Canberra owns many fine walks.
One of my very favourites is along a road that I used to pedal along as a child.
When my family first moved to Canberra it was during ‘the recession we had to have’ in the early 1990s. So we lived cheap. For the first few years we managed to exist without a car! Just imagine. So we rode everywhere and I am glad we did because those days of riding have become cemented in my memory and those memories are not bad indeed.
We rode, once a week, from Curtin to Yarralumla, where we didn’t cross a road at all, except the one leading to the Governor-Generals house, which is not really a road at all, more like a very long, hot-mixed driveway.
This ‘driveway’, Dunrossil Drive to be exact, has become slightly iconic in Canberra, immortalised in many wedding photographs over the years as about half of them have been taken along the oak and pine forests on either side of the road and very often in the very centre of the road where one gets the classic framing of receding road behind with overhanging Elms on either side. Yes, it’s a lovely picture.
Staying at my Nonnas last week I organised a walk with a couple of friends, new to Canberra and needing to be shown all the iconic spots. This was a good opportunity.
We headed to the Brickworks first, which we found was in fact closed to ‘the public’, and I was glad I had not known that the previous day when I took myself down a dirt track along its side! Ignorance is a friend sometimes.
We stopped many times for children to climb trees and just do what children do.
There are a few patches of land either side of Dunrossil Drive and I was very worried at first, but I thought that surely they wouldn’t strip this beautiful drive of its beauty!? Surely not! And I was right. They are simply replanting.
After coming off Dunrossil Drive you pretty much come to a little wooden bridge straight away. This bridge has essentially remained the same, aesthetically, over all the years I’ve been over it, with a few wooden planks replaced as needed.
It was much safer to peer through the cracks then hang over the edge!
That, friends, is another Canberran icon, Telstra Tower, which looks over all of Canberra like a sentinel. Past the bridge there is a sweet little forest which borders the lake and hides the golf course fence. Bikes zoom past. Serious bike riders. So it was a bit of a hazard with little children buzzing around like little bees.
Coming out of this little forest you come to the grounds of the English Gardens where Sequoias and other very large trees tower, trees that may or may not be cut down very soon in the interests of public safety. For now it is a gorgeous area where there are Mulberry trees, Persimmon trees, Fig trees and Olive trees. There should be more public places where fruiting trees are grown. I really don’t know why fruit trees aren’t planted as a matter of course. We finished this walk so much later than we thought, though it was glorious. The moon sprung up and darkness descended, though walking through the well lit suburbs of scenic Yarralumla was no burden. The houses here are just as delightful as the forest along the lake. In the end my brother picked us up, though I was sure we were only 10minutes from the house!