Square Rock

Square Rock Lookout – A Canberra Hiking Escape (2024)

Tucked away in the serene wilderness, Square Rock lookout offers a breathtaking panorama that unveils the scenic wonders of the Australian Capital Territory. Lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and join the journey to Square Rock Lookout for an unforgettable Canberra hiking escape.

Exploring the trails of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) holds a special place in my heart, marking the initial steps of my hiking ventures in Australia. Square Rock Lookout stands out vividly as my second hike in this enchanting land, nestled within the pristine expanse of Namadgi National Park. The untouched beauty of this national park became the canvas for my introduction to the captivating world of Australian hiking. Each step on the Square Rock lookout trail unveiled a unique blend of natural wonders, leaving an indelible mark on my early experiences in the breathtaking landscapes of the ACT.

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PIN for later reference - Hike to Square Rock lookout, Namadgi National Park, Canberra
PIN for later reference – Square Rock Lookout – A Canberra Hiking Escape

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Canberra Travel Resources
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Travel Guide to Canberra
Visual Treat of Floriade, Canberra Flower Show
Pat a Cheetah at Canberra Zoo
Square Rock Lookout
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Mount Taylor Nature Reserve

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About Square Rock Lookout

Situated within the vast expanse of the Namadgi National Park in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the Square Rock Lookout invites adventurers to explore its heights at approximately 1400 meters above sea level. This picturesque day walk unfolds along rocky platforms, with a notable square-shaped rock near the summit that lends its name to the lookout. Namadgi National Park, declared in 1984, graces the landscape. It is located just 40 kilometers from Canberra and shares its borders with the renowned Kosciuszko National Park.

Hike to Square Rock lookout
On the way to Square Rock Lookout

The word “Namadgi” itself originates from the Aboriginal language, meaning “mountains,” and encompasses a sprawling 1061 square kilometers of diverse terrain. For comprehensive details on the myriad tracks and trails, the Namadgi National Park visitor center stands as the gateway to embark on this hiking adventure.

How do you get to the starting point?

Embarking on the Square Rock Lookout adventure begins at the Square Rock car park. This designated starting point sets the stage for a journey through the captivating landscapes of Namadgi National Park, leading hikers to the picturesque summit adorned with the distinctive square-shaped rock.

  • By Road – The best mode of transportation to reach the starting point is by driving, with the Square Rock car park situated approximately 40 kilometers away from Canberra city along Corin Road, offering a scenic journey that takes approximately one hour.
  • By Public Transport – Accessing the Square Rock car park is exclusively facilitated by private transportation, as no public transport options are available to reach this starting point. The journey to the trailhead is best undertaken by car, allowing for flexibility and convenience in exploring the natural wonders of Namadgi National Park.

Square Rock Lookout Hiking Trail

The hiking trail commences at the Square Rock car park, and it is a well-marked path leading adventurers through the stunning landscapes of Namadgi National Park. While the trail is generally well-defined, there are instances where it closely skirts cliff edges, necessitating caution in those areas. The journey unfolds with breathtaking views throughout, culminating at the summit adorned with colossal boulders and captivating rock formations, rewarding hikers with a memorable experience.

Square Rock Walking Trail Carpark

The hiking trail features a combination of metal and plastic grates and steps, contributing to a diverse and engaging terrain for hikers to traverse. This mix of surfaces adds an interesting element to the journey, enhancing the overall hiking experience in Namadgi National Park.

Square Rock Lookout - A Canberra Hiking Escape (2024)
Square Rock Hiking Trail Map; Source: Environment ACT Government website.

Visitors can acquire brochures and informational materials at the Namadgi National Park visitor center for comprehensive information and detailed guidance on the Square Rock Lookout hike. Additionally, detailed maps are available for purchase at a nominal price of AUD 4.5, providing hikers with valuable resources to enhance their exploration of the trail and surrounding natural wonders.

Important Information

While embarking on the Square Rock hiking trail, it’s essential to consider a few key points to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • No Phone Signal: Due to the absence of a phone signal on the trail, inform the visitor center or your contacts about your hiking plans for safety.
  • Caution at Cliff Edges: Exercise caution, particularly at cliff edges, and adhere to safety guidelines to avoid risks.
  • Stay on the Marked Trail: Stick to the marked trail to navigate the terrain safely and prevent getting lost.
  • Hydration: Bring an ample water supply, as no water-filling stations are along the trail.
  • Pack Snacks and Lunch: Since there are no facilities on the mountain, carry snacks and lunch for sustenance.
  • Footwear: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes suitable for hiking to ensure stability and support.
  • No Entry Ticket: The Square Rock hiking trail does not require an entry ticket.
  • Observing Wildlife: Keep an eye out for the diverse flora and fauna along the trail, providing opportunities to witness the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Statistics of the Square Rock Lookout

  • Starting and finishing points: Square Rock Car Park on Corin Road.
  • Trail: Well marked.
  • Total distance: 8 kilometres return.
  • Total time: around 4 hours.
  • Type of walk: Return.
  • Grade: Moderate.

Safety for Solo Female Hikers

Embarking on the Square Rock hiking trail is best enjoyed with a hiking buddy rather than going solo. It’s advisable to have a companion for added safety and support, especially in case of unforeseen circumstances. Joining a group, like the one organized through Meetup, ensures a shared hiking experience with fellow enthusiasts who can watch out for one another.

Tip: Utilize the Meetup website to connect with fellow hikers in your city. Many of my Sydney friends were made through Meetup, making it an excellent platform to find like-minded individuals and build a community of hiking enthusiasts.

While hiking in Canberra and ACT, safety concerns are minimal, and the region is generally safe for hikers and travelers. However, taking precautions, such as hiking with a buddy, enhances the overall hiking experience and contributes to a safer exploration of the beautiful Namadgi National Park.

Closing Notes

I embarked on this hike when I first arrived in Australia, a significant period ago. The prospect of revisiting and witnessing potential changes in the trail and the surrounding mountains excites me. Moreover, I am eager to explore the region’s diverse Australian wildlife, including the native birds, making it an adventure worth experiencing again.

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    PIN for later reference | Square Rock Lookout – A Canberra Hiking Escape

    PIN for later reference - Hike to Square Rock lookout, Namadgi National Park, Canberra
    PIN for later reference – Square Rock Lookout – A Canberra Hiking Escape