|9 January 2007
|Emu Flat and upper Blue Gum Creek from Smokers Trail; William Farrer's Grave
|Map: Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as a private Tuesday walk. Drive to Smokers Trail car park, via the Corin Dam Road and the marked turnoff on the left after crossing Gibraltar Creek. Two companions were kind enough to join me, leaving home at 7am. Canberra forecast 29°C.
The other Tuesday walk leader was not available, so I put this together: From the Smokers Trail car park, follow Smokers Trail 1.5km S until it starts to bend away to the W. Pick up the old dog proof fence and continue S along the edge of the more open area, passing through SH 1452. Follow the wiggles in the fence (or otherwise) to the open area to the NW of the map marked Emu Flat. Continue on to the Map marked Emu Flat area. Follow a spur to the NNE to the SE corner of the dog proof fence. Wander generally NNE through the more open areas across the top of Blue Gum Creek. Turn W, through SH 1292 and back to the cars. Around 12.6km, 450m total climb, rated M/M,X; M(9) (I haven't been here before).
We were walking by 7.45am. The morning was deliciously cool (if not crisp) but, unfortunately, smoke hazed from Victoria. We talked about extending to Blue Gum Hill (Mt Lincoln) but the views would not have been so good and we would have missed most of the creek flats we'd seen on 5 Sep 06 and walking them was one of my objectives. Another objective was to improve my navigation, so I certainly wasn't much of a conversationalist. Our first leg was S along Smokers Trail for 1.2km in 15mins. The area continues to recover from my last times in the area on 23 Oct 04 and 18 Jan 06.
Then SSE for a few tens of metres to pick up the dog fence (we could have, literally, as it lies in rusted decay on the ground) and so S to SH1452 (this leg 1.1km in 25mins). Nice open woodland walking.
Next, generally S and a bit E to the open area at GR755631 (MGA94) which, I am sure, is the real Emu Flat (see pic 1), rather than the map marking SE on a rise on the first edition map and SSE on the second edition map (this leg 1.9km in 50mins). You can tell from the timings, though generally open woodland with low regrowth, that I was talking my time navigating and, only after assessing where we were, checking the GPS.
However, not to ever not complete a planned route, we headed SE (550m in 20mins) to the knoll above 1410m, marked as Emu Flat on the first edition 1:25000 map.
The next leg took us NE on 9°M to the SE corner of the dog fence and the opening to upper Blue Gum Creek flats. We propped briefly at 10.10am at a cairn, no doubt indicating the commencement of the ridge to Blue Gum Hill from the corner of the fence (which I tripped across 10m from our prop point) (1.5km in 30mins).
Next came an excellent wander down to the upper Blue Gum creek flats, following them generally to the N (see pic 2). As we approached the northern extent, Madeleine suggested a climb to a granite lookout she'd visited before (where hasn't she walked in Namadgi!!?). An excellent place (the leg to here 2.5km and 45mins), well worth the climb out of the flats to fabulous views to Blue Gum Hill and its approach ridge from the WSW. 10 mins for morning tea.
To add a little something, we decided at this point to extend our homeward route a little to the N and come into the car park along the ridges and knolls to its E. We headed back down to the flats and my planned NE extent, then on further towards the 1360 contour feature, bending away NW to cross the dog fence again and prop at a beautiful green saddle at GR771674 for lunch (this leg 1.5km in 45mins). Again, we were fortunate to have Madeleine with us who had had morning tea at this site on a previous walk of hers (see pic 3).
Away at 12.05pm up the hill, carpeted in soft green grass and other green plants. By the time we'd reached SH1378, you'd think you were miles away - back in the usual more arid and scrubby bush. On down a saddle and up the other side to a knoll with views down over the Corin Dam Road and a hazy Tidbinbilla skyline at the back, then SW back to hit Smokers Trail 50m from the walk register (this leg 2.3km in 1hr 15mins).
A good little wander with plenty of little legs for navigation practice - sorry I can't talk and find the way at the same time.
With one of the party having walked here and everywhere else I could think of, I was surprised and pleased to find that neither of my companions had been to Farrer's grave. So we went in there on the way back, climbing the style and wandering up and along the cattle-dunged ridge to reach the peaceful site under the pines. See 12 Aug 06 for more details.
So a good day to a new area for me which can now be ticked off. Thank you for your company and future walking suggestions, Madeleine and Alan.
Distance: 12.6+1.5km Climb: 500+50m. Time: 7.45am-1.25pm (call it 5.5hr) with 50mins of stops; 1.50-2.15pm (call it 30mins) with 5mis of stops.
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 The real Emu Flat
|2 Upper Blue Gum Creek flats
|3 Luncheon saddle at GR771674