29 July 2008 Honeysuckle Creek Ridge Photos
Map: Corin Dam 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me and navigated in part by KC and MH as an ad-hoc FBI Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 29 July - Honeysuckle Creek Ridge - M/R,X; M(11). Explore Honeysuckle Creek Swamp and the ridge to the SE of Honeysuckle Creek space tracking station, including the 1350m feature, 1300m knoll, SH1364 and the tanks. Then to the south and west to visit some huge rock overhangs beneath the Spinnaker. Return via Orroral Ridge Road. Around 10km and 500m total climb. Map: Corin Dam. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Please contact me if you would like to co-lead. Transport: ~$10. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.

5 of us gathered at the Kambah Shops at the respectable time of 8am, then drove to the intersection of Apollo Road and the Booroomba Rocks road.

Further Information

A repeat of the walk originally advertised for 8 July - we didn't get to all of it because of the weather forecast. This should be a more gentle stroll, although a good climb up the ridge. There's plenty of granite up there for a bit of scrambling, as seen on 8 Jul 08. Reason to visit parts of the Honeysuckle Creek Swamp is that it is Site of Significance in the ACT G1 and home to occurrences of the Australian Anchor Plant.

Thanks to KC:

Australian anchor plant:
  see photos at Australian National Botanical Gardens website http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apni?taxon_id=20042
  description at NSW Flora Online: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=discaria~pubescens

 To be frank – this is the kind of plant I try to avoid!

See the pics and spines - I agree!

Civil twilight: 0634 - 1746


We alighted from the warm car into a decidedly cool atmosphere and immediately began to wander down the road towards the Booroomba Rocks car park. At the first opportunity (not the planned point) I headed right into the swamp in search of the fabled Australian Anchor Plant. Previously imagining some delicate little water loving soft plant, I had been rudely corrected by Karen's research (above) and shared same with party members, so we were all on the lookout for a sinister, spiky plant. Almost immediately, there it was. The SoS in the ACT reported, in the late 1980s, that there were 10 to 20 plants in this area. Well, we found three and photographed one (see pic 1), so not needing to find the remaining 7-17, wandered down the swamp immediately after our botanical bag. But the plant was true to description, with the almost bare (except for tiny flowers) stems and spikes a solid shade of green.

A pleasant swampy area is the Honeysuckle Creek Swamp (see pic 2) and we squelched its length until we arrived at the Hut and Stockyard site we'd found on our previous visit. From there we crossed the road and proceeded to some significant granite.

Karen took over the navigation from here and led us a merry dance (as well as an excellent line) SE up to the top of the ridge line at 1350m. We had more time than on our previous visit and were able to circle around the back of the huge granite blocks at the top (see pic 3). The ladies in the party showed us a thing or two as they proceeded to scramble to the very top of the feature through an internal chimney for uninterrupted 360° views - although the smartest party member may have been he who remained below and started morning tea. Still, a comment just to hand is "It just demonstrates the self-evident fact that if you want to go where no man has gone before then you send a woman (or two)"! In honour of the ladies, we Christen the 1350m feature above Honeysuckle Creek 'FemRock' - they do! Morning tea was enjoyed when we were all safely down.

Away next for a stroll along the ridge in a SW direction, with a down and an up to the next knoll (a cairn here), then another down and up to SH1364. Little bits and pieces of snow lying around in places. From here we turned to the NW to head for some old tanks (they feature on Madeleine H's 'tanks and tops' walk) above Honeysuckle Creek camping ground and no doubt installed when the tracking station was in its heyday. To our surprise, we found a van and trailer there and voices emanating from one of the tanks. It turned out to be, as an unexpected feature on this infrastructure part of the walk, that they are repairing the tanks and using them for water storage for fire fighting and for the camping area below. The tank man believed that they were going to truck water into the camping ground, then pump it up to the tanks for subsequent use.

Wandered next down the road from the tanks (too far due to my error) and spent an enjoyable lunch 30mins down by a creek.

Next we headed back up the road, took a guess as to where we might head off, picked up a footpad and headed S to the cleared saddle which is NE of The Spinnaker. We turned SW up the hill and eventually found some great overhangs I'd previously visited on 19 Dec 06 and promised myself that I'd return.

From here, Meredith took up the navigational duties and led us straight as a die (except for around a little cliff-ette line) back down to the Orroral Ridge Road.

We strode back to the car.

From here, a little drive up to the Orroral Ridge collimation tower site, a small wander NW to take a photo, then back to the car to enjoy an FBI-style post-walk arvo tea. Very civilised, Max you should do more of these!


Leg From ... To Distance Time
1 Start to Australian Anchor Plant site 0.3 0:12
2 Honeysuckle Creek Swamp 1.6 0:30
3 Climb to 1350m feature, explore, morning tea 0.85 1:25
4 Ridge traverse from 135m feature to SH1364 1.6 1:07
5 SH1364 via tanks to lunch, incl munch time 1.3 1:16
6 Lunch to rock overhangs 1.1 0:27
7 Rock overhangs to Orroral Ridge Road 0.9 0:40
8 Return to car 1.2 0:16
9 Orroral Ridge 0.5 0:10

Great support and company from Henry H, Karen C, Meredith H and Terence U. The ladies proved they were the crème de la crème, or is that 'femme de la femme'! Vive the Worn Stiletto Bash. Thanks to the FBI Walks Officer (John C) for the nod at short notice to sponsor my first ever led FBI walk.

Distance: 9.3km  Climb: 700m.  Time: 9.00am - 2.50pm (call it 6hrs) with 40mins of stops, plus 10mins.
Grading: M/R,X; M(11)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Honeysuckle Creek Ridge

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Australian Anchor Plant
2 Honeysuckle Creek Swamp SoS in the ACT Site G1
3 Top of the 1350m feature above Honeysuckle Creek
4 Rock overhang below The Spinnaker