Just a hop skip and a jump from the middle of Canberra (50 clicks or less) and you’ll be heading up Corin Road and towards Gibraltar Falls. You can really understand why Canberra is called the bush capital, as the drive out of the city passes quicker than an episode of your favourite podcast.


Highlights

  • Close to Canberra
  • Short hike
  • Camping at Woods Reserve
  • Driving shortcut to the top

Gibraltar Falls

Chasing a midweek nature fix, I closed my laptop, hopped in the van and drove the short distance out of town to Woods Reserve Campground. Leaving the city of Canberra never takes long, so by the time I’d parked up, there were still 10 minutes of The Dirtbag Diaries to listen to while I laced up my hiking boots.

Gibraltar Falls // A Quick City Break (ACT) Mattie Gould Gibraltar Falls, view out of the van

You’ve got the choice of two routes to reach Gibraltar Falls, the first sees you driving right up to Gibraltar Falls car park, from which is less than 200m to the lookout platform. If you’re after a bit more of a prelude, however, you’ll need to park up at the top end of the Woods Reserve campground, where you’ll begin a 1.3km summit walk.

The trail begins by entering a natural archway and following the right-hand bank of Gibraltar Creek for 100m or so. There’s a pretty solid rock crossing and then you’ll wend your way around a left bend as the trail begins its ascent.

Geting To The Top Of Gibraltar Falls

Rising 120m in elevation, the trail is a manageable, dusty, stepped route to the top of the falls, that should be achievable for most visitors. 20 minutes should comfortably see you to the top of the trail where a small footbridge will take you across the creek above the falls. I’d recommend pausing on the bridge to appreciate the pooling creek-water and stunning views across the valley.

Gibraltar Falls // A Quick City Break (ACT) Mattie Gould Gibraltar Falls

Continue on and you’ll pass the top car park before reaching the viewing platform. Perhaps it’s vastly more impressive after heavy rain, but Gibraltar Falls aren’t likely to register as the number one falls you’ve ever seen. Nonetheless, they’re worth a visit, as the short walk, peaceful setting, and limited network coverage make for a great nature reset.

The well-known Gibraltar Falls pools are a bit of a detour off the track near the footbridge, exercise caution and leave no trace if you choose to hit this insta-famous spot. Once you’re done, head back the way you came for coffees back at basecamp, before returning to the city and the call of the laptop.

Essential Gear

  • Transport from the city
  • Water
  • Probably worth carrying a backpack with a first aid kit, it is Australia after all!

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Camping at Woods Reserve
  • Digital detox

Skill Level

Beginner – Easy to find and easy to walk for those that are comfortable on stairs. Woods Reserve is a great place to try camping for the first time. It has basic amenities and is so close to town that if you live in Canberra, you could easily pull the pin and be back home in bed in under an hour.

How To Get There

Drive south from the centre of Canberra, following the Tuggeranong Parkway. Continue as it becomes Drakeford Drive. When you reach the Suburb of Gordon, turn right onto Woodcock Drive, right onto Jim Pike Ave and right again onto Point Hut Road. When you reach the t-intersection at the end, turn right onto Tidbinbilla Road. Follow for a few km until you see a well-signposted left hand turn for Corin Forest. Woods Reserve Campsite and Gibraltar Falls car park are both clearly marked left handers from this road.

Distance / Duration / Elevation

2.6km round trip from Woods Reserve / 1.5 hours if you take it really easy / 120m elevation gain

 


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