|13 May 2008
|Sunny Corner Trail and SH1215; Bendora Hut and Arboretum; Condor Hut site and Blue Range Hut
|Maps: Cotter Dam and Tidbinbilla 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular Tuesday walk:
Tuesday 13 May - Sunny Corner Trail and SH1215 - M/M,X. The first edition Cotter Dam 1:25000 map shows a number of fire trails around Reids Pinch on the Brindabella Road. Follow Sunny Corner Trail to the weir over Condor Creek, then climb to SH1215. Join Two Sticks Road and follow an old fire trail back to Picadilly Circus. Another old fire trail parallels Brindabella Road down to the arboretum. A short side trip to Blundell Hill. Around 11km and 650m total climb. Moderate fitness required. Route not fully known to leader. Map: Cotter Dam. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – email@example.com, (h) 6288 7235. Please contact me if you would like to co-lead. Transport: ~$7. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.
6 of us met and drove in 2 cars to Reids Pinch on the Brindabella Road, where the Namadgi National Park sign is. Plenty of parking there.
A popular Wednesday walk that I haven't yet done. If time allows, a drive and quick walk down to Bendora Arboretum. Call via Blue Range Hut and Condor Hut site on the way home.
Civil twilight: 0623-1737
Thanks to Peter W for hints:
You cannot see it if you drive past. It is marked on the old 1:25k map, as a fire trail to a weir. On the second edition map the (overgrown but useable) trail starts at the outside corner 662879, with the weir 652882. The new map also does not show the pleasant firebreak along the Brindabella Range Ridge, and then down the ridge from the road at 635861 to Reids Pinch 660876, where you leave your car. If you want to lengthen the walk go to Brindabella Mountain for the views (but because it is under power lines the GPS does not work there!).
Fairly unimpressive fire trail took us parallel to the Brindabella Road and along the edge of a burnt out, mapped marked arboretum. Views to the right down onto the 330kV power lines and we passed a large quarry area on the left in which it looked like the trail bike riders have fun. A few boxes comprised the meteorological station on Blundell Hill. A convenient extension of the fire trail took us down to the Brindabella Road, where we left turned and wandered back up to the start of the Sunny Corner Trail.
In usual fashion for the last few walks I muffed it again, heading down through the light regrowth, rather than the correct path at 90° to my route, where the old track sidles around the upper drainage lines. We eventually found the benched trail and followed it to the weir (see pic 1). Actually, the area was more pleasant than I had expected and quite pretty with the last of the morning mist rising.
The next leg was obvious and we climbed to the crest of the spur at left turned to head to SH1215. Moderate regrowth (and plenty of growth over the previous couple of months since one party member had last been here), but pretty easy walking. Glimpses from the spur to Mt Coree. SH1215 gave no views and, as it was only 5 to 10 and not time for morning tea, we wandered on to Two Sticks Road. A spot in the sun by the side of the road was occupied for munchies. Realised I'd lost my prescription reading glasses (only one wing, please return them if found!).
800m of Two Sticks Road brought us to the intersection with the old fire trail which runs along the Brindabella Range tops. A little dam marks the spot. Up the scrabbly track to SH1285 and SH1287, back down to 2SR then, under expert guidance, onto the old fire trail which cuts off the Picadilly Circus corner. Plenty of moguls across the road (to deter or encourage the trail bike riders?). Up to the power lines at SH1257 - nearly the highlight of this little wander in terms of a reasonable view. Down the old fire trail paralleling the Brindabella Road (on our right) to the car. Back by 11:35am and my companions were kind enough to humor me to drive and walk to Bendora Hut to get a pic.
We drove up to Picadilly Circus and along the Mt Franklin Road to its intersection with Moonlight Hollow Road/Chalet Road.
A quick wander down Chalet Road to finally snap Bendora Hut (see pic 2). We continued down to the arboretum and were most pleasantly surprised by the magnificent Autumn colours of the hybrid and European Larches (see pic 3). The huge pine cones under some of the species of firs and pines looked attractive. Lunch and back to the cars.
The penultimate call was in to the Condor Hut site (seen the sign post on the road many times, but didn't realise until recently that it is only metres off the Brindabella Road), see pic 4. See here for a photo of Condor Hut in its glory.
And, finally, a drive in along Blue Range Road to the refurbished Blue Range Hut (see pic 5). Significant to me, as this was the start of my first walk in the Canberra region on 29 Apr 01.
We were back in town by 3.30pm, the softest Tuesday walk ever conducted. But I think we all enjoyed it. The Bendora Arboretum was a bonus and a weir and 3 huts kept me happy. Thanks for your company Jane, John, Madeleine, Max and Phil.
Distance: 14.2km Climb: 500m. Time: an embarrassingly short day
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Sunny Corner Trail and SH1215; Bendora Hut and Arboretum; Condor Hut site and Blue Range Hut
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Weir on Condor Creek
|2 Bendora Hut
|3 Hybrid Larch in Autumn glory at Bendora Arboretum
|4 Condor Hut ruins
|5 Rebuilt Blue Range Hut