29 January 2005 Orroral Valley to Honeysuckle Creek and return Photos
Maps: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S Second Edition 1:25000, Corin Dam 8626-1N Second Edition 1:25000
Getting There

Drive from Weston Creek via the southern suburbs to Tharwa (24km).  Continue along the Naas Road, which becomes the Boboyan Road.  Pass the Apollo Road turnoff at 34.5km.  At 41.7km, 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 51.1 km and 1 hour's drive.  Mind the kangaroos on the road early and late - they are present at a high stocking rate.


I wanted to do this walk for two reasons - to cover a bit more of the AAWT and to link two areas in which I'd already walked.  I did this walk solo.  It was forecast to be a warm day of 30degC in Canberra with afternoon thunderstorms, so I started early.  I left home at 5.45am and was walking by 6.40am.

The mist was clearing from the valley floor and the sun painting the tops of the ridges.  You could call it cool before body (and air) temperature rose.  A nice stroll up Cotter Hut Road for a km or so, then across the Orroral River valley to the bridge.  No fishing upstream.  The Link Track/AAWT then began to rise gently, then steeply.  When the contour lines are close, it's steep!  I was already glad of the shade on the track and sucking at the 2 litres of water I was carrying.

There was plenty of bird life - galahs, kookaburras, currawongs, rosellas, magpies and lots of smaller birds I don't know.  The granite rocks everywhere were fantastic.  At last the track levelled a bit and by 8.15am I had reached the Orroral Ridge Road.  I took it to the left and up the last kilometre to the Nm C 105 feature and the colimation tower (site).  Walking to the edge of the ridge revealed great views down into Orroral Valley and to the ridges on the western side.

I retraced my steps to the junction and continued down to Honeysuckle Creek, which I reached at 9.20am.  Excellent views to the boulder feature south of Honeysuckle Creek with its two rock platforms.  Took the Booroomba Rocks track for 400 metres until it met the AAWT, which I then took left (south) back to where it meets the Orroral Ridge Road.  A Ranger stopped for a chat.

Then the trudge back up to Orroral ridge.  I left the road just north-west of the U-bend and headed bush along the ridge to the 'boulder' features.  It must be a popular trip, as the ridge-line path was marked with small cairns.  Great views from the first boulder area and the second boulder is absolutely huge.  It can be seen from the tracking station area, like a big nob sticking up above the tree line.  Just when I planned to come down off the ridge, a very obvious footpad presented itself and took me nearly all the way down to the Link Track/AAWT.

With the sun starting to beat down and soles of my feet getting a bit tender from the gravel track, I skidded down the steep areas I'd plodded up a few hours earlier.  Finally back across the bridge and the (seemingly) long-ish loop back to the car.  Met another Ranger.  I arrived at 12.30pm and ate lunch and made a couple of cups of coffee.

Distance: 23.2km  Time: 6.35am-12.30pm, with 15 minutes of stop.

1 Mist clearing from the northern Orroral Valley 2 View from Orroral Ridge 3 Water dragon on Orroral River bridge