|30 June 2007
|South Bullen Range
|Map: Tuggeranong 8727-3S 1:25000, Tidbinbilla 8627-2S 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as a private walk:
(Saturday 30 June: S Bullen Range – M/M From the stock route on the Tidbinbilla Road through the Miowera Pine Forest to the ruins of Calvary. Then up to the Bullen Range and through the Brett trig and to a cuppa at the Canberra Deep Space Communications complex.)
Nothing like a good mate, to be willingly released by a good wife at short notice. Nothing like my good wife, who humours me. Point Hut Crossing closed, so a longer drive in two cars out via Cotter. Man, the Murrumbidgee was flowing at a rate (see pic 3). Left one car at the tracking station and took the other to the start, the gate of the stock route off Tidbinbilla Road at GR873736 (MGA94) Tuggeranong 8727-3S.
Walking by 8.10am. The Miowera Pine Forest looked a little different to the map area, as a lot had been burned. My hint (from FBI's Paul N) was to go to the NW corner of the MPF then follow the fence to find Calvary (2ft high pise walls all that remain).
We wandered along through the open, burnt pine area and into a belt of surviving trees. Some cattle moved off and, just off the side of the track, was a little shivering cluster of five black piglets. Now my companion has had more experience with wild pigs than me, so reckoned we aught to kill them. Whilst I was photographing them he moved away and came back with two thick truncheons. I inwardly quaked, before learning that these stout staves were for our protection, in case old mumma pig came belting down the hill at us!
We wandered along the W side of the pines, to the E of Miowera trig. A large wild pig ran off ahead.
The NW corner of the pines comes in two flavours - first the end of the living trees and secondly the actual NW corner of the original area. At the first we followed a fence line to the W over open pasture until we could see no Calvary, then wandered N then NW along the Bullen Range Nature Reserve fence. Again no luck (we were, in fact, around 330m S of the Calvary site).
So we headed back SE to rejoin my intended route, following a trail/fire break to the SE, then up to a saddle on the Bullen Range. Morning tea on the ridge, with great views W and E. To the W we looked across improved pasture straight to Gibraltar Peak, with Fishing Gap behind and snow touched Brindabellas at the rear. The Tidbinbilla skyline glowered a bit under the clouds and snow showers scudded along the peaks at times (see pic 2). To the E it was quite different - open paddocks across to the Murrumbidgee then to the houses and town centre of Tuggeranong, very urban. To the N waved two red ribbons marking the route of the proposed Bullen Range fire trail.
Away after 15mins, following the ridge top (and marker tape) generally NW to the Brett trig (9.3km and 2hr 40mins to here). Open forest, poor soil, very Bullen Range-ish. Interesting that some trees had shed their fire blackened bark, had a circle of mulch around them, but lovely new bark covered trunks whilst others remained black. In places the Murrumbidgee River was not only visible, but audibly roaring. A great pond where Lake Tuggeranong drains into it. Arced around NW and W through SH847 and down to the dishes. We were still carrying tea and coffee in our thermoses, so didn't bother to go in and pay. Stopped at the Cotter Bridge on the way home (see pic 3).
Thanks, Max, for your company. A nice morning's ramble. I rang Paul N on getting home and asked for a more specific hint - he generously gave me a GR, so we'll have to go back one Sunday arvo.
Distance: 12.4km Climb: 400m. Time: 8.10 - 11.50am (call it 3.75hrs), with 15mins of breaks.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: South Bullen Range
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 These little piggies went to market
|2 View W at morning tea
|3 Murrumbidgee River at Cotter