CanHike TUT Walking Challenge
The CanHike TUT Challenge is a 12.3km walk that takes in two hills, Mount Taylor and Urambi Hill, plus a loop around Lake Tuggeranong.
As CANHIKE makes its slow return from the Christmas break, on the first Saturday of the year (6th of January 2024), ten walkers set off on the TUT Challenge, crushing a total distance of 12.3 kilometres while exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Mount Taylor, Urambi Hill, and the serene beauty of the Lake Tuggeranong.
While there’s no shortage of self-improvement rhetoric for the ten CanHike walkers on this little adventure, the New Year’s resolution was like ‘I need to be the medical doctor of my health’, achieving work life balance, self-education and more.
After a short catch up at the starting point along Sulwood drive in Kambah, the grind began with the slow ascent of Mount Taylor. Along the sealed trail we experienced a diverse woodland, habitat for various plants and animals, including jumbo sized kangaroo that was bigger than most of us had previously seen.
This walk was designed to allow participants to join at any point for any one or more of the stages.
The CanHike walking group commit to a healthier and more connected community through outdoor adventure activities and we hope to inspire others to take on a similar walks close to Canberra.
View of Tuggeranong from Mt Taylor
At the summit of Mt Taylor, we were struck by panoramic views that stretched as far as the eye could see. The challenging yet rewarding hike tested our endurance and rewarded each of us with a sense of accomplishment as we reached the summit, at an elevation of 856 meters.
Although the trail is very popular with the locals, on this occasion, it appeared Canberrans had decided that the gods of Ngunnawal country had yet again shortchanged our summer with a cold and wet morning after all.
Towards the end of the first challenge at the base of Mount Tylor, the group were driven by the promise that another challenge would provide panoramic views over Kambah and Black Mountain on one side, and the wondrous Brindabella Range on the other.
Sold on the idea, we parked our cars off Learmonth Drive, Kambah and enthusiastically took on the next challenge; Urambi Hill.
A few members who had missed the Mount Taylor portion had an opportunity to the hike from this point. This walk was not long or difficult but it got some walker’s hearts racing as we went on to summit the second hill. Urambi Hill is a steady climb all the way up.
Our group was immersed in the tranquillity of nature and commenting on the diverse weeds that graced our path! The undulating terrain provided the perfect opportunity for us to connect with the natural world as participants enjoyed each other’s company, laughing freely as we strolled along.
At the summit, we experienced wonderful views out to adjacent farmland and towards the Brindabella Ranges. We could see the revered Mount Tennent in the far distance mountain range. After a brief photo session to mark the achievement, we were on the descent back to our cars. Participants, especially those doing those climbing this hill for the first time, were dazzled by the impressive views over Lake Tuggeranong as we descended from the top.
At the base, those who had enjoyed enough fun for the day headed off to join their families before ten o’clock.
Around the lake
For the rest, the adventure concluded with a leisurely stroll around the picturesque Lake Tuggeranong. We experienced an endless expanse of water views. As a group, we marvelled at the serene waters and savoured the peaceful ambience that surrounded us.
The opportunity to unwind and reflect on our journey was a fitting end to a memorable morning of exploration. As thinking about New Year resolutions continues, it is also an opportunity to reflect on our experience on the first Saturday of 2024.
During the conversations, Moses, the current President of CanHike, reminded us of the profound sense of camaraderie and accomplishment that comes with venturing into the ‘great outdoors’. Adding that participants should be aware of each other’s individual capacity and feel free to opt in and out at any stage.
As a coordinator for CanHike weekly walks, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us on this memorable expedition, and eagerly look forward to the next opportunity to embark on new adventures together.
To those who have yet to experience the wonders of these remarkable trails, both Willian and Moses encourage you to lace up your boots and join us in discovering the beauty that awaits.
The trails of Mount Taylor, Urambi Hill, and the Lake Tuggeranong loop provided us with a great opportunity to start the year on the right foot by connecting with nature and each other.
Check out our walking calendar and consider joining us on future CanHike adventures. We hope to see you on the trails.