4 December 2007 Coppins Crossing to Uriarra Crossing Photos
Maps: Canberra, Cotter Dam, Umburra 1:25000
Getting There

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

(Tuesday 4 December: Coppins Crossing to Uriarra Crossing - M/M. One of the benefits of leading walks is that you can go where you want to (even if no one else joins in). I’ve never walked from Coppins Crossing to Uriarra Crossing, so let’s do it. Around 14km and 50m total drop if we walk downstream. Maps: Canberra, Cotter Dam, Umburra 1:25000. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$8. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.).

7 of us gathered and met at Coppins Crossing just after 7am. We dropped a car at Uriarra Crossing, with me realising half way there that I was a mug not to leave 2 cars.

Further Information

We may see some raptors. In the news at the moment - see articles by Rosslyn Beeby and Jerry Olsen in the Times2 supplement to the Canberra Times Wednesday 28 November 2007.

Route Card

Route Card - Coppins Crossing to Uriarra Crossing S Bank

Leg Waypoints Going
1 1-2 From start, 228°M for 145m to join fire trail
2 2-3 Follow fire trail for 3.5km, contouring generally W, S, SW, NW, N and W above the Molonglo River
3 3-4 At the end of the fire trail, continue contouring in the Lower Molonglo River Corridor Nature Reserve above the river for 7.1km. At 5.8km cross under 132kV power lines. At this point a gorge begins in the river. Down to Cliffs Creek
4 4-5 Cross Cliffs Creek and continue for 2.7km, contouring above the river in a generally NW direction. Join the Murrumbidgee River walking track which comes down from Uriarra Road
5 5-6 Follow the Murrumbidge RIver walking track for 2km, passing near the bridge over the Molonglo. Walk below the Camp Sturt site and around to Uriarra Crossing


I must have contacts, as the weather forecast had changed, overnight, from morning showers and thunderstorms to afternoon. With all the recent rain, there was plenty of water churning down the Molonglo River, as Scrivener Dam was letting it out. Away by 7.50am. No need for the first leg above, as a footpad led from the W end of the car park in the direction we wanted to go. It soon joined the fire trail. Strange to be wandering along with the sound of rushing water and to see the constant stream of traffic heading south along the Coppins Crossing Road. Spans of the poo-aduct emerged on the other side of the Molonglo and blackberry vines as thick as your arm (well, nearly) grabbed at us from the sides of the fire trail. A small raptor perched in a dead tree as threatening sky began to turn more blue. Some briar roses (see pic 1).

Leaving the fire trail at the start of leg 2, we headed down closer to the river and to the little marker on the 2nd edn map by the river to the NE of Spring Valley Farm. Its a flying fox, to do with the water level gauging station and markers on the bank of the river. A variety of water birds down on the river and, maybe, some more raptors. Some low cliffs came into view further downstream and, although 2 members of the party had walked the river previously along the water's edge, I decided to head up along the tops. A good view down into the churning river (see pic 2), contrasting with the effluent pipe with its tall white vertical vents on the other side.

We stopped for morning tea at a little rocky outcrop area, opposite the end of the 'pipeline' track which led down to a pleasant grassed flat on the other side of the river. Mike said one used to be able to drive in there and picnic and swim.

Heading W again across another side gully and fence, we crossed under the power lines, then across Cliffs Creek. Views back to the exit of the little gorge (see pic 3). We continued generally NW across the top of another little cliff, then out onto the more rolling grassy areas. One snake spotted - not by me. The water quality control centre came into view.

And so down to join the Murrumbidgee River Walking Track, cross the last fence, snap a picture of the waterfall outlet on the other side, see the bridge/weir across the Molonglo nearly underwater and stroll across the Sturt Island area to find lunch beside a raging Murrumbidgee River. A 30 min break.

Away at 12.30pm to follow the Track marker posts hidden in the long grass, looping around to Uriarra Crossing and the car.

If one has to do this walk, then this was the day - plenty of water being released from Scrivener Dam and filling the Molonglo River. A cool morning, warming up as it went on - but, really, perfect walking weather. A few more birds than usual.

Thanks for your company Alan C, Jane D, Madeleine H, Rene L, Mike S and Louise T.

Distance: 15.2km  Climb: 150m.  Time: 7.50am - 1pm (call it 5.25hrs), with 40mins of stops.
Grading: M/M,X; E(7)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Coppins Crossing to Uriarra Crossing

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Briar rose
2 Molonglo River
3 Molonglo River