9 October 2007 Fishing Gap - Mt Domain - near Snowy Corner Photos
Map: Tidbinbilla 1:25000
Getting There

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

(Tuesday 9 October: Tidbinbilla Mountain and the Pimple – M/M Start on Lyre Bird Track before heading west on a steep climb to Tidbinbilla Mountain. A side detour to the Pimple before returning to Tidbinbilla Range Road. Approx 15kms. Total climb 870m. Walk time 6 hours. Map: Tidbinbilla 1:25,000. Leader: Bob E. Contact by 6pm Sunday. Transport $15.).

3 of us drove to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Further Information

The above description was the original plan. But when we got to the gate around 7.30am we met an ACT Government worker who told us that the Trails car park area was closed. So we headed to Fishing Gap car park and thought we might wander up Mt Domain. Not so good for Mike who was there last Sunday leading an NPA walk, but things got better in the end..


My first walk after nearly 7 weeks overseas including, after meeting our new grand daughter in San Diego and losing the family fortune in Las Vagas, a 32 day cruise from LA to Sydney. This was the test to see whether the margaritas and 24*7 dining won out over the walking track and gym on the Regal Princess. Sadly, the former triumphed and I slowed the party down with a couple of bouts of bad leg cramps. But there was some joy for all of us!

We set off from the Fishing Gap car park at 7.50am and trundled the 3.5km and 290m up along the fire trail to Fishing Gap in 50mins. Bob is a gentleman leader and I'd heard strange tales of his walks whilst I was away, including multiple stops for brews. Our first was here at Fishing Gap and he generously boiled water for me on his fearsome special gas stove. Mike tried his new nextG mobile phone and got reception.

Away again at 9.05am for the 2.1km and 390m climb to Mt Domain, completing this leg in 1hr 15mins. Some good leading kept us more regrowth free than I can manage. A 20min stop for a bit of tucker and for Bob to plan our next leg. We decided to head further N along the skyline (see pic 1), a bonus for Mike as he was fairly sure he'd not done this area. New territory for Bob (lives northside, so that explains everything) and a handy recce for me for 17 Nov.

And so down and up along the top. Tidbinbilla Mountain looked possible, but I suffered from a couple of bouts of bad leg cramp. Again, good leading kept us away from the worst of the regrowth, but it's still pretty bad - and dry - along the top. A wise call, of which I was most thankful, was to find the spur which our leader had intended to bring us up. Eureka for me as Bob found the fabled cairn (which I had failed to on previous visits to the area) which marks the drop off point. Its at GR 69788 75223 (GDA94) on the Tidbinbilla 1:25000 map. This leg 2.6km in 1hr 40mins, with a 200m drop and nearly 200m climb.

20m E we found a nice ledge with reasonably clear views over the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (see pic 2). I returned the favour for a brew, as I'd brought a stove, too. Lunch for 45mins, with views back along the way we'd come (see pic 3).

Away at 1.10pm. At the start the way appears most un-ridge like. As well, its about 500m S of Snowy Corner and these two facts probably conspired to hide this exit spur from me till now. A wild plunge down, the terrain soon becoming most spur-like. A few new bright yellow tapes and a couple of cairns on the top section, but the spur is quite narrow and you can't fall off. Scree and regrowth. A drop of 410m in 1.2km taking 55mins saw us at the boulder on the old Lyrebird Trail referenced by Graeme Barrow. Another marker spot I'd been looking for - GR 70838 74554 (MGA94) Tidbinbilla 1:25000 map. Mike had last wandered up the spur in July 07 and said that direction takes around 2 hours.

Machinery could be heard felling trees around the Trails car park. We thought it might be wise to skirt the area. Back on the blacktop just below the car park by 2.40pm, the 0.8km leg from the boulder through the scrub (little sign of the old Lyrebird Trail) taking 35mins.

A 4km wander back along Ashbrook Road fire trail to the cars took 50mins.

Forced to make a spur of the moment change, our leader had something for all of us. A nice little wander. Thanks Bob and Mike.

Distance: 14.4km  Climb: 850m.  Time: 7.50am - 3.30pm (call it 7.75hrs), with 80mins of stops.
Grading: L/M-R; H(12)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Mt Domain to near Snowy Corner

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Tidbinbilla skyline route from Mt Domain to Tidbinbilla Mountain
2 View over TNR from lunch
3 Looking back along our route from the lunch spot