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Mount Ainslie

See Canberra as its designer intended it to be seen, from the dramatic lookout point at the top of this picturesque mountain. 

Reach the top of beautiful Mount Ainslie by bike, car or on foot. The tracks and roads up to the summit provide for all three options. But whichever way you get there, be prepared to spend some time at the lookout point, which offers stunning panoramic views as well as a unique insight into the grand plan behind the design of Australia’s capital city. 

Canberra was designed by American architect William Burley Griffin. In 1911, the Australian government launched a competition to find a design for the country’s new capital city. Burley Griffin’s vision for the city was declared the winner. Look out across the cityscape below from the top of Mount Ainslie and see many of the city landmarks laid out exactly as in his original architectural plans. 

See if you can find Parliament House, which Burley Griffin intentionally placed in a direct line from the Mount Ainslie lookout. This was the center point of his vision for the city, shielded by mountains offering the ideal viewing point for his creation. Make sure you also spot beautiful Lake Burley Griffin, named after the great man himself.

Remember to bring a camera when you head up the mountain, not only to photograph the stunning views from the top, but to capture images of any wildlife you see along the way. The mountain is populated by a wide range of interesting animals, especially birds. 

To walk to the summit of Mount Ainslie, set out on the Kokoda Memorial Track, which begins near Treloar Street’s Australian War Memorial. Leave around an hour to reach the top. This should be slightly more than you need if you are moving at a steady pace. The track, though steep, is clear and well-marked, and most older children should have no trouble with the walk. Sunset is a particularly wonderful time to see the view from the summit. Be sure to leave lots of time to linger at the top, as this stunning bird’s-eye view is one that you won’t want to leave behind.


Guide to Exploring around Mount Ainslie


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Mount Ainslie

See all 190 Properties near Mount Ainslie
Pavilion on Northbourne $68
Pavilion on Northbourne

Pavilion on Northbourne

242 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre, and Australian National University. Australian War Memorial and Canberra Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Deco Hotel $78
    Deco Hotel

    Deco Hotel

    214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Braddon, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre, and Australian National University. Australian War Memorial and Canberra Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Pacific Suites Canberra $89
      Pacific Suites Canberra

      Pacific Suites Canberra

      100 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Canberra City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University and National Convention Centre are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        The Sebel Canberra Civic $99
        The Sebel Canberra Civic

        The Sebel Canberra Civic

        197 LONDON CIRCUIT, Canberra, ACT
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre, and National Convention Centre. Australian National University and Lake Burley Griffin are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Mercure Canberra $74
          Mercure Canberra

          Mercure Canberra

          39 Limestone Avenue, Braddon, ACT
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canberra Centre and Australian War Memorial. National Convention Centre and Australian National University are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Novotel Canberra $82
            Novotel Canberra

            Novotel Canberra

            65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University and National Convention Centre are also within 15 minutes.

              Capital Executive Apartment Hotel $85
              Capital Executive Apartment Hotel

              Capital Executive Apartment Hotel

              108 Northbourne Ave, Braddon, ACT
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canberra Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre, and Australian National University.

                ibis Styles Canberra Tall Trees $68
                ibis Styles Canberra Tall Trees

                ibis Styles Canberra Tall Trees

                21 Stephen Street, Ainslie, ACT
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Ainslie, this motel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Mount Ainslie, Australian War Memorial, and Australian National Botanic Gardens. Canberra Stadium and Canberra Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).