Canberra Centenary Trail
Tables Cycling Walking
What is the Centenary Trail?
The Centenary Trail is a 145 kilometre self-guided, non-motorised loop trail for walkers and touring cyclists that showcases Canberra and takes users on a journey between urban and rural environments past iconic sites and hidden treasures.
The Centenary Trail is divided into daily sections, spaced for walkers and bike riders. Users are able to join or leave the trail in many locations.
Take a video tour of the Canberra Centenary Trail
This video follows cyclists riding along some sections of the Canberra Centenary trail. The cyclists ride past different Canberra scenery.
The Centenary Trail is:
- a seven day walk, averaging just over 20 kilometres per day or
- a three day ride, averaging just over 45 kilometres per day.
The trail is designed to be accessible for as many walkers and cyclists as possible. It follows fire trails, walking tracks and shared paths in urban and natural areas and is open to everyone. The trail is designed for low intensity use by all walkers and cyclists of moderate ability and is generally less than 10 percent gradient.
Centenary Trail maps showing the full trail alignment as well as general information about the trail, are available from:
- Canberra Visitor's Centre, 330 Northbourne Ave, Dickson ACT
- Civic Library.
Hard copies of the detailed section maps are available on request. Please contact Access Canberra on telephone 13 22 81.
The Centenary Trail Guidebook provides more information about the trail.
- Section 1 - Parliament House to Watson
- Section 2 - Watson to Northern Border Campsite
- Section 3 - Northern Border Campsite to Hall Village
- Section 4 - Hall Village to Black Mountain
- Section 5 - Black Mountain to Stromlo Forest Park
- Section 6 - Stromlo Forest Park to Tuggeranong Town Centre*
- Section 7 - Tuggeranong Town Centre to Parliament House
*There are some steeper sections of track along Section 6 that may be unsuitable for younger or less skilled cyclists. The majority of this section of trail along the Murrumbidgee River has a difficulty rating, under the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Difficulty Rating System, of easy with some sections of intermediate. Intermediate trails are described under the rating system as having some steep sections of maximum 20% grade and some sections of rocky or loose tread. In these areas a good standard of fitness is required. Consider your ability and that of your group before heading out and be prepared to dismount if concerned about the trail grade.
There are also a number of locked gates within the reserve area along the Murrumbidgee River and cyclists are required to lift their bikes over the gates at these points. The number of locked gates required in this section is currently under review.
More trail section maps are available at the Canwalk website.
Shorter walks on the trail
If you only have a few hours to spare, try one of the shorter walks available on the Centenary Trail.
This map shows the location of Canberra Centenary Trail.
Note: If you have difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
Please note the above gpx files are for handheld GPS devices which require GPS software. Alternatively, you may view the above file using Google Earth.
The Northern Border Campground
The Northern Border Campground is a bush camping site located near the border of NSW, north of Gungahlin on the Centenary Trail. Facilities include a pit toilet, bike racks, covered picnic tables and shaded grassy tent sites. There is space for two tents undercover if required.
Bookings are essential and fees apply. No more than 30 people are permitted to camp at the site at one time.
- Tank water is available however, is not for drinking.
- There is no vehicle access to this campground. Access is only by foot or bicycle via the trail corridor between Forde and Hall Village. The campground is 6.5 kilometres from Amy Ackman Street in Forde and 12.5 kilometres from Hall Village.
- The surrounding areas are private property and entry is not permitted.
- No fires permitted at the campground.
- The campground and the Northern Link section of the Centenary Trail (Forde to Hall Village) are closed during a Total Fire Ban.
- No horses permitted on the Centenary Trail.
- No bins are provided. Please take your rubbish home.
- Rangers visit the campground regularly to ensure compliance.
No dogs permitted. Fox baiting is ongoing in the area and domestic animals are not safe.
No bins are provided. Please take your rubbish home.
No camp fires permitted.
Explore the trail
Ngunnawal Country: purchase a cultural heritage map and explore 25,000 years of Aboriginal history through the eyes of the Ngunnawal people – AVAILABLE SOON.
View south from Mt Arawang on the Centenary Trail.
Our rural past: enjoy a cold drink and stock up on supplies in the pre-Federation village
of Hall on the edge of the ACT. Learn the history of the small rural communities that were re-located to make way for the capital.
In 1911, Hall was the area's largest settlement. These boys attended the newly opened Hall School. Suddenly part of the new Capital, the residents of Hall had their expectations of the future turned upside down.
The northern border: follow in the steps of the capital's surveyors in 1910 as they walked from One Tree Hill to Forde marking the border of NSW. Camp out under the stars at the northern border campsite on route from One Tree Hill to Mulligans Flat.
The border surveyors left markers along the new boundary such as timber and iron posts, engraved reference trees and rock piles. Many of these markers remain as reminders that this is the edge of the Territory. Photography by Anthony Burton, 2013.
Urban forest: over three million trees have been planted in Canberra during the last 100
years. View the magnificent urban forests of Canberra from Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, the National Arboretum Canberra and Red Hill.
Looking from Mount Ainslie to Federal Parliament House in 1961. This evolving landscape would, in 1964, include a lake. By the mid-1960s, Anzac Parade had also emerged as a formal avenue between the Australian War Memorial and (Provisional, now Old) Parliament House. 1967 http://photos.naa.gov.au/photo/Default.aspx?id=30451541 (AWM)
New towns: Canberra's urban planning is unique. Take the trail through the Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra City, Belconnen and Tuggeranong to experience first-hand how Canberra was planned.
The new towns were set outside of Canberra's wooded hills and linked by connector roads within wide landscape corridors. This image shows Ginninderra Drive at its intersection with Gungahlin Drive. Janine Sharp, Ginninderra & Gungahlin Drive, 2012. Image reproduced with permission from photographer.
The bush capital: experience 10 of Canberra's nature reserves from bushland hills to some of the best examples of lowland native grasslands and endangered Box Gum Woodland. Take a dip at Kambah Pool or admire the beauty of the Murrumbidgee River from the lookout near Red Rocks Gorge.
Box Gum woodlands are characterised by the presence of Blakey's Red Gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi) and Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) with a diverse grassy understory.
Red Rocks Gorge, Murrumbidgee River Corridor, Bullen Range Nature Reserve.
Planning your trip
Directional signs along the trail will assist with finding your way however, on occasion, trail sections will be closed because of conditions, events or land management activities. Refer to the ALERTS section for information on trail closures and adjustments.
There is no access to Gungahlin from the Northern Link between Little Mulligans Nature Reserve in Forde, to Hall Village. Ensure you have adequate supplies before setting out to complete the 19 kilometre Northern Link. Access to adjacent private rural land is prohibited and trespassers will be prosecuted.
Where shared paths are used, keep left and respect the rights of others. Keep a look out for cyclists and give them room to pass.
There are short sections that exceed 10 percent gradient, however the trail is generally not steeper than 10 percent. Steep areas may require cyclists to dismount for safety, depending on conditions. Cyclists need the right tyres to ride on dirt as the majority of the trail is unsealed. If you meet walkers, announce your presence well in advance by either calling out or ringing your bell. Pass slowly, giving them right of way.
In some areas, you will be sharing the Centenary Trail with horse riders. If you meet horse riders, slow down and announce your presence by calling out. Move to the side and allow them to pass, or pass carefully with the riders' consent. Some horses are easily frightened by bicycles. A frightened horse can be a danger to its rider and to you.
Please note: There are step-through gates in nature reserves and near farmland areas for land management purposes. Cyclists will need to lift their bikes over these gates and should consider their ability to do so before setting out.
A range of accommodation options are available along the Centenary Trail. The Visit Canberra website has information on mid to high range accommodation options.
Campsites along the Centenary Trail for budget travellers include:
- Exhibition Park in Canberra
- Northern Border Campsite (please click the "Camping" tab)
The Australian Institute of Sport is on the Centenary Trail and accommodation is available on the campus.
Trail head signage
Trail heads are access points that have trail signage, car parking and public toilets nearby. Each trail head sign has a trail map with information on location and permitted recreation activities in the adjacent area.
Trail directional signage
Directional marker posts guide the way in reserve and open space areas along the Centenary Trail. The posts are painted metal posts, nominally 1m high, with arrow and compliance discs as well as a disc with the Centenary Trail graphic.
Trail directional blades will be installed on existing street name posts in urban areas during November 2013. The directional blades will be located at decision making points. Trail users should look for the Centenary Trail graphic with arrows on a blade fixed below the street name blade.
The CBR 100 Challenge will take place throughout the northern sections of the trail on the Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March 2016. The trail is still open to public use, however please be mindful of a high number of participants on the trail this weekend. The participants will be travelling in a clockwise direction starting at Hall.
Centenary Trail directional signage in urban areas is being adjusted to improve the standard of installation. While this situation is being rectified, please consult maps of the Centenary Trail (prior to traversing) to follow the trail through urban areas. GPS files are also available for navigation using hand-held GPS units.
Mount Ainslie Summit trail
The Mt Ainslie Summit Trail will be closed periodically during autumn to allow for upgrade and repair work to the trails surface. While work is being undertaken it will be necessary to close sections of the trail to ensure site security and public safety. Please follow detour and warning signs on site.
Majura Parkway construction
A temporary detour is in place to avoid the Majura Parkway construction works. The temporary alignment takes trail users under the Federal Highway south of Majura Parkway and crosses Horse Park Drive at grade. Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area can still be used as a trailhead for those travelling north west on the Centenary Trail. However, there is currently no access to the Centenary Trail south east of Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area. Refer to the section 2 map for more information.
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary – night closures
Wildlife management programs are ongoing within the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. As part of an ongoing program to control rabbit and hare populations, the Sanctuary will be intermittently closed to the public to allow for the successful and safe delivery of the rabbit control program. Please take note of signage and follow an alternate route on these occasions. Further information on closures can be obtained through the north district- Mulligans Flat office on 62072113.
Sections 2 & 3
Dogs not permitted
Dogs are not permitted on sections 2 and 3 of the trail or surrounding private property from the Federal Highway (Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve and Mulligans Flat) through to Hall (via the Northern Section and One Tree Hill). Please make suitable travel arrangements prior to commencing your journey.
Molonglo Valley estate development
A short term diversion is required to avoid current estate development activities in the Molonglo Valley. The Centenary Trail will cross the Molonglo River at Scrivener Dam in the short term instead of at Southwells Crossing, refer to the section 5 map for more information.
Be aware that equestrians use the William Hovell underpass into the National Arboretum Canberra. Cyclists please be aware of equestrians in this area and announce your presence to riders.
The Centenary Trail will be closed intermittently at the bottom of the Mugga Quarry, Mugga Nature Reserve while the access road is upgraded to reopen the Mugga Quarry. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is working on having a new section of trail constructed that will allow smooth trail flow through to Mugga La. Please follow detour signs through the work area and be mindful of other users and construction works. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.
Greenway Lakeside estate development
Localised detours are in place between Soward Way and Tuggeranong Weir crossing due to estate development works. Follow the construction detour signage around this area.
Be aware that equestrians use the Long Gully Road underpass and the section of trail on the northern side of the underpass that leads to Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve. Cyclists please be aware of equestrians in this area and announce your presence to riders.
Look out for pictures of the trail's flora and fauna on each of the trail head signs. Learn about Canberra's plants and animals and bring a pencil and the Whose Backyard activity sheet (PDF 2MB) (Word 1MB) to collect a special rubbing for each trail section. Can you collect them all? Remember the trail is their home; so when walking or riding, please minimise damage to these special places by staying on the track.
|Centenary Trail Section 1 — Remembrance Park, Campbell||Gang-gang Cockatoo|
|The Gang-gang cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum, is found in the forests and alpine areas of south-eastern Australia. The Gang-gang is also found around Canberra and in 1997 was adopted as the faunal emblem of the Australian Capital Territory.|
The Gang-gang is mostly mid-grey in colour. The male has a red head and crest, while the female has a small fluffy grey crest. Can you hear a squeaky gate? It might be the distinctive call of the Gang-gang cockatoo.
|Centenary Trail Section 1 — Mount Majura, Federal Highway, Watson||Glossy Black-Cockatoo and Drooping Sheoak|
|The Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus lathami, is one of the ACT's rare and endangered birds. The smallest of the black-cockatoos, the tail of the males has distinctive bright red panels and the female has orange/red and black panels.|
These birds can be seen eating the cones of the Drooping Sheoak, Allocasuarina verticillata, here at Mount Majura. The Sheoak is the bird's main food source, each eating around a hundred cones a day. Keeping large numbers of Sheoaks is vital to protecting the Glossy Black-Cockatoo population. Look out for them throughout this part of the trail.
|Centenary Trail Section 2 — Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area, Federal Highway||Grassland Paper-daisy|
|Shoary Sunray is a grassland paper-daisy native to south-eastern Australia. Growing on open ground, the plant has a small yellow or white and yellow flower. This plant is endangered but can be seen on Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie, particularly in spring. But don't pick them! The flowers provide nectar and pollen for insects and birds, and produce seeds that will grow the next generation of Hoary Sunrays.|
|Centenary Trail Section 2 — Mulligans Flat, Amy Ackman Street, Forde||Eastern Banjo Frog|
|The Eastern Banjo Frog, Limnodynastes dumerilii, is also sometimes called the Pobblebonk after its distinctive 'bonk' call, which sounds like a banjo string being plucked.|
This common and widespread burrowing frog is often found in large numbers at night or after rain. Living in the wet areas here at Mulligans Flat, the Pobblebonk is hard to spot but listen out for their "bonk" like chorus.
|Centenary Trail Section 2 / Section 3 — Northern Campsite, Northern Link||Shingleback Lizard|
|The Shingleback lizard, Tiliqua rugosa, is a close relative of the blue-tongue lizard. Shinglebacks have a short rounded tail that resembles its head to confuse predators. They also have huge protective scales on their body, giving them a rough and bumpy appearance.|
Shingleback lizards eat insects, berries and flowers, and oddly they particularly like yellow flowers. These lizards are slow moving and will often be seen on tracks, so bike riders using the trail need to take care not to run over them.
|Centenary Trail Section Section 3 — One Tree Hill||Swamp Wallaby|
|The Swamp Wallaby, Wallabia bicolor, is much darker than other wallabies and kangaroos. It is mainly dark brown to black with an orange or yellow belly. They also have distinct light brown stripes across their cheeks .|
They are solitary animals preferring to live in forests and woodlands with thicker undergrowth. Keep an eye out for them on the trail. You might see a mother carrying a joey in her pouch. A female wallaby will carry a joey for up to nine months.
|Centenary Trail Section Section 3 / Section 4 — Hall Village, corner of Hall Street and Hoskins Street Hall||Golden Sun Moth|
|The Golden Sun Moth, Synemon plana, is a day-flying moth that lives in grasslands and open grass woodlands. The female has the bright golden brown colouring that gives the moth its name.|
These moths are very rare and need our protection. Remember the grasslands of the trail are their home, so when walking the trail please stick to the track.
|Photography: Chris Holly|
|Centenary Trail Section 4 — John Knight Park, Belconnen||Hardhead Duck|
|The Hardhead Duck, Aythya australis, is the only true diving duck found in Australia, feeding by diving beneath the surface of the water. When swimming, it appears to be mainly chocolate brown; when in flight, you can see that it is white underneath.|
With many bobbing about on Lake Ginninderra, you might see a flash of white as they dive in the lake or take to the skies.
|Centenary Trail end of Section 4 — Black Mountain, Frith Road, O'Connor||Scribbly Gum|
|Scribbly Gum or Eucalyptus rossii grow throughout the ACT and you will see many along the trail. They have a straight trunk and grow up to 15 metres tall. Their smooth yellowish bark is shed in patches each year.|
Where do the scribbles come from? A small moth lays its eggs between the layers of bark and when the egg hatches, the larvae burrows out leaving the scribbly pattern. This scribbly pattern changes each year.
See if you can get a few rubbings of Scribbly Gums along the trail.
|Centenary Trail end of Section 5 — Stromlo Forest Park||Short-beaked Echidna|
|The Short-beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus, lives here around Mount Stromlo. Echidnas have thick brown fur and sharp spines they use to protect themselves.|
You might see one searching around a fallen tree or digging at the ground looking for its favourite food of ants and termites.
|Centenary Trail Section 6 — Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve||Laughing Kookaburra|
|The Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae, has a large bill and a dark brown strip along their eye on either side of their head. They nest in hollow trees found in open forest and woodlands. They are keen hunters, swooping down on mice, snakes and lizards.|
If you do not see a Kookaburra, you may well hear them. They have a very distinct call; a loud cackle, similar to human laughter. This 'laughter' is a territorial call to tell other birds to stay away.
|Centenary Trail Section 6 — Kambah Pool, western end of the Discovery Trail||Platypus|
|The Platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinu, is a semi-aquatic animal. They are covered in brown fur and have a soft rubbery bill, webbed feet and large tail. They forage for food in fresh water and live in burrows that they dig into earth banks by rivers, lakes and streams.|
Platypuses live here at Kambah Pool and along the Murrumbidgee River. They are rarely seen in the wild as they are nocturnal animals, sleeping during the day. They are shy too so be careful not to disturb them, or their homes, here along the river.
|Centenary Trail end of Section 6 — Tuggeranong Town Centre||Common Wombat|
|This area is home to the Common Wombat, Vombatus ursinus. A stocky animal growing to about one metre in length, the wombats feed mainly on native grasses.|
If you don't see one, it is probably because they are mostly nocturnal and sleep during the day. But look out along the riverbank for the entrances to their large underground burrows and listen for snoring!
|Centenary Trail Section 7 — Fadden, Jackie Howe Crescent||Wedge-tailed Eagle|
|The Wedge-tailed Eagle, Aquila audax, is the largest bird of prey in Australia. They can often be seen soaring on thermal currents above Canberra.|
Wedge-tailed Eagles prefer open grasslands. They use their keen eye-sight to hunt for small animals including invasive species like rabbits and feral cats. Look out for these majestic creatures floating effortlessly in the sky above the trail. You'll know them by their unmistakable wedge-shaped tail.
For the latest weather conditions on the Centenary Trail view the BOM website.
For information on fire risk in the region view the Emergency Services Agency website.
All trail users should consider the following:
- your fitness level and that of others with you
- tell someone where you are going
- carry plenty of water
- take healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts and seeds
- carry a map or information sheet
- carry a mobile phone
- take a waterproof jacket
- wear comfortable and sturdy walking shoes
- wear a broad brimmed hat, long sleeves and sunscreen
- make transport arrangement for the start and end points.
Canberra Centenary Trail is managed by Territory and Municipal Services.
Telephone: Access Canberra 13 22 81
Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS)
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Parks and City Services, TAMS
Level 8 Macarthur House
12 Wattle Street
Lyneham ACT 2602
To report a maintenance or land management issue please visit Fix My Street.