View from Mount Taylor

Mount Taylor Nature Reserve: Hiking Trail (2024)

If you’re craving some awe-inspiring hiking adventures in Canberra, look no further than Mount Taylor Nature Reserve. Offering breathtaking landscapes and trails suitable for hikers of all levels, this reserve is the quintessential weekend getaway from Canberra.

Canberra began my Australian journey after leaving my hometown of Bangalore. The contrast was stark; Canberra’s tranquil ambience and abundant wildlife stood in stark contrast to the bustling energy of Bangalore. Nestled in the serene suburb of Chifley, I found myself mere steps away from Canberra Nature Park. One evening, driven by the allure of encountering wallabies and kangaroos in their natural habitat, I embarked on a hike through Mount Taylor Nature Reserve.

Are you planning your inaugural visit to Canberra? Dive into my comprehensive travel guide to Canberra to make the most of your experience.

PIN for later reference – Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

PIN for later reference - Mount Taylor Nature trail
PIN for later reference – Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

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About Mount Taylor

Standing proudly at 856 meters above sea level, Mount Taylor rises gracefully between the picturesque valleys of Woden and Tuggeranong within Canberra city. Initially christened Taylor’s Hill, this majestic peak earned its moniker in honour of James Taylor, the son-in-law of Colonel George Johnston.

About Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

Encompassing a sprawling expanse of 300 hectares, Mount Taylor Nature Reserve forms an integral part of the Canberra Nature Park, which comprises thirty-three distinct and safeguarded areas throughout the city. This sanctuary boasts a diverse landscape of bushland hills and lowland native grassland. As previously noted, the reserve offers an array of trails and hikes catering to hikers of every proficiency level.

Please excuse the image quality, as these snapshots were captured using my phone.

Panoramic view of Mount Taylor
Panoramic view of Mount Taylor

Nature Trail in the Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

Numerous picturesque tracks wind their way to the summit of Mount Taylor, predominantly comprising fire trails—muddy roads accessible to vehicles. However, access to these fire trails is restricted to hikers, barring entry to public vehicles. Popular among locals, particularly during the evening, these trails offer stunning sunset views.

If you’re a novice to hiking or trekking, delve into my beginner’s guide to hiking and trekking.

Statistics of Nature hike in the Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

Numerous trails wind their way to the summit of Mount Taylor, accessible from four suburbs: Chifley, Kambah (Tuggeranong), Pearce, and Torrens. Among these, the foot track from Tuggeranong stands out for its longer and steeper route compared to the fire trail from Chifley, particularly from the Waldock Street car park.

Trail Details:

  • Starting and Finishing Points: Waldock Street car park in Chifley.
  • Total Distance: Less than 2 kilometres.
  • Time Taken: 45 minutes round trip.
  • Grade: Easy, though a few uneven sections should be noted.
  • Note: Dog walkers also frequent the trail.

Wildlife to Spot

Australia boasts an abundance of unique animals and native birds, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. My decision to hike up the Mount Taylor Nature Trail was primarily fueled by my desire to catch a glimpse of wallabies or kangaroos in their natural habitat. Indeed, this nature reserve is renowned as a prime location to spot these iconic Australian marsupials.

It’s important to note that the trail is frequented by wallabies and kangaroos, who typically coexist peacefully alongside humans. However, it’s imperative to maintain a respectful distance from these wild animals, as their behaviour can be unpredictable. While observing them in their natural environment is a thrilling experience, it’s essential to exercise caution and refrain from attempting to interact with or control them.

Kangaroo at Mount Taylor

In addition to the wallabies and kangaroos, Mount Taylor Nature Reserve is also home to the nationally endangered pink-tailed legless lizards. These fascinating creatures bear a striking resemblance to small snakes and measure approximately 14 centimetres in length. Typically found sheltering beneath rocks, they primarily exist on ant eggs.

Furthermore, bird enthusiasts will delight in the reserve’s diverse avian population, with records indicating sightings of approximately 85 species of Australian native birds. Whether you’re an avid bird watcher or a dedicated bird photographer, embarking on this walk promises an unparalleled opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

How to Get to Waldock Street Car Park?

By Car

The car park at Waldock Street in Chifley is the ideal starting point for accessing the nature trail within Mount Taylor Nature Reserve. Adjacent to the car park, visitors will find convenient picnic tables, providing a perfect spot for a leisurely pre-hike snack or post-hike meal. Moreover, ample and complimentary parking spaces ensure a hassle-free experience for all visitors.

  • It’s worth noting that alternative access points to the nature trail exist, including car parks at Tuggeranong and Parkhill Street in Pearce.

By Public Transport

Regular public buses operate between Chifley and Woden bus interchange at approximately one-hour intervals. The bus stop is conveniently located within walking distance from Waldock Street in Chifley, providing easy access for visitors relying on public transportation. For the latest and most accurate information regarding bus schedules, travellers can refer to the ACT Transport website.

Closing Notes

The nature trail at Mount Taylor Nature Reserve offers an effortless and accessible hiking experience, drawing a steady stream of locals from nearby suburbs, particularly during the morning hours. With its gentle incline and manageable distance, this trail leads to a summit boasting breathtaking cityscape views. If you find yourself in Canberra seeking a brief yet rewarding hike, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this scenic trail.

Suppose you’ve enjoyed learning about the Mount Taylor Nature trail. In that case, you’ll likely appreciate discovering other hiking adventures in the region, such as exploring the trails in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve or hiking to Square Rock Lookout.

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Mount Taylor Nature Reserve: Hiking Trail (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

    PIN for later reference - Mount Taylor Nature Reserve
    PIN for later reference – Mount Taylor Nature Reserve