25 March 2005 Bushfold Flats from Booroomba Rocks Carpark Photos

Maps: Corin Dam 8626-1N Second Edition 1:25000, Williamsdale 8726-4N Second Edition 1:25000
Getting There

Drive through Canberra's southern suburbs to Tharwa.  Reset your trip meter.  Continue south along Naas Road, past the Namadgi Visitor Centre.  At 10.4km, turn right into Apollo Road.  Watch out for roos and rabbits. At 19.1km (8.7km from the turn off and 400m before Honeysuckle Campground), turn right onto a gravel road to Booroomba Rocks Carpark.  Drive a further 3km, making a total trip of 22.2km.

I certainly needed this walk.  After 2 weeks of house guests and 2 weeks on a P&O cruise to New Zealand, I was busting to have a wander.  A club walk didn't eventuate, so I did this walk solo.


Bushfold Flats and the climb over the little range to its west is number 10 in Graeme Barrow's Namadgi and Tidbinbilla Classics: Tough Bushwalks in Canberra's High Country.

I left home at 6am and by 6.30am the first light of day was showing and I was down past Tharwa.  It was a slower drive than usual, as the roos and bunnies deserved a little more respect in the half light.  The air was crisp at the Booroomba Rocks car park, as the sun had not yet risen over Deadmans Hill.  There were warning signs including 'Walkers are advised not to attempt the Alps Trail between Booroomba Rocks and Mt Tennent' and 'Please be advised that the AAWT walking track between Booroomba Rocks Carpark and Mt Tennent is currently unmarked.  Advanced Navigation Skills required.  Track work to begin March 2005', but with my maps and compass, GPS, EPIRB and packet of Home Brand fruit rings, I was game for anything.

I was walking by just after 7am.  Why do tracks have to start by toilets?  The AAWT is a generous pad at first, degenerating after a time as it heads down the unnamed creek gully.  Pink strips marked the track at intervals and they eventually gave out.  By 7.30am the sun had risen from behind the hill.  At 7.45am I crossed the junction of the unnamed creek and Booroomba Creek and headed for the saddle leading to the southern end of Bushfold Flats.  I must have been lucky, as I didn't check map or compass or GPS, but came across more marker tape.  I soon crossed the remains of the dog proof fence and by 8.15am met the track going north up the cleared Bushfold Flats.

It was cool walking as the sun was now behind Mt Tennent.  To the west was a lovely view of Deadmans Hill, Booroomba Rocks and the objective range with 1240m top.  There were plenty of roos on the flats.

By 8.40am I was at the tall shelter hut described in Graeme Barrow's book - alas, the frige and stove were still there, but that's all.  The bushfire had done its damage and the corrugated iron walls and roof were a neatly stacked pile on the ground. 8.50am saw me along the trail at Georges Creek and 9.00am at Blue Gum Creek.  I stopped for 15 minutes and had a bite to eat.

There was nothing to do but to start heading up, 1.6km at 193°M to the 1220m feature.  It was quite a pull, but reasonably open vegetation.  I crossed the old dog proof fence at 9.30am (only shown on first edition maps) and reached the feature by 10.20am.  I was standing there minding my own business when a wombat waddled past.  I don't know who got the biggest fright, but he sure scurried to his burrow.

Another 10 minutes saw me down the saddle, then up the other side to the 1240m feature.  A little pile of rocks, rather than an X, marked the spot.  Quite grand views all around - east to Mt Tennent, west to Booroomba Rocks and north down the steep ridge I'd come up.  Black Mountain tower could be spotted through the haze in central Canberra and Tuggeranong suburbs closer by.  I stopped for 5 minutes.

I initially headed down on 131°M, then veered right - no point going back to the saddle, then having to retrace to cross Booroomba Creek.  11.15am saw me crossing that creek, then the unnamed creek.  Thanks to wonderful navigation (or luck) I picked up an AAWT pink marker, then the trail itself.  A lot easier going back than the outward leg, with the AAWT crossing and recrossing the creek.  Don't know why it was so much easier to follow - better light, looking up the track?

By 12.01pm I was back at the car.  There were certainly more cars about than when I arrived, most groups heading up to Booroomba Rocks.  I made a cuppa and enjoyed my second salad roll.

A really good walk, with plenty of variety and good views from the top of the feature.  Glad I did it.

Distance: 11.8km  Time: 7.00am-12 noon, with 20 minutes of stops and the usual pauses to take snaps.

1 Deadmans Hill, Booroomba Rocks and 1240m feature 2 Blue Gum Creek 3 Booroomba Rocks