Various References to Walking in the ACT or Related Activities
Google Trekker for some ACT Parks & Reserves – Google videos of walking in the natural environment
Canberra Nature Map – Shows what creatures live in various areas in and around Canberra
Canberra Birds – Ornithologists
Canberra’s Best Bush, Park & City Walks, by Marion Stuart, Woodslane Press, 2010, RRP $29.95. A well designed book with 44 walks with notes and maps. Thanks to Don.
Walking Tours Brochures – National Trust (ACT) – The National Trust (ACT) has prepared a number of brochures for self-guided heritage walks and tours of different areas in Canberra such as Acton; Ainslie; Barton – L Burley Griffin Side; Barton – Manuka Side ; Belconnen – Beyond the L; Belconnen – Around L Ginninderra ; Blandfordia 5 – A Walk though a Suburban Heritage Precinct; Commonwealth & Kings Park – Canberra Central Parklands; Gungahlin – Southern Gungahlin; Hall Village – Heritage Walk; Hall Village; Tuggeranong (Tharwa & Lanyon); Yarralumla. Check the web link above to see the full list and download a brochure
Guide and Self Guide Tours – National Capital Authority (NCA) – several interesting self guided walking tours. of note the Lakeside Walk at Burley Griffin, Old Parliament House Gardens, and Anzac Pde walk
Walks in Canberra Neck of the Woods. Blog site by our own Peter Snusher Davis. His site describes 15 walks we could try. We will try some as a memorial to Peter who unfortunately passed away on the 16th July 2010 (aged 64) after a long illness
Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog More for the tougher type walking. However John Evan’s blog is an invaluable source of information and advice. John is also one of the best on using GPS’s with topo maps
Best of the ACT Bushwalk Australia eMagazine Feb 2015 – PDF magazine with articles by John Evans & others on great ACT walks
30 Family Bushwalks in and Around Canberra by Graham Barrow, 2002. More outside Canberra but covers some areas of interest
Walking Canberra’s Hills & Rivers by Graham Barrow, 2006 has 40 bushwalks in Canberra mainly in the hills and nature reserves
Canberra Bushwalks, by Kim Morgan, Kangaroo Press, 1989. Has most of the urban Canberra walks. May be out of date in some areas. Probably get at the Lifeline Books Fair or second hand shops
Rambles Around Canberra by Allan Mortlock & Gillian O’Loughlin NPA (ACT) ANU Press 1977 has 17 walks in Canberra and close by. May be out of date in some areas. Probably get at the Lifeline Books Fair or second hand shops
Green Groups in Canberra Lists of groups who you can work with to improve vegetation on places such as Mt Rogers.
See also Field Naturalists – Canberra and Friends of the Pinnacle and see their links for other local friends groups. See the Dec 2010 newsletter written by Rosemary Bleming of the Mt Rogers landcare Group.
Friends of Aranda Bushland The group we met on an Aranda walk. There is a picture of Ian Falconer under their Guided Walk link as well a pamphlet that can be downloaded.
GPS & Map Information
Google Fiddled with Ways of viewing kml/kmz Google Earth files from Google Drive in Aug 2018
Its seems to have been fixed by Sept 2018. However if they play around with things again and Google GPS files can not be properly viewed from Google Drive through shared links, it would still be possible to view such files by downloading the kml or kmz file and opening within Google Earth. In this case you would need to download the free Google Earth software and instal it.
Google Earth & kml/kmz files
We have been creating a Google Earth GPS kml file (originally kmz) of each walk as well as collating an Annual Walks during a FY kmz file. From 2021 these will be by Calendar year. These are shown in each walk or at the top of the FY or Year page in which the walk was held. These files are a single kml or kmz file, each contains all the walks in that FY or year. The walks are shown as separate sub folders. Google Earth GPS files comes in a kml format and its cousin the kmz compressed format. Clicking on either of these type of files will open the route/track in Google Earth (you must have it installed. Its free).
If you need to instal Google Earth you can find it here If you open a link to any Google Earth kml or kmz file it will now go to Google Drive and open the file to be viewed in either Google Maps or Satellite view. The view can be fully on line if so desired or downloaded as described below. Viewing on line is easier if Google Earth is too complex or your computer is old or slow. If downloading kml/kmz files you need Google Earth installed on your computer to view such files. You need to save the files to your hard drive. Create a folder under My Documents called say MelbaShed Walks and save them there. With your mouse double click on each file and it will be loaded into Google Earth. It will only be loaded in the folder Temporary Places. To save within your Google Earth you also need to save each to your My Places in Google Earth. To have what you placed into My Places saved so that every time you start Google Earth it is available you must go to File and Select Save > My Places
Viewing Maps or Photos in Google Drive and Photos
Viewing Maps or Photos in Google Drive Updated Dec 2016. These map pictures are stored in both Google Drive & also Google Photos. These work slightly differently. When opened you should be able to download the map file as a jpg file to your PC, wherever you have downloads set to go according to your browser settings. This is probably the best way to view which you can usually do with any jpg viewer or even your browser. It will also give you the option to open with a range of viewers or a browser or just to download. The download option is actioned in the top right of the screen by clicking on the large down arrow with a line under it, just to the right of the Printer symbol. Click on this select either view on screen with your local View default (or select a new program to open it) or download to your default location. You could also Print it but you will need to set up the printer correctly.
You can also view the map on the screen without a download, as is. If it is small you can zoom in using the Zoom In function on the bottom. Just click the big plus or minus on the bottom to zoom in or out. You will then probably want to move to the top of the map etc. Simply grab the map screen with your mouse and its left button and drag the map up, down, left or right.
Viewing Maps & Photos in Google Photos. OK you’ll notice the same map is usually also in the Google Photos Album at the end. Usually you can view that online or download. If seeing pictures in the album view on Google Photos which should be the starting point, you can select the small vertical dots in the middle of several options at the top right of the screen. Click on these dots which says “More options” and select Download All. This will download all pictures in that album. Obviously it might be better to view the album first and only download those pictures you want.
In individual picture view mode, you should be able to download the map file or photo as a jpg file to your PC, wherever you have downloads set to go according to your browser settings. The download option is actioned in the top right of the screen by clicking on the three vertical dots. Click on these which says “More options” and select Download. This is probably the best way to view which you can usually do with any jpg viewer or even your browser. It will give you the option to open with a range of viewers or a browser or just to download.
You can also view the map on the screen without a download, as is. If the map picture is full size when viewed on line there will be no zoom in option. If the picture is larger than the viewing mode on screen, you will see a small + in an eyeglass icon at top right to the left of the “i icon” & when selected it will open a small window at the top right with a zoom in line on its bottom. You can drag this line left & right to zoom in & out for the main picture. If you wish to move to the top or bottom of the map etc, simply grab the map screen with your mouse and its left button and drag the map up, down, left or right.
If you select the “i” icon at the top right it will open up an information window showing info added for that pictures which may include a text link that will allow you to see and/or download GPS, GPX files etc. You need to select the text & paste onto your browser window. Also it will show the date the photo was taken, its size in pixels, MegaBytes & what camera/phone was used. If you stay in the “i” mode you can move left or right to next photo & it will auto display any info
Captions. These are entered into the “i” view window when logged in. For viewing mode the caption can be seen in the “i” window or in normal viewing mode you can see the caption (if there is one) on the bottom of each photo. Moving between photos is as simple as selecting the arrow that appears on the left or right of each picture.
Comments. In viewing albums and pictures you can comment at the bottom of the Album or Picture by selecting the Comment field to the right of the Caption (if any). Comments will only be successful if you log into your Google (Gmail) account
GPS gpx files
Most GPS devices and software will enable GPS data in files to be exchanged in the gpx format. These days all new Garmin devices log and import/export data in this format
You can download GPS data in a range of formats including, gpx, kml, kmz, Oziexplorer plt, etc or direct export to a Garmin device. When registered (its free) you can upload your own trip data
All Trails – Canberra This searches for any walking or cycling tracks around Canberra on its site
Map My Walk You need to register for free to use it. This allows you to map your walk online and have it shown on Google Maps. You can import or export in gpx and/or kml format to Garmin or other devices. This site works alongside Map My Rides and you can logon to both with the same logon
Another similar free site used by bikers or walkers is Strava. You can login with your email or Facebook account
For Garmin GPS devices an Australian company also offer a DVD/SD set of Australian road/contour maps that you can load on a PC to work with Garmin’s Mapsource/Basecamp software as well as install on the GPS in an SD card.This is OzTopo
Another Australian Company, OziExplorer, has produced this local software that runs on PC’s Netbooks, Handheld CE devices and now Android phone/tablets for tracking and travelling in remote areas. As it more readily enables various map formats to be loaded it has become more useful for cyclists and walkers
Johnny Boy (Pastor John Evans of Eternity Church in Tuggeranong) has a blog with amazing details of walks around the ACT. He also has a couple of pages on use of GPS’s and mapping. See his Armchair Bushwalking and Google Earth & KMZ Files. His GPS101: Effective use of Your GPS. Its a pdf file you can view online or download. His Setup Advice for a Garmin Oregon 650 GPS
Converting kml/kmz files to gpx files
There is a range of software that can do this. Oziexplorer can do it for a kml file but you have to buy it for $130. Oziexplorer is also complex to use
GPS Babel can do it and it’s free. GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data. However it does not always install easily
There is also the Log Converter that will convert from kml to gpx and its easier to use than GPS Babel. Its a simple exe file
OK so what is the process to turn a Google Earth kml or kmz file into a gpx file that you can load into your GPS device
Obviously you need to have downloaded the kmz file and have Google Earth open. Firstly open the file in Google Earth (GE) (double click on it if you can see the file in a file manager program). It takes a while to open. When open in GE it will appear in the Temporary Places. You can either save it in GE to My places and rename, click on the properties of the waypoints and track(s) ie change colour etc or simply, or just right click on the highlighted entry in the Places window and select Save Place As and choose appropriate location and name as well as a kml file type. Then load the kml file into the chosen converter software, say GPS Babel, and then re save as a gpx file. Babel has many options for input and output. Choose the GPX XML option. If you are going to use the file in a Garmin device you could choose Garmin gdb. You will probably find any waypoints will be exported as a single default style and tracks all the same default style and colour
This is a partially free program that allows you to maps GPS maps, import and export varying file formats and edit GPS file using different base maps including Google maps.
How to use Mapedit on You Tube
How to use Google Maps with Mapedit 13MByte avi file download. This Tutorial demonstrates how to download the Google maps tiles and then use them in GPSmapedit for POI creation for making custom maps of Garmin devices
Accessing and Using NSW SIX Maps and Other Options
Information on how to access SIX maps and how to download 1:25000 topo maps in pdf format for free as well as how to use SIX Maps on line. You can also see a catalogue of 1:25,000/50,000 NSW topo maps and even order on line. Note they are no longer printing some little used topo maps. It is also possible to buy topo maps through bushwalking stores and at the Lifeline Bookfairs they hold 3 times a year, where they sell them for $1 second hand. However the most popular maps go quickly so you would want to go there early on a Friday. They also sell some of the older outdated 1:50,000 that covered Kosciuszko National Park
Go to Six Maps (i.e. http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/). Tick the little box that you agree and then you should see a big map of NSW.
Learning by way of an example: Finding One Tree Hill (ACT) on a map.
Double click with your mouse (or other device) until you zoom in and can clearly see say Lake George (LG). Or you can type Canberra into the search bar on the top left. (OK why not type in One Tree Hill. Well there are a lot of One Tree Hills in NSW making it hard to go straight there.)
OK so you’re elsewhere or in Central Canberra. Then click on the screen and drag the mouse around until you can see a large Lake George or Hall village.
You should be in an aerial coloured view which is the default.
You should be able to see Gungahlin on the left hand side or at the top. Once you have that, drag the map around so you can see the loop road of Horse Park Drive between middle of Gungahlin and Casey. Stands out like a sore thumb. Keep zooming and repositioning so the Horse Park Rd loop occupies the right half of the screen. You should be able to see Hall on the lower left hand side and the track along the border north from it should be obvious. To see One Tree Hill (OTH) you will need to zoom in a fair way and the Horse Park loop should drop away down below to the bottom right.
That’s probably too far as you won’t see anything west, so zoom out a bit click on the selector on the top right BASEMAPS and it will open another selector. The default option is NSW Imagery. Then select instead NSW Maps (you can click on the option or drag the bar on the right from top to bottom, same result). If you have it correct you will see a simple map with the border and OTH shown. You can drag it around until you see that point. Have a look for several peaks to the west in the range from north to west from OTH and less than 10km away. The map view is not that fantastic, so on the selector at the top right click on Basemaps then Looking for 1943 Imagery? Another selector should pop out to the left. Now choose Topo Maps (Current). You should now be able to better see peaks around OTH.
Co-ordinates and Printing
You can use the Dock Tool toolbar across the middle top of the map screen to select various features and download data.
For instance you can select the Eyeglass option (Print PDF tool) to select to create a PDF map version of the view you are in and download it as a pdf file.
Or you can select the XY Option (Co-ordinate tool). Here you select that tool with the mouse and it opens a co-ordinate window. You then select a point with a mouse (say One Tree Hill trig, it won’t be accurate unless you zoom right in) and it will offer geographic co-ordinates in degrees i.e. Latitude -35.142141 Longitude 149.091324. Yes degrees down to 6 decimal places. However for topo map reading for walkers UTM is more useful. Select the Geographic label and choose GDA94 – MGA55. It also offers MGA 54 and 56 which are for zones well away from ACT. The others are unknown although DMS is the degrees, minutes and seconds option. It will then give you a UTM reading which can be programmed into GPS devices. For OTH say Easting 690520.571 Northing 6109191.918. For practical purposes these would be rounded to give a UTM reading of 55H 690521 6109192. This could be loaded into a GPS. For older style map reading this would be equivalent to Grid Reference ie GR 905 092 which comes from 2-4th digits of the easting and the 3-5th digits of the northing. These are thus directly plottable on a normal topographic map.
Further Information on UTM – GDA94 & GDA2020
Things are changing in this area with GeoScience Australia introducing a new datum called GDA2020. This is due to the Australia as a continent having moved 1.6m north east since GDA94 was introduced. Read about it here.
Free Topographic Maps in pdf Format
If you want a free pdf map of the area go to https://six.nsw.gov.au/ Select Map Store and launch. Then zoom in on the large map until you can see the area NW of Hall. Should be Bedullock and Hall. On select a map to the right it should show BEDULLUCK or HALL1:25000. Then select PDF and download it. Do the same for Hall as it’s the one below Bedulluck and shows One Tree Hill. However don’t bother printing them. If you have a tablet you could load the maps onto that and carry the tablet if you going in that area. Of course you could do the same thing if you are going to Mt Kosciuszko, Mt Jagungal, or anywhere you wish to explore.
You can access the right map through the main Catalogue Map which shows which maps can have a purchases printed copy or which are only available in digital format. You can also select a map through the select or search function window.
They state that the pdf free maps can be used with Mac and Smart Phones.
GPSoz also sell Ozraster which is a digital version of all NSW topo maps similar to the NSW SIX topo maps that can be viewed in Oziexplorer either PC or Tablet version or Android version. Its $59 for USB Flash drive version for all NSW topo maps.
There are other options becoming available.
Memory Map sells Australian topographic maps that can work on PC, Mac, IOS and Android devices. I am unsure how accurate or usable these are. This lady, Caro Ryan uses Memory Map software and maps for hiking purposes.
I found on the Caro’s site, lotsafreshair.com this information from Keith:
“I’ve used many different mapping apps & software on my android phones over the years and many different Garmin units and various car units & still kept searching for the GPS Holy Grail.
Well I think I’ve just about found it … it sure is close to perfect for just about everything for hiking and much more … lacks some mapping in Australia but that is being sorted out … just a case of getting the respective State Governments to follow through with licensing their mapping.
If you travel overseas then for a very small price you may find that country’s mapping as a separate app e.g. New Zealand.
Back to Australia following is a list of mapping available in the free and Pro versions of the app…but if you want to download the tiles for your area of interest then you need the Pro version for a paltry $13AUD, much cheaper than Garmin mapping I’ve purchased.
It’s called “Australia Topo Maps” and is distributed by Atlogis…….I purchased the Pro version within an hour of starting to use the free, it was that good … ” Australia Topo Maps” …cost $13 …the best mapping money I have ever spent.
Included FREE map layers:
• NATMAP 1:250.000 Topo Maps, latest edition, enriched with hill shading and additional placenames
• Australia Base Map: Seamless national dataset for whole of Australia. Very detailed
• Queensland Topo Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• New South Wales Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• Tasmania Maps: High resolution topographic maps
• OpenStreetMaps: These crowdsourced maps are a very useful addition to other map layers. Contains many unique features.
• OpenCycleMaps: These maps are ideal to plan bicycle trips and Hiking
• Geological Map (for biologists, geologists, miners, etc)
• ESRI Topographic, • ESRI Aerial Images, • ESRI Street Map
• Google Road Map (online access only), • Google Satellite Images (online access only)
• Google Terrain Map (online access only), • Bing Road Map (online access only)
• Bing Satellite Images (online access only), • Earth At Night
• Hill shading overlay, • Transport/Infrastructure overlay”