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Mt Ainslie Summit Trail

Home > Canberra > Views | Nature | Lookouts | Free | Walks
by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published November 25th 2020
Also Known As The Kokoda Memorial Trail
Canberra, nature, walk, bush, history, lookouts, exercise, views
Well signposted (image JW)


The Mt Ainslie summit trail is a medium grade 4.5km return walk on sealed pathways in Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve. From dawn to dusk, it is very popular with locals and visitors alike and you will encounter families, fitness buffs and locals on their daily dog walk. The track commences in Remembrance Park, Campbell behind the Australian War Memorial where free parking is available and the return trip will take about 90 minutes depending on fitness and the number of photo stops taken.

Canberra, nature, history, views, family, tourist
Start behind the Australian War Memorial (image JW)


Mt Ainslie has an elevation of 843 metres and the ascent is sure to raise your heart rate and make you a bit puffed. Make sure you take plenty of breaks to enjoy the vistas and to read the plaques regarding the Kokoda Track. The walk can also be accessed from tracks in the neighbouring suburbs of Ainslie and Hackett.

Kokoda, Canberra, war, history, commemorative, free, learn something
Informative plaques and signs along the route (image JW)


Although the path is mostly paved and well-marked, the surrounding bushland is kept very natural and is full of wildflowers and birdlife. This walk can be done in any season but I imagine it would be quite cold in winter and very hot in summer.

Nature, bush, trees, Canberra, bushwalk, exercise, family, free
Enjoy the natural surrounds (image JW)


The path climbs steadily uphill via a series of switchbacks and rises steeply up some stone steps about 100 metres from the top. Needless to say, the return trip is much quicker.

Views, landscape, nature, Canberra, bushwalk, exercise, free
Take a breather and soak up the views (image JW)


Apart from the interpretive signs and plaques about the key sites along the Kokoda Track, there is a short diversion to a secluded clearing that contains a moving memorial "remembering the Aboriginal people that served in the Australian forces".

Aboriginal, war, memorial, nature, history, free, walk
A memorial to Aboriginal servicemen (image JW)


At the top, there is a scenic lookout which can also be accessed by a sealed public road, an air navigation beacon and mobile phone tower. Drinking water is available at the Mount Ainslie lookout as well as the picnic facilities in the park behind the Australian War Memorial.

Nature, bushwalk, free, environment, Canberra, birds, flora
The beauty of the Australian bush (image JW)


It should be noted that there are no public toilets, public phone or barbecue facilities in the reserve and the nearest toilets are at the local shopping centres or at the Australian War Memorial. There are barbecue facilities and picnic tables in Remembrance Park. Those with mobility issues can still access the lookout as there is a road to the summit.

Views, free, Canberra, nature, lookout, family, Mt Ainslie
The view from the top (image JW)


Next time you visit Canberra, tackle the summit of Mt Ainslie, you won't regret it!
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Why? To see an aerial view of the bush capital.
When: From dawn to dark
Phone: 132281
Where: Access the track at Remembrance Park Campbell
Cost: Free
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