Monday, August 4, 2014

Mt Tennent, ACT, Australia

2014 August: Climb Mt Tennent by a trail near Namadgi Visitor Centre - ACT, Australia

(If you wish to climb Mt Tennent, I suggest you climb it via The Scar (the mud slide) ... more exciting !  Photos and write up of that trip are in )

Mt Tennent

When you are near the Namadgi Visitor Centre in ACT, the first thing you notice is a towering mountain dominating over that part of the countryside, and you just feel the urge to want to climb it.  Well, that mountain is Mt Tennent.  Today, I have the pleasure to go up there with 2 Queanbeyan guys, Adam & Resty.

It is not a high mountain.  Wikipedia says it is 1375 metres in elevation. Australian government topographic map gives 1384 meters.  There is a walking track all the way to the summit; easy to climb; and popular with the Canberrans.  Many walk up the mountain as an exercise.


Below is a map of Mt Tennent.
- Namadgi Visitor Centre is near top right hand corner of the map, by the side of Naas Road.
- But note that the black dash line meant to represent an existing walking track, is incorrectly drawn ... see the next map.

GPS tracklog file & route

You can climb Mt Tennent from the south ... drive on Naas Rd, turn west into Apollo Road.  Less than 3 km from the turn off, there is a fire trail heading north.  Walk on the fire trail and it will lead to the summit.

But today's climb is on a walking track that starts from the north east.  In the below map, our tracklog is in brown.  Note that as mentioned earlier, the black dash line meant to represent the walking track, is incorrectly drawn; hence it doesn't match up with our route in brown.
You can (and many do) park the car at Namdagi Visitor Centre and start walking from there.  We are a bit lazy, park the car by the side of Naas Road, about 500 meters south west of the Visitor Centre (the small blue circle in the above map). If you see a green bushwalking register box on top of a post by the fence with a register book inside ... well, that is where the trail head is.

You don't need a map for the climb as the walking track is well sign posted.  For what it is worth, the KML tracklog file of our walk can be downloaded from:

The Namadgi Visitors Centre classifies this walk as hard.  Hhmmm ... it is not hard at all.  Maybe hard for the Canberra public servants - they are called fat cats   :-)

By the way, it is more exciting to climb Mt Tennent via the mud slide (The Scar).  I climb it that way 3 weeks later. Photos and write up of that trip are in


10:08   0.0km  Start hiking up Mt Tennent with Adam.
11:16   2.8km  Stop and wait for Resty - he rings up and says he is coming !

(Adam and I were the only starters.  Resty was supposed to come too.  But his wife had to work on the day, hence he was grounded - to look after the children.

But not long after we started walking, Resty rang and said he is coming - he found someone to look after the kids ... the marvels of modern technology ... without the mobilephone, how was he going to contact us!

So we waited for him on a lookout half way up the mountain.)

11:54   2.9km  Start climbing again as Resty catches up with us.
13:09   6.8km  Reach summit.

13:53   6.9km  Leave summit.
15:46  13.7km  Back at car.

Distance (return) : 13.7 km
Duration (return) : 5 hr 38 min
Walking time excluding rests : 4 hr 16 min  at leisurely pace
Elevation difference from trail head : 750 meters approximately


1)  View of Mt Tennent taken from Namadgi Visitor Centre in ACT - The long thin scar (in the shadow) running down the centre of the photo is the previously mentioned mud slide.

2)  Not long after we park the car and start walking, we encounter these mats.  Adam informs me that they are newly laid - obviously the Namadgi National Park authority knows a VIP is going to walk up here today   :-)

3)  Hhmmm ... maybe I'm not that important as the path soon gives way to this type of trail.

4)  Half way up the mountain is this nice view of the ACT country side. The small building at the centre is the Namadgi Visitor Centre - where the 1st photo was taken.

5)  Further up the mountain is this flat marsh area - it is dry today.

6)  The peak is in sight. There is a communication / fire observation tower up there.

7)  Make it to the top, 1384 meters.  Well, not quite at the top ... because the ladder up the communication tower is locked, so we couldn't make it to the highest point of Mt Tennent   :-(

8)  With 2 Queanbeyan guys Adam & Resty

9)  At the summit, towards the west, there is a panoramic view of Brindabella Range, Bimberi Range and Scabby Range. The left arrow points to Bimberi, the highest mountain in ACT. The right arrow points to Gingera, 2nd highest in ACT. Glad to see these old friends as I've climbed both of them.

10)  Zooming onto Bimberi - the big snow-capped mountain on the horizon, highest peak in ACT

11)  Zooming onto Gingera, 2nd highest peak in ACT

12)  It is still winter, not much flowers. But these violet coloured Hardenbergia violacea, Happy Wanderer, are quite common along the trail.

13)  Closer look at the Happy Wanderer


  1. This is a very helpful post and I enjoyed reading about your experience a lot. Thank you for sharing :)

  2. Very well done Paul - excellent article and fabulous photos. I did Mt T for the 10th time (over 33 years) last weekend with my brother in law and 13 and 14 year old nieces. They didn't find it all that difficult (3 hour 50 walking time up and back), but at 61 years, bad knees and 115kg mass I found it hard! I'll pass this on to the girls who will really enjoy showing their friends. Ross.

  3. Maybe hard for the Canberra public servants - they are called fat cats :-)
    Spoken like a true ignorant asshole!

    1. You seem to have a tumour in your head that destroyed your sense of humour :-)
      An MRI brain scan will be helpful :-)

    2. Yes some of us Canberra Public Servants run over 5000km per year and run these types of hills multiple times a week.

    3. Ashley, yes, many people run up the mountain for exercise. Wish there is a similar mountain like Mt Tennent near where I live :-(

  4. Enjoyed this Paul, thanks for sharing. Am too fat at the moment but I can dream. : )


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