31 July 2007 Mt Tennent and Tennent Homestead Photos
Map: Williamsdale 8626-1N 1:25000
Getting There

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

(Tuesday 31 July: Mt Tennent and Tennent Homestead- L/E-M,X. A visit to the Mt Tennent fire tower for views. Then north back along the ridge to SH1008 and SE to Tennent Homestead (this courtesy of a Trevor B walk description I saw). Continue SE in Namadgi National Park to rejoin the AAWT. Around 14km and 850m total climb. Map: Williamsdale 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235; contact me by 6pm the previous Sunday. Transport: ~$8. Further details at www.pcug.org.au/~jevans.).

6 of us gathered, including Chip S from the US, met at Point Hut Crossing and drove to the pre-locked gate carpark at the Namadgi Visitors Centre.

Additional Information

Possibility of going up a spur to the fire tower from the bend in the AAWT after Cypress Pine Lookout, rather than using the track. It's shorter, but a little more difficult. Depends on party composition.


The day was a bit overcast and gloomy as we set off at 7.45am. A blessing in disguise - as I'd probably have thought twice about the direct ascent route if I could have seen it. Got lost once on the visitor centre tracks even before crossing the Naas Road. On sound advice and encouragement from Max we immediately headed for (where we thought) the top (was). I hoped 210°M would do the trick, keeping the drainage line on our left as a handrail. We fortunately couldn't see the big lump of granite and luck, rather than good management, took us around it (see pic 3). The promise of lovely wild flowers, with some of the heaths flowering already and also the hardenbergia in warmer, N facing situations. A couple of breaks to draw breath and we hit the Mt Tennent fire trail just a little ways from the top (2hr 5mins for 3.1km and 720m climb), maybe even quicker than the track.

We wandered up to the fire tower. The wind was chilly so we huddled on the E side. A quick climb up to the locked platform to survey a scene of hill tops in a sea of cloud (see pic 1). Morning tea for 30mins with, however, the disturbing emergence of a rebellious practise. My good friend Max had been perverted the previous Tuesday by my good friend Bob and they both pulled out gas stoves and made a cuppa. Still, each to his own.

Away at 10.25am to wander down the well maintained and broad fire trail, then swung to the N onto the AAWT coming up from the Namadgi Visitors Centre. With the AAWT realignment in the area, things are now not true to the map. Going our way, the track swings well down to the NW then to the NE rather than along the ridge. The new major intersection is at GR845656 (MGA94) on the Williamsdale 8626-1N 1:25000 map. We continued to follow the AAWT NW for around 300m, but when it swung further to the W we headed on NW through the bush. A scrubby little ridge heading towards SH1101, with plenty of annoying wattle regrowth. Not very interesting, even when one imagined there was a view, as we were back down in the mist and cloud. A turn to the N then NE brought us to SH1008 where we found lunch (this leg 4.3km in 1.5hr).

Stoves out again and even the threat of a 10 minute lunch was laughingly dismissed as the gas burned in a roaring duet and owners of said machines openly smirked at the thermos chugga-luggers.

We moved on at 12.30pm on a compass bearing to Tennent Homestead. A few deviations to keep us out of the steep drainage line and away from a little granite. The spurs in this area are covered with the skeletons of Cypress Pines and casuarinas many of which, thankfully, are resprouting from the base. A large nest of fair sized twigs in one tree - maybe eagle but probably crow. So down towards the open grazing land and power lines and over the crest to find Tennent Homestead (see pic 2).

All that remains are the deteriorating pise walls with a couple of remnant window frames. Some stone foundations are visible where a wombat burrow undermines a wall. The January 2003 bush fires certainly did their job here. Nearby are the remains of the shearing shed with a metal sheep dip (the first I've ever seen) rusting away. We later saw pre-2003 photos of the buildings at the Namadgi Visitors Centre. Jen H reported that Pat J (Val J's brother) said: 'Robert Thomson lived on that block (probably a soldier settler block) between the wars. He ran sheep on the slopes of the mountain. He was reputed to have 27 children (by a number of different women)  but he always maintained 'that the foxes got about five of them' !!  Some of the kids went to Tharwa school…most didn't have any schooling. The place was called 'Folley's Hollow'.'

A zig-zag wander on the NNP side of the fence line took us back to the AAWT at the Naas Road. I managed to successfully navigate the direct route back from here to the Centre. We called in to show Chip around. For a moment Mt Tennent exposed its top from the clouds and we snapped it from the verandah (see pic 3).

Thanks Bob, Chip, Jenny, John and Max. A nice little round with an alternative to the AAWT to Tennent and an interesting site.

Distance: 12.3km  Climb: 850m.  Time: 7.45am - 2.15pm, with 1hr of breaks.
Grading: L/M-R,X; H(12)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Mt Tennent and Tennent Homestead

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Booroomba Rocks from Mt Tennent fire tower
2 Tennent Homestead
3 Our frontal assault on Mt Tennent