State of the Environment Report 2007
Snapshot: Canberra Tracks – on the trail of our heritage
The ACT is rich in Indigenous and historical heritage. To make it more accessible to visitors and locals, three self-drive Heritage Trails called Canberra Tracks, were launched in 2006. These tracks link existing attractions, each with signage about the story they tell. There are three distinct themes:
- Ngunnawal Country, starting at the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre, tells the local Indigenous story, covering at least 20,000 years;
- The Limestone Plains looks at the pastoral history from the 1820s until this area was chosen as the national capital in 1911; and
- Looking at Canberra, takes you to the hilltops to see the stunning views whilst orienting the visitor and revealing the dramatic and purposeful development of the capital.
Experiencing our natural, Indigenous and historic heritage first hand helps develop understanding, appreciation and valuing of all its facets. Driving along the tracks, getting out and walking parts of them, using the interpretive material, gives us a better feel for our past and a personal experience relating to the history of our region.
For both tourists and locals, the awareness and education engendered by the tracks ensures our heritage is celebrated, seen as worth conserving and, so, better managed and supported.
The next steps will include addition of a fourth self-drive trail – the ACT Pioneers Cemetery. A Canberra Tracks website and more written material is yet to be completed.
Arriving at consensus amongst the local Aboriginal community on interpretation of local stories is amongst the challenges to be addressed. But the program is both on track and well down that track.