For my birthday this year I wanted two things – to eat good food and to hike in Namadgi. And, thanks to a little thing called birthday leave (yes, it’s a thing, don’t be jealous), I had the day off work to do just that.
Namadgi National Park hugs the south-west border of Canberra and has over 160km of walking trails. But despite having lived in Canberra for most of my 25 years, I hadn’t seen much of it. And I still haven’t, but I’ve at least made a start.
It was a beautiful mid-Autumn day, the sun was shining and Matt and I were ready for a walk. We decided on Square Rock – not too difficult, not too long and with the promise of great views at the top.
It was the perfect choice. The walk up to Square Rock is fairly easy going. It’s about 8.5km return with a small but steady incline most of the way. The website says four hours, but we did it in three (and you could do it faster if you don’t spend an hour up top).
About 3.5km in, you’ll come to a fork in the path with a sign to Orroral Valley Lookout. It’ll add an extra 1km to your walk, but if it’s a clear day I’d recommend it. The views out through the trees to Orroral Valley are definitely worth a look.
Back on the main path, it’s only another 1km before you’ll reach the top of Square Rock and the views are breathtaking. One minute you’re walking amongst trees and the next, you’ve just popped out on top of this rocky outcrop with the valley opening out in front of you.
We had the whole place to ourselves and it was magical. We ended up spending almost an hour scrambling up and around the rocks, peering over the cliff edge, taking photos and soaking in the view.
I love a good hike, spending time in nature, getting high enough to see above the trees. I love the sense of accomplishment, the feeling of wonderment, of being on top of the world, but at the same time so small against the expansive backdrop of Australian bushland.
Walking Square Rock was a pretty great way to spend a birthday. If you get the chance, I’d recommend going mid-week – having the whole place to ourselves was pretty damn cool.
– Bec x