Red Hill, Canberra


I’m coming to you this week from Red Hill. I come up here quite regularly. In previous years, I’ve been a regular up here for walking during the daylight savings months, as I have an hour and a half to spend not far from here, one night of the week, waiting for one of my daughter’s out-of-school activities to finish. This year, I often find I’m trying to write a blog post and end up doing that instead of walking. Not so good for me, but that’s what I get for starting a blog I guess.

For those of you who don’t know Canberra, Red Hill is a hill, as the name suggests. It is also, as the name suggests, red. Or at least, the soil is (most of Canberra soils are not so red). The information signage up here tells me that it was cleared and used as grazing land before Canberra was built, and before the trees were re-planted all over it, it was much more noticeably red from a distance. Nowadays it’s just another tree’d hill. It is one of the trio of hills surrounding the city centre, although it is the smallest and furthest of the three (the other two being Black Mountain and Mount Ainslie). Even so, from up here you can get quite a good view (around the trees) over various bits of Canberra. Out one side (which is basically looking east) you get a view out toward the airport and further around towards Queanbeyan. If you get in the right spot (or stop at the first lookout point on the road before you get to the final carpark), you can see out over Civic and the Parliamentary Triangle.

View from Red Hill, looking east(ish) towards the airport.

On the other side the view is even more tree-obscured. The new suburbs in Weston Creek are pretty easy to spot out that side. Woden isn’t visible from here, you need to walk across to the next hill for a clear view of Woden. It has been quite cloudy out the west side the last few times I’ve been up here and I haven’t got a terribly good shot of Weston Creek for you. I have a nice cloud shot for you though.

Ruptures in the space-time continuum.

There is (or rather, was) a restaurant and cafe at the top here. Pre-COVID, the cafe used to do a roaring trade on Saturday mornings, but I’m not convinced there was ever anyone in the cafe any other time of the week. Both it and the restaurant are now closed and the building is fenced off. I guess COVID proved too much. There still seems to be a moderate number of people coming up here of an evening, however. It is a popular location for walks, with several walk options.

The actual view west(ish), with Curtin in the near distance and Weston Creek behind that, with the Brindabella ranges in the background.

One evening I’ll take the camera with me and do the walk across to the Trig point on the next hill over. It’s a bit of a walk when you’re as unfit as I am – quite a steep descent down to the saddle and then a moderately steep and constant ascent to the top of the next hill. In previous years the view from the trig point has been much less obscured by trees (probably necessary for to to function as a trig point, as a guess) and I should be able to get some unobstructed panorama shots from there. it is further to the east, however, which may mean it is further from the interesting bits of the panorama. However, I can but go and see. Not today, however. It is very cool and extremely windy tonight, so I don’t think it’s a good choice. With the sun slowly setting, it wouldn’t be ideal either.

Panorama from Civic (far right) around to Queanbeyan (far left) – Projection: Equirectangular (2) FOV: 165 x 46 Ev: 12.94

When I was here last week, in keeping with my current playing around with panoramas, I took a panorama shot of the view to the north, which I’ll attach below. It was an interesting shot, with scattered clouds giving an atmospheric patchwork effect over the suburbs. I took some cloud shots looking to the south, but it was very cloudy in that diretion so I didn’t bother trying a panorama that way. Tonight is even cloudier, so I guess I’m not doing the panorama out that side tonight either.

I also came up here on the night of the blood moon to get some moonrise shots – sadly I missed the actual break of the moon over the hill, which is a shame as it would have been quite good. From Canberra it was only a slight pink at that time of the evening, but the moon rising over the mountain range in the distance was quite pretty. I do have more/better photos of the blood moon, and I’ll post about it another time.

View out over the airport with the blood moon rising. The conversion to a JPG hasn’t done this image any favours, as it has lost some of its dynamic range. The airport lights are move visible in the raw image.

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