Walking Cooleman Ridge | photo Joanne

Sunday 4 September 2022: Cooleman Ridge, Mt Taylor and Oakey Hill Nature Reserves * – L/E-M,ptX. Warm up by a climb to Narrabundah Hill. Then south to walk Cooleman Ridge including Cooleman and Arawang trigs. Great vistas to the west, including the Bullen Range, Tidbinbilla Range and the Brindabellas; urban views to the east. Visit the Firestorm Storytree in Kambah. Climb Mt Taylor to the trig via a little used western route. Descend to the north through a greenway and climb to the trig on Oakey Hill. An opportunity to visit nearby Fetherston Gardens. Short car shuttle required. Around 17km and 600vm climb.
Canberra Nature Park – a breath of fresh air for busy walkers. There are 39 Nature Reserves in the Canberra Nature Park. How many can we walk in? These are numbers 21, 22 and 23.


From Garmin Connect – Distance: 17.52km | Climb: 720m | Time: 3:59 moving + 1:15 of stops = 5:14 | Grading: L/E,ptX; M(11).


Photographs are available here. Left my phone in the car. Many thanks to Joanne, Lam and Marie for their pics.

gpx File

The gpx file is available here.

Track Notes

I was last on Cooleman Ridge on 24 Aug 22, Mt Taylor on 21 Dec 15 and Oakey Hill on 3 Aug 13.

We met at 8am and took 3 cars to Fetherston Gardens, where we’d finish. 1 car took drivers back to the start. So we were ready to walk at 8.15am.

A few horse riders about, must have been an event on. Through the gates and up the more gentle incline to Narrabundh Hill and its trig. I nearly kept up. Then down the other side to the reservoir and out the gate to the corner of Eucumbene and Hindmarsh Drives. Across the open area to the fence corner, then up the side of Kathner Street to enter the NW end of the Cooleman Ridge NR. A nice dam just inside the gate.

From here it was generally SE on fire trails, choosing those ones that kept us up on the crest of the ridge. We detoured up to Cooleman Hill with its trig, the second of 5 for the day.

Lovely views all along the ridge to the hills to the west and, in places, to the suburban houses in the other direction.

Walking Cooleman Ridge (photo Joanne)

We stopped at the signage with views (no sound in video).

We continued on to the SE and puffed up to Mt Arawang and its trig. A mite cool in the breeze, so we retreated down the lee side a bit for smoko.

For me the walk down from Arawang was a whole lot easier than the recent trip up.

We walked the road verge of Sulwood Drive past my Awaken Church, across Drakeford Drive and into the small area of Kambah to the Firestorm Storytree.

Kambah Firestorm Storytree (photo Marie)

Next we entered Mt Taylor NR, walked the management trail along the SW flank to the take off point of the steep western ascent. I bade my companions farewell so they could forge ahead. It took me 28mins to cover the 710m across the ground and 185vm climb.

We regrouped at the top, took a quick look at the panoramic signage, then headed down to the N to gain Waldock Street.

A pleasant enough walk through the greenway under the power lines, under Hindmarsh Drive and up the last more gentle climb to Oakey Hill and the fifth and last trig of the walk.

Oakey Trig (photo Lam)

Found another lee-side spot for lunch.

Lunch time views (photo Marie)

Down to Heysen Street, under the Tuggeranong Parkway and a bit more Heysen Street verge to a top entrance to Fetherston Gardens.

Walking in Featherston Gardens (photo Joanne)

A first visit for all of us and a very pretty spot too. Joanne captured some lovely flower pics.

Flowers in Featherston Gardens (photos Joanne)

Into the cars and drove back to the top of Duffy.

Track Map

Here’s where we went.

Track Cooleman Ridge, Mt Taylor and Oakey Hill NRs


An excellent party of 6 walkers – Joanne, Kerstin, Lam, Marie, Richard, me.