ACT News


Oaks Estate's river walk is a life changing experience

Karl Steiner and his blue heeler, Sheba, can't imagine what they'd do if they weren't able to walk along the banks of the Molongolo and Queanbeyan rivers every day.

"We live in a unit so, for a start, there'd be a big mess," the 50-year-old whose life hasn't always gone to plan told Fairfax.

"This was a big factor in my decision to take her [Sheba] on. If this wasn't here I wouldn't be able to have her."

Sheba, now six, belonged to one of the area's more notorious identities when Mr Steiner began walking her.

"I thought she was going to Queensland [with him] but she ended up on my doorstep," he said. "When I asked what was going on I was told `she wants to be with you'."

Their regular walk, often shared with Mr Steiner's five-year-old niece, is a part of the Oaks Estate river corridor heritage trail formally opened by ACT MLA Tara Cheyne on Tuesday.


Ms Cheyne said the 2.4km trail along the two rivers gave walkers safe access to a range of heritage sites.

"By providing a formal trail we are ensuring residents can continue to use the area for recreation without putting the natural environment at risk," she said.

"It connects Gillespie Park to points of interest including the junction of the Molongolo and Queanbeyan Rivers, the original Queanbeyan railway bridge and historic river crossing points."

A part of the 2014 Oaks Estate Masterplan, the trail is one of a number of recent and ongoing developments designed to make Oaks Estate, which has been described as the ACT's "forgotten suburb", a better place to live and visit.

The Gillespie Park toilet block is due to be completed in January, 2017, and increased QCity Transit bus services were rolled out in July.

The trail infrastructure includes new stone steps to the Queanbeyan River, steps along the trail, seating and picnic facilities.

Mr Steiner said he and Sheba were looking forward to sharing their daily walk, already a social experience, with new people.

"On some days we've met up to four and five people and their dogs walking along here," he said. "Having this [so close by] is one reason I wouldn't want to leave here."