Tag Archives: 3

Mt Tennent

Summit: Mt Tennent

Date Completed: 7 December 2013

Mode: Walk

Transport: Drive along the Tuggeranong Parkway to Tharwa. Pass Tharwa and continue to the Namadgi NP Visitors Centre carpark. Park outside of the Visitor Centre gates, to be safe.

Accompanied by: BW

Difficulty: 3/5

Notes: Another mate had put up his hand to join me on a backyard summit and i was happy to oblige. BW has a great appreciation for the outdoors having recently toured parts of Pacific North West, USA and completing the famous ‘W’ circuit in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia. I knew he would make a strong backyard summit companion and Mt Tennent was the clear choice given that he wouldn’t be arriving in Canberra until a little later in the morning and Tennent is one of the most quickly accessible summits on my list.

The walk to Mt Tennent also happens to be the start (or finish) of the Australian Alps Walking Track so i’m always really excited to be in this part of the world. My imagination runs wild when i set foot on a path which could take me all the way to Walhalla, VIC (near enough to Melbourne) via the Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country. One day i’ll go the distance!

This walk doesn’t waste any time going up and up as it winds through pretty dense scrub on well maintained single-track. We marched through an army of Cicadas which were so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk before reaching the first milestone (Cyprus Pines lookout) with great views back towards the Visitor Centre and Tuggeranong.

Continuing up some serious rock steps we reached a junction which directed us left towards Mt Tennent summit (where right continues along the AAWT to Orroral Valley). From here the track eased up, the worst was behind us and the altitude had clearly changed as the characteristics of the scrub had changed and the air was slightly cooler.

Eventually we converged with the fire trail which allows 4WD vehicles up to the summit to man the bushfire watch tower. The fire trail rises steadily for the final summit push and we were both relieved to spot the fire tower which represented the end of a really tough climb.

The views from the summit are well worth the effort (despite the fire tower which spoils the summit slightly, although it is absolutely a neccesity and serves a very worthy purpose). Looking SW you can sit and enjoy humbling views of the Southern end of the Brindibellas along to Tidbinbilla on your right, then turn around and you can see all of Canberra including tiny Mt Taylor, Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie.

It was another perfectly clear day so we relaxed for a while, let the sweat dry off and enjoyed a CLIF bar before racing back to the car with lunch on our minds.


Cyprus Pine Lookout


Track Junction to Tennent Summit


Final Summit Push


What’s it all about?


GPS Data


Camels Hump

  Summit: Camels Hump (Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve)

Date Completed: 20 October 2013

Mode: Walk

Accompanied by: HW, RW, HR & CM

Difficulty: 3/5

Notes: After a few weeks off from the Project where i had been doing alot of trail running and generally living it up on the weekends it was time to get back on the proverbial saddle.

I am off to New Zealand in two weeks with Hayley, Ryan (Hayley’s brother), Helena (Hayley’s cousin) and Chris Martin (musical genius). We will be spending about 10 days walking the Milford and Routeburn Track’s (including downtime in Queenstown and Te Anau) in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. These walks are arguably two of the best walks in the world so we are all very excited to head over and check out the world class scenery on offer. In fact, i’ve read alot of articles by backpackers from the Northern Hemisphere who rate New Zealand as their ultimate global destination… hence why this trip is so relevant to the Backyard Project philosophy… we will be taking a short/cheap plane ride to experience a landscape which people from the USA and Europe only dream about. I’m predicting this trip will be the catalyst for an obsession with backpacking in New Zealand… Bring it on!

Anyway, it was time for our group to get some serious training in pre-New Zealand. We’d all been giving the trip a huge amount of thought and training and all that was left to do was a proper long day walk, carrying full packs and doing some serious climbing.

The five of us piled into the car early on Sunday morning and head to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (generally speaking). I picked Camels Hump as our destination as it provided the right mix of distance, climbing and spectacular views which would suit the group.

We took off from Mountain Creek car park and made the long, steady climb up the firetrail for about 5km with great views down into the valley along the way. Despite the smoke haze across most of Canberra, the air was clear up at this (slightly) higher altitude.

Arriving at the ‘hump’ we moved off track to make the fun scramble towards the summit. At the top we were rewarded with some of the best views south-west that i have ever seen, particularly looking across to Johns Peak and its exposed sedimentary layers tilted up over millions of years.

The weather was ideal so we took a load off and had a nice lunch and a relax.

The downhill run back to the car was tough for all as our feet reached their limits and the effects of an early morning and warm day caught up with us. Still, everyone enjoyed the day and we were glad to test our bodies a bit before the big trip.


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GPS Data