Five Hills Run

10 April 2018 / Words: Martin Robertson, Photos: Norm Barker

The first run for the year was the annual 5 Hills Run and was held on the 14 January, with 16 cars, NA, NB, NC and ND all turning up, most with a co-pilot. It serves as an easy start to the year and a good chance for new members to join in.

After some preliminary chit-chat at Russell Defence Central, I called the group to order and issued the route instructions and a quiz sheet - more about the quiz later.

At about 5:40pm under clear skies, warm weather and a brisk breeze, we headed off towards ADFA and Mt Pleasant - our first stop. We had a bit of a leg-stretch after the 5 minute journey, checked-out the view across Lake Burley Griffin and then drove to the lookout atop Mt Ainslie. Paul Beerworth gave me a run-down on the history of this annual drive. Apparently, this was the 16th anniversary of the hills drive. First it was a 4 hills run, then it became the 5 hills, then 6 hills, all without going to the arboretum and Dairy Hill, before its' current format.

Many of the participants gave up on my quiz at this point. "If you’re not in it, you can’t win it" is my motto. We drove on to Black Mountain, without a stop, driving around the car park and under the walkway which leads to Black Mountain Tower. Back down the mountain, around the Lake and thence to Dairy Hill in the Canberra Arboretum. The wind was dropping (along with the sun) by now and after much car shuffling to fit everyone in, we enjoyed the view looking back across the Lake to the 3 hills we had just visited. Peter Coonan pointed out the highlights from his childhood in the valley below to the west - he grew up on the property at Coppins Crossing.

Lastly we drove across Scrivener Dam and called in at Red Hill for a photo shoot before descending to the lake shore at Lennox Gardens. The wind had almost gone by then and a very pleasant picnic was had by all. My quiz was not well received, and what seemed easy to me (aided by a clever computer) was very hard for drivers and their co-pilots. Roz Barker was the well-earned winner. And we got to see the sun set in one of the best cities in the world.