|3 January 2005
|Granite Tors (former Geodetic Observatory)
|Maps: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S Second Edition 1:25000, Environment ACT Namadgi Guide
I did this walk to check out a new walking buddy, David B - he whipped me uphill, but my knees were better for downhill! Drive from Weston Creek via the southern suburbs through Tharwa. Turn right into Orroral Road just after the top of Fitz's Hill and drive to the former Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station. All sealed road, about 50 km and 1 hour's drive.
This walk is number 6 on the Namadgi National Park map, Walks on walking tracks. It is rated as '7km return (3 hours), but can be completed a little quicker than that if so desired. We left Canberra at 6am and started walking at 7am, as I needed to be back in town by lunchtime. Also, it's more pleasant walking in the cool of the morning on a summer's day.
Walk from the car park to the Walk Register, then up the path to the Cotter Hut Road. The signage for this walk points to 11 o'clock and we set off up a very distinct track/old vehicular track. It climbs reasonably steeply, but it's easy walking. The view of the Orroral Valley floor and the tors on the eastern side open up as the track is climbed. The track then contours for a while, then more gently up along James Creek. Several large granite features are passed and there are views to the south-west of Orroral Hill and distinctive rocks on its north-west spur. The track flattens, then arrives at Nm C 106, at 1327 metres.
The former Geodetic Observatory and its signage is well worth checking out. The view is very nice and we enjoyed a cuppa (first in-anger use of my new MSR Whisperlite) and a snack. Whilst we we sitting, a ranger arrived - with his pet (nearly pure bred) dingo. He was checking out signs of movement of wild dogs, as they had been bothering users at the Nursery Swamp car park. Unfortunately, they need to be trapped and shot. I was pleased to hear that the wild dogs are usually just inquisitive and not necessarily aggressive, as a bushwalking club story had put the wind up me when walking alone.
We wandered back down the track to the car and were back in town by 10.30am.
Distance: 7km Time: 7-9.30am, with 30 minute stop.
1 Signage on Orroral Geodetic Observatory
2 View down to Orroral Valley Tracking Station
3 Ranger's pet dingo