyptus trees and while these may look like a problem they are actually an important feature of our bush. Many native birds use these hollows as nesting sites.

An example of a hollow in a tree which is probably being used as a nesting site
 Nearing the park exit I am always taken by the views across the ranges. From the exit gate onwards there are constant views of either the ranges, hills or local "mountains". This presents pleasant vistas and interest to the final couple of kilometres the walk.

A view across to the ranges
All up I walked 16km and enjoyed walking through a number of spots for the first time. While I have often driven along Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen you really do get a different perspective when traveling on foot.

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