The city of Canberra was master-planned by an American designer from Chicago, but you will never recognize the genius of his plan until you see it from the top of Mt. Ainslie. From the lookout point of this 2,700 ft. hill that rises to the north of Canberra, you can finally understand the geometric formations that comprise the modern city. The lakes, hills, avenues, and buildings all seem neatly cradled in the valley’s amphitheater and the view towards the west during sunset hours is the best in all of Canberra.
To reach the famously breathtaking lookout, choose from one of the numerous walking tracks that ascend the side of the mountain. One trail—the Kokoda Track—departs from the back of the Australian War Memorial and has placards that honor Australian soldiers who fought in World War II. Other trails, such as the Mount Ainslie Walking Trail, weave their way from the base of the mountain up towards the summit lookout, and keep your eyes peeled for small kangaroos as they rustle about in the bush. If, on the other hand, you would prefer to simply see the view without working up a sweat, a road leading to the summit lookout is the easiest way to the top.
There is no admission fee to enter Mt. Ainslie and it’s open all year round. The most popular track is the Kokoda Track, and the trail to the top is 2.5 miles and 90 minutes roundtrip.