Good views west from the crest N of Mt Domain

Saturday 10 December 2022: Mt Domain * – M/M. Mt Domain is located towards the southern end of the Tidbinbilla Range. Its two spurs and the level ridge in between are clearly recognisable from many parts of Canberra. Let’s bag it for wonderful views. The walk begins with a fire trail walk up to Fishing Gap, climbing 290 vertical metres, beside the Tidbinbilla River. From here, a footpad, ill-defined in places and quite steep, first climbs 270vm then a further 120vm to the top. It traverses a number of different ecosystems. Around 13km and 700m ascent.


From Garmin Connect – Distance: 13.68km | Climb: 817m | Time: 3:40 moving + 2:38 of stops = 6:18 | Grading: L/E-M; M(11).

Photographs Photographs are available here.
gpx File The gpx file is available here.
Track Notes

I was last on Mt Domain on 30 Nov 22. Going back there next Saturday, so I seem to have a thing about this hill. My 20th trip there in 18 years, so you’d think I’d know the route. Can still miss the footpad.

Not much to say about the leg from the car park to Fishing Gap. After re-doing introductions and acknowledgement of country, I said “go” and they went. Like scalded cats. A dog barking and a pig squealing down near the Tidbinbilla River as we walked the fire trail. I didn’t need any gasping stops, but was pretty late arriving at Fishing Gap. 3.7km in 56 minutes for me.

One has to have learned something after bushwalking for nearly 20 years. TL graciously took up my request to lead and I stationed myself at the rear. Didn’t bother to count my many stops. The footpad is getting a bit overgrown through the bottom area of bracken ferns, but once the main climb starts it is fine. The leg from Fishing Gap up to the nose of the SH1402 ridge was 1.1km in 51 minutes. The footpad rises 270vm. I’ve often stopped here for a cuppa and on 9 Nov 22 went in for a geocache. There was talk of a better spot with easterly views and we did indeed identify it, closer to Mt Domain.

The flat ridge usually provides a bit of a breather, but TL and the others kept up a good pace. The ridge leg was 740m in 22 minutes for me and we stopped in the ‘Cairn in open’ area for morning tea with the ants.

The final climb to the cairn on Mt Domain is a fraction less strenuous than the first climb and passes through some nice country. There’s a lovely little rocky ridge and towards the top open woodland with grasses. We identified the better view spot.

Good views east – better smoko spot

This leg 450m in 29 minutes.

10 metres from the cairn, the first two of six running youngsters caught us. They were heading north to Tidbinbilla Mountain. I trust they’ll follow up with me as to what it’s like, so I have a better idea for next Saturday.

PS. And Ryan did. They ran 28km from the Sanctuary, up from Fishing Gap car park, along the ridge from Mt Domain to Tidbinbilla Mountain, Tidbinbilla Peak, Johns Peak, Camels Hump, down the Camelback Fire Trail to Mountain Creek car park, along Ashbrook Creek Fire Trail. Oh to be young again.

They milled around a bit at the cairn, we milled at the usual open spot a few tens of metres further north. They zoomed through us.

Youngsters zoom past us just north of Mt Domain

11am. Too early for lunch, too early to turn around and go home. I should have thought of elevenses.

So 8 of us pushed on a little further north to one of my favourite spots. The vague footpad route exposes some nice views west …

Good views west from the crest N of Mt Domain

… and east.

Good views east from the crest N of Mt Domain

A couple of lovely little knolls along the ridge.

We turned about and regrouped for lunch.

Setting off at 12.10pm, I had to get the obligatory shot of the high point.

Mt Domain cairn

In my view, this trip is over once the downhill starts (a bit like life), but others’ knees did not share that view. A careful trip back.

A budding new-ish CBC member and prospective new walk leader took up the offer to lead us down from the southern nose of the SH1402 ridge. So very well done. I took the opportunity to trail along tibmin. Coming down, from Mt Domain to Fishing Gap car park was 6km in 2:03.

Trust everyone enjoyed it, I did. A great day with great friends.

Track Map

Here’s where we went. On Tidbinbilla 1:25000 map © BKK Enterprises Pty Ltd, Mona Vale NSW 2103 Used with permission.

Track Mt Domain


12 walkers – Mike B, Andrea C, Braham H, Ming L, Stephen M, Terrylea R, Phillip S, Sandra T, Tilly T, Ana V, Robert W, me.

Information Bit(e)s

I’ve had a lot of assistance from walking friends recently. By way of paying a bit back, I’ll publish a few bites of information that may help someone. But I can’t think of any more, so that’s it.

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