27 Mar 2007 Rock Flats Photos
Map: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:

(Tuesday 27 March - Rock Flats - L/R,X Rock Flats is the area south of Split Rock. We’ll approach it from the east, coming in across the top of Prarie Dog Creek and Sawpit Creek from off the Granite Tops Walking Track. After visiting the rock shelter at SH1391 near the source of Rendezvous Creek, we’ll trend W and S through Rock Flats. I’d expect scrub, views and granite. To get home we’ll go SE down a convenient spur on the SW side of Rendezvous Creek, across and up the taped footpad to the saddle and so back via the Nursery Swamp Walking Track. Around 21km and 800m total climb. Very strenuous walking for a fit and experienced party. Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235; contact me by 6pm the previous Sunday to discuss options. Transport: ~$10. Further details at www.pcug.org.au/~jevans.).

I did the leg in to SH1391 on 30 Sep 05 and the leg back up from Rendezvous Creek on 23 Sep 06, 9 Aug 06 and 28 Jun 06. As for the middle - I have no idea. I guess that's why it needs to be visited. Let's hope the bite isn't too big to chew. 2 cars will take 2.7km off Orroral Valley between Nursery Swamp and Orroral Tracking Station car parks.

6 of us drove in 2 cars to Orroral Valley Tracking Station car park. We placed one car back at the Nursery Swamp car park.


You've heard of Dancing with the Stars - well, this was Walking with some Legends! An interesting crew, 3 of whom I'd never walked with before and 2 only once. However, some mighty reputations - Brian S an old CBC and FBI member from the central coast of NSW, another tiger in Roger E and John H recently back from Nepal. Two of the guys had taken the day off work to walk, so the pressure was on for a good day.

The autumn day was magic - clear blue sky with a few cotton balls of clouds, 23°C for Canberra and, even with daylight savings just finished, a hint of coolth. Orroral Valley is beautiful and green at the moment, since the recent rain.

We hit the Granite Tops Walking Track at 8.20am and dispatched the climb to within a couple of hundred metres up and around the bend parallel to James Creek at a near run (I wasn't setting the pace, just panting to keep up). One nameless member amazed us all with her aerobic capacity by talking the whole leg - you're welcome on any of my walks, Liz!

We headed bush on 252°M just before the drainage line which runs in perpendicular to James Creek and did the 3.8km leg to SH1391. Pretty open scrub, a few ups and downs and a little granite coming around the NW end of the Orroral Ridge near Sawpit Creek. Perhaps a little N (lower) than I'd intended, but I'm improving at holding a compass line. More regrowth and green since the last time and, whether the softer landscape or a bit of familiarity, a little less overawing. Good old Split Rock, even from this back/side view, provides an excellent visual clue for navigators like me.

We reached SH1391 around 11.20am and stopped for morning tea and views. Immediately in front of our granite seats was the far side of Rendezvous Creek, no doubt hiding our Rock Flats objective. N of W was Split Rock. E of S was the Rendezvous Creek cut (see pic 1), with views all the way down to a luscious green grasslands mouth. Up from its left side was the Orroral Ridge and, closer, Thunder Bluff; on its right the grand Mavis Ridge with Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt standing proud.

Away again, we crossed the source of Rendezvous Creek and swung SW then SE towards Rock Flats. New country for me. A little granite about, but open scrub which didn't make for too difficult walking. My warning to party members of a 10 hour walking day, possibly finishing by torch light, was beginning to seem ridiculous (but better to be over-prepared than under).

We broke onto Rock Flats just after 1pm. One minute wandering along with restricted vision, the next a wonderful flat opens up (see pic 2). A truly amazing place! We wandered its length, but I was too E of S to hit the additional swampy bit to its SW. Instead, through a belt of thicker scrub and out onto granite with a view at GR713536 (GDA94), 1470m, for lunch. We were welcomed by a wedge-tailed eagle which soared close over our heads.

Luncheon for 20mins, with views across the other side of RV Creek, to the Mavis Ridge and down our exit route.

Away down an obvious spur towards SH1406. Just to show us who was boss, the vegetation turned a little nasty. Some thicker scrub to push through and high-stepping required over plenty of fallen timber - Dick described it perfectly as a giant's game of pick-up-sticks. Another view across to Thunder Bluff (see pic 3) as we picked our way along.

Cut the corner at SH1406, contouring around its N side, then a plunge down to Rendezvous Creek well upstream of the taped pad to the saddle on the other side, as I didn't want to miss it (this was a deliberate aim-off, not poor navigation!).

Water resupply from Rendezvous Creek, along with conversation concerning the number of wild pig's gut worms which might be in it. Crossed the creek and headed downstream, gradually gaining a bit of height up away from the creek. We had about 800m to go downstream and I was quite glad when we saw the first pink ribbon and the footpad.

And so up the rest of the pad to the saddle. I handed the lead over to a higher power after I'd lost sight of tape 8 times (only little glitches) and we were soon out at the Nursery Swamp Walking Track.

We skipped down it, again admiring the green Orroral Valley as it appeared, signed in at the walk register and organised ourselves with cars. Due to an exemplary, cohesive and swift-moving party, we made it back to the Tharwa store by 5.30pm for a beer/soft drink.

I think everyone really enjoyed themselves on a wander to a destination not often attempted as a day walk. Trust it was worth the day off work! I learned heaps from the legends and really enjoyed everyone's company (sorry I can't talk and walk and navigate at the same time). Thanks heaps to Brian, Dick, John, Liz and Roger.

Distance: 17.6km  Climb: 800m.  Time: 8.20am-4.40pm (call it 8.5hrs), with 45mins of stops.
Grading: L/R,X; H(13)

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Telephoto looking down Rendezvous Creek from SH1391
2 Rock Flats
3 Thunder Bluff from SW Rendezvous Creek ridge