|12 October 2005
|Rendezvous Creek and Aboriginal Rock Art
|Map: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S Second Edition 1:25000
I did this walk solo, the open grasslands safe enough to walk alone. I left home at 6.45am and drove down through Tharwa along the Boboyan Road to the Rendezvous Creek crossing. A couple of hundred metres after the bridge, there's a dirt entrance on the right up off the road to a car park area. A bit washed out - mind it in a 2WD. 53.5km from Weston Creek.
This walk is number 14 in Graeme Barrow's Namadgi and Tidbinbilla Classics: Tough Bushwalks in Canberra's High Country. I had a couple of objectives - to have a safe wander on a lovely Spring day, to walk the lower part of the Rendezvous Creek valley and grasslands and to join up a couple of previous walks (I have this fixation for my walk tracks to cover the ACT from south to north and I'm like a dog with a bone!).
I started in style by crossing the stile at 7.35am, following the old farm road out onto the beautiful, open, green grasslands. A little surprise after a couple of kilometres, with the sighting of a wild dog. I think it was more surprised than me and it quickly headed away down towards Rendezvous Creek. Split Rock, the major feature of Cotter Rocks, was just visible at the northern head of the valley and Mt Namadgi reared to the west before it was eclipsed by the SW ridge of the valley. A ring of fresh mushrooms caused me to empty my lunch into my pack from its box and fill it with the choicest ones.
Hundreds of roos covered the grasslands. I reached the ruins of Rowleys Rendezvous Creek Hut (burnt in the Jan 2003 firestorms) at 8.20am, having wandered 4.1km. With Barrow's book to hand I walked on, but the fire damage had destroyed all signage leading from the track to the rock shelter. I realised by around 8.50am that I'd gone past the turnoff the track. I was up in the scrub, but had past the line between Mt Herlt and the prominent marker rocks on the NE ridge mentioned in the book. So I did a sweep back to the SE looking for large rocks and, within 400m, found the shelter.
The surroundings were not quite like the picture in the book - all the protective fencing had been destroyed. But the aboriginal art is intact and looks great. I took some pics, but didn't walk into the shelter. The other side of the rock shelter is spectacular, too. I soon found the signage on the downhill side and there were a couple of marker tapes for the path up from the track. At 9.20am I wandered down to the open area and track and took some pics to identify the turnoff for a future visit.
My next objective was to continue on up the creek (without a paddle) to reach the area walked on 23 Sep. Easy walking, first up the open woodland, then across flats on Rendezvous creek at a fence line, then up the eastern side of the creek in the scrub for 1 hour. An obvious foot pad in places. Once again, my GPS was playing up, so I went further up the valley than I need to, to around GR755492 (MGA94).
I turned back at 10.20am, crossed back to the western side of Rendezvous Creek at 10.40am at the top of the flats and reached the yards by the hut site at 11.25am. Rather than filled with sheep or cattle, there were tens of roos resting in the shaded area. But the gate was long gone and they bounded out as I approached.
The next objective was to join up with a southern walk, where I came down off the SW ridge near Pheasant Creek on 5 Dec 04. Conveniently, there's a fence line which runs from the hut site SSW down the edge of the grasslands (on the second edition map, but not on the first). So I wandered along it to the gullies south of Pheasant Creek, around 1.4km.
Having done all I'd wanted to, I headed south east to a wooded knoll, then eastish to join the track. Back at the car by 12.35pm and had some lunch.
Time: 7.35am - 12.35pm, with no stops.
On the way home I drove to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to check out arrangements for next Saturday's group walk.
|1 Rendezvous Creek with Split Rock at far end
|2 Mother and child
|3 Rendezvous Creek aboriginal rock art shelter