7 December 2005 Wild Cattle and Ballinafad Creeks Photos
Maps: Tinderry 8726-1S 1:25000, Kain 8826-4S 1:25000
Getting There
This walk was organised as a Wednesday walk by the combined CBC/FBI/NPA clubs and led by Peter W:
(' Wed 7 Dec -Wild Cattle and Ballinafad Creeks – 14 km Med (11) Leader: Peter W. This walk will be different from the other walk in the area about a year ago, in that we will go higher up the creeks. We will leave the cars on the fire trail at GR246484, go 1 km south down to the creek, then do a curcuit up Balllanifad Creek and back down Wild Cattle Creeks. Tussocky creek flats, and open forest with rare scattered light scrub. Total climb 360 m. Average altitude about 1100 m so temp may be about  25oc. Maps: Tinderry, Kain. Cars: 120 km ($12). Meet at the Queenbeyan Swimming pool at 8:30 am. Predicted weather in Canberra 600 m altitude. Showers with a possible thunderstorm. Min: 16 Max:27.').

The weather forecast and a huge thunderstorm going round to the south of Canberra at 7.30am led us to believe that we'd have a wetting some time during the day, but it turned out to be dry and cool - perfect for walking.  We met at the Queanbeyan Swimming Pool.  11 of us walked.  We drove to Captains Flat, then a further 7km south to a T-intersection.  Right here and in a further around 5km.  Then left onto a fairly scratchy fire trail.  We left the cars at GR244481 (AMG66 - 1st edition map).


We were walking by 9.40am.  Quite a nice selection of wildflowers on display.  It was a pleasure to walk through the open eucalypt forest, with trees tall and green and unburnt.  We headed down just east of south for around 1.5km and came upon the beautiful green river flats of Wild Cattle Creek.  We turned more to the east to follow up the swiftly flowing creek, practising our creek crossing on several occasions.

A couple of hundred metres up a particularly wide and green section of the flats, we came upon signs of civilisation at 10.35am - an old, rusted out Bedford tray truck.  A few minutes later I picked the largest mushroom I've ever seen.  Even without the stalk it weighed in at 300gm when I brought it home and measured 19cm in diameter.  Yum!!  At 10.45am and around GR257466 (AMG66), we came upon the rusted out remains of a eucalyptus oil still and, a couple of minutes later, a securely fenced around apple tree.

The magic morning tea hour of 11am arrived and we paused for a bite of sustenance and a swill of refreshment, each to his or her own liking.

At 11.40am and around GR263451 a magnificent pair of hugely tall conifers came into view.  Along with other exotic trees, it obviously marked a centre of habitation.  The abandoned little farmhouse was positioned on the other side of the trees, along with foxgloves blooming in the garden.  We had a brief poke around.

We continued on SE from here, meandering up the gently rolling ground to Spot Height 1173.  Our trusty leader spotted a wombat, unconcerned by our passing.  Lunch was taken at 12.20pm, again out on the charming green flats.

Having reached the furthest point of our wander, we turned west and north to loop back to the abandoned farmhouse, then west and north across rolling timbered areas and down green grass creek beds to finally reach the flats of Ballinafed Creek.  Across a forestry track, down the creek to its confluence with Wild Cattle Creek (a lovely camping spot!) and up 140m through dryer timber to reach the cars at 2.55pm.

All in all, a delightful stroll in a delightful area and well worth the drive of over an hour from Queanbeyan.

Distance: 13.0km   Climb: 500m total in undulations.  Time: 9.40am - 2.55pm (call it 5.25 hours) with 45 minutes of breaks.

1 Wild Cattle Creek Flats
2 Long abandoned farmhouse
3 Ballinafad Creek