|21 May 2005
|Fishing Gap - Billy Billy Rocks - Smokers Gap Crossover
|Maps: Tidbinbilla 8627-2S Second Edition 1:25000; Corin Dam 8626-1N Second Edition 1:25000
This walk was a CBC walk led by Rob and Jenny H. 14 of us walked. We swapped cars at Point Hut Crossing, with half of the group going to Smokers Gap and the rest of us to Fishing Gap car park in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
We were through the Reserve gates, at the car park and walking by 9.10am. It was a brisk pace up the fire trail to Fishing Gap. I was walking with the leader and I tried to slow him down by asking short questions (so I could continue breathing) which required long answers. But you can't keep a good man down and we reached the gap at 10.00am (15 minutes quicker than my last time!).
We then headed south up the spur, with great views across to Billy Billy rocks and other outcrops and views down into the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Behind us Mt Domain was clearly identifiable and my favourite Tidbinbilla Ridge. Ahead lay 'Rogers Knoll', which we reached at 11am for morning tea. The scrub is recovering rapidly, with eucalypt suckers and wattles growing up everywhere. The day contained some reasonable climbs and I surprised myself with my increased fitness since Tassie a few weeks ago.
We received another 'diggers briefing' - how long to go to the next meal stop; this time it was to be a prominent rocky outcrop to the west of Billy Billy Rocks where we met the party coming the other way. A stiff climb saw us there at 12.30pm and we exchanged car keys and pleasantries. But they'd finished lunch, so took off to skip down the hills we'd panted up (they had their fair share of up, too). The reward for our toil and our leader's excellent walk planning and navigation was lunch enjoyed with magnificent views all round. Our rock slabs were at the head of the Tidbinbilla Valley which was ringed with its impressive ridges; west lay the Cotter Valley and Brindabella Range; and north gave a different view of Mt Domain, Tidbinbilla Mountain, Tidbinbilla Peak, Johns Peak and Camels Hump.
Next we headed east and north to the western end of Billy Billy Rocks. No time to explore, but these western terraces and skyscraper boulders were impressive enough to me as a first time visitor. Our leader's advice was to return with someone experienced at the Rocks to find the best entrance line. Again, great views down into the valley and to the surrounding ridges.
Next stop was a cave, where excavations and carbon-dating have revealed that it has been used by aboriginals for nearly 800 years. No doubt many a Bogong Moth has been consumed there.
Another around 2km saw us to the cars at Smokers Gap car park. Drove to Point Hut Crossing to rendezvous with the other party and so home. This was an excellent and challenging walk of the high standard always maintained by these leaders.
Total Distance: 10.3km Time: 9.10am - 3.40pm with 1 hour of stops.
|1 View from west to north from lunch spot
|2 Tidbinbilla Ridge from the south
|3 Mushroom shaped rock