Heading south from Canberra’s centre, you may be able the spot the distinctive Camel’s Hump peak on the horizon.
- Beautiful views over surrounding nature reserves
- Lots of wildlife spotting opportunities
- Only a 45-minute drive from Canberra
- You’ll probably have the trail all to yourself!
The moderately steep hike up to one of Canberra’s highest ridges begins at the back of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, about a 45-minute drive from Canberra City.
The trailhead starts at the Mountain Creek carpark, about a 15-minute drive from the reserve entry along a narrow sealed road.
Arriving early into the reserve to beat the worst of the heat on a forecast 35-degree day, I was met by kangaroos grazing by the roadside.
I was the only vehicle in the carpark as I pulled in alongside the information sign. Signing into the bushwalking register, I started on the 11.6km return hike up to the Camel’s Hump.
It doesn’t take long for the hike to start climbing up the slippery sandy slopes of a fire trail. About 2km in, the sandy slopes turns into more of a rocky trail fringed by grass and towering trees.
As I made my way up the hill, I saw the odd wallaby hopping out of the trees in front of me before scurrying away. I was the only one up there and kept a careful eye out for snakes.
About halfway up the trees start to open up revealing the mountains around Canberra. On a clear day, you can see Black Mountain’s Telstra Tower out into the distance.
The fire trail leading up to the summit is well marked and will take you to the hump’s base.
At the base of the hump, there’s a foot trodden track leading up through the trees, with some rock scrambling needed near the top.
It’s worth all the sweat when you reach the top and get breathtaking views over the Brindabella Ranges, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and adjoining Namadgi National Park. If you choose to visit this trail in winter, you’ll likely get glimpses of snow on the trail or the surrounding ranges.
Essential Gear Required
- Water (at least 2-3 litres)
- Sunscreen and hat
- Emergency beacon (there’s no mobile reception along most of this trail)
- Warm clothing if hiking in winter
How To Get There
From Canberra City, head south on Tuggeranong Parkway/Drakeford Drive following the signs to Cotter or Tidbinbilla. It will take about 45 minutes to reach the gates of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Park at the Mountain Creek carpark about a 10-15 minute drive into the reserve.
It’s also possible to start this hike from the Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre for a longer trek.
Entry into the reserve is $11.50 per car for a day pass unless you enter the park when it opens at 7.30am and before the Visitor Information Centre opens at 9am.
Distance Covered/ Elevation
The hike to the peak is 11.6km return and takes about 3-4 hours. The trail climbs almost 600 metres in elevation.
If you choose to start the hike from the Visitor Information Centre, the trail is 19km and will take about 6-7 hours.