23 Jan 2007 Gulwan Heights and a search for The Onion Photos
Maps: Michelago 8726-4S 1:25000; Tinderry 8726-1S 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Max S:

(Tinderry Region - "Gulwan" from the east Exploratory Maps - Tinderry and Michelago. Park at Tinderry Fire Trail. Along fire trail about 1 km then east up ridge to "Gulwan" North along ridge about 2.0 km, descending parallel to Tea Tree Ck to fire trail   Distance 13 km climb 700 m Steep, rocky with possible undergrowth - say 7 hrs Weather 31 C - possible showers).

4 of us met at the Kambah shops at 7am and drove via Michelago along the Tinderry Road to the designated start point.


Cloud cover burnt off as we drove S to Michelago. It promised to be a warm day. It was - a '3 litre day' to the last drop and it made 35°C in Canberra. We had the benefit of a bit of a breeze at times.

Walking by 7.55am, a quick nearly 1km in along a developed fire trail, then E, SE and generally E again 4.2km and 600m up in 2hr 35mins. A range of terrain, including open forest ridges and excellent granite slabs, with a few drainage lines to cross. The view up and across to further huge granite slabs and knolls opened up as we climbed, as did the view down to the Michelago valley. By this stage we had passed within a couple of hundred metres of the fire trail, near to where most people drive and start walking to cover the Gulwan area (marked on 2nd edn maps). However, we know that Max likes to walk rather than drive!

We picked up a footpad and line of cairns heading N across the Gulwan area. The cairns ranged from small and utilitarian to large and exotic looking (see pic 1). Around 1km in 40mins.

We continued N along Max's pencil line on his map, up to and down from again excellent granite knolls with superb views. Lunch at 12.30pm for 25mins. This leg was 1.8km and took 2.25hrs (including lunch), so we were moving at around 1km/hr. Granite, scrub, fallen timber, ups and downs all took their toll. A local resident was unperturbed at our passing (see pic 2) and the front members of the party saw goats.

At 1.45pm, time ticking by and with a view across to The Onion (see pic 3), we headed down some quite close contours paralleling Teatree Creek. A taxing leg of 1.1km with 350m drop in 1hr 40mins. The drop at last eased and another 2.8km in 1.5hrs had our feet gladly back on the N-S fire trail, although we covered a bit of cross grain country to get to it.

2.8km of fire trail in 1hr (including some chats with local block owners) had us back at the car.

This is excellent, unburnt country. Fabulous granite slabs and knolls, some lovely open forest ridges, some big hills and drops, ridge-line wiggles and cross grain walking. A testing walk on a hot day - definitely a '3 litre day'!

Max, thank you. You don't do anything by halves. Thanks also to Jenny and Madeleine.

Distance: 14.8km  Climb: 900m.  Time: 7.55am-5.50pm (call it 10hrs), with 1hr of stops.

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Fancy cairn Gulwan Heights
2 Local resident
3 The Onion below Tinderry Peak