|30 August 2008
|Worn Boot Bash # 7 Uriarra Crossing to NMA
|Maps: Canberra, Cotter Dam and Umburra 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by me as a CBC walk:
7 of us met at the National Museum of Australia, then drove in 2 cars to park just off the Uriarra Road at Uriarra Crossing East.
# 7 30 August 2008
Meet at the National Museum of Australia at 6am. We'll car pool to Uriarra Crossing. Walk through the Lower Molonglo River Corridor Nature Reserve on the S bank of the Molonglo River towards Coppins Crossing, then to Mt Stromlo from the N or even NNW (this is due to the Mountain Bike World Cup being conducted at Stromlo Forest Park 30-31 August). Somehow around Stromlo Forest Park and through the regenerating Stromlo Pine Forest towards Dairy Farmers Hill Lookout. Here we meet our second obstacle, as the arboretum area is currently closed. But thank you to Ros R of the Chief Ministers Office, who has given us the nod to officially skirt the area). Through here to the cork oak plantation. Equestrian trails and bike paths will get us on foot through the GlenLoch Interchange, then we'll ascend Black Mountain by the SW ridge and descend to the National Botanic Gardens. Down the side fence of the Gardens to Clunies Ross St, then via the bike path over Sullivans Creek, along the side of the lake and so to the NMA. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded.
Usually a 12 hour day, so bring a torch. Not to be sneezed at, but if we plug away all day, we'll make it home for tea. Bring plenty of energy food and, I'd reckon, around 3 litres of water - there are no resupply points.
Please let me know if you'd like to try around half the distance to, say, Weston Creek. But we'd need a viable group if you want to walk at a different pace and you'd have to arrange your own transport pickup. An A5-sized Certificate of Completion will be awarded for this half WBB.
The Worn Boot Bash has a fine history:
# 6 2007 - Saturday 25 August: Worn Boot Bash #6 – L/M The walk for the day is usually between 30 and 40 km plus a few mountains. Guaranteed to stimulate both respiratory and circulatory systems. This year it will be to the north of Canberra. Map: ACT 1:100,000 Leaders: Jenny and Rob H. Transport: N/A
# 5 2006 - Saturday 9 September: Worn Boot Bash #5 – L/M This year the route is Kambah, Mts Taylor, Wanniassa and Rob Roy, Murrumbidgee River, Tuggeranong Creek, Kambah. ~35 km + some hills. Map: ACT 1:100,000 Leaders: Jenny & Rob H. Transport: N/A
# 4 2005 - Saturday 13 August - Worn Boot Bash #4- L/M Four mountains, 2 hills, 32km- a circuit through some of the nature parks of urban Canberra starting and finishing at Kambah. Maps: Canberra, Tuggeranong 1:25,000 Leaders: Jenny & Rob H. Transport: N/A
# 3 2004 - Sunday 26 September - Worn Boot Bash #3- L/M This is a day trip of 30 plus km and a few hills. Guaranteed to loosen every limb. This year is is from Kambah to the Cotter and return via the river track and Bullen Range. Map: ACT 1:100,000 Leaders: Jenny & Rob H. Transport: N/A
# 2 2003 - Saturday 30 August- Worn Boot Bash #2- L/M Kambah- Murrumbidgee River- Bullen Range- Paddy’s River- Pierces Trig and return. A challenge day of ~35 to 40 km with a great peak and some delightful river crossings. It’s not a race. Times for last year were between ~8 and 10 ½ hrs. Leader: Rob H. Details to be available nearer the date.
# 1 2002 - Saturday 24 August: Inaugural "Worn Boot Bash". L / R Kambah - Pearces Corner and Return. See the preview in the May It. Those completing this challenging long day walk will receive a "handsomely scrolled" certificate to record their participation in this piece of early spring madness. Maps: Tuggeranong & Tidbinbilla 1:25 000. Organiser: Rob H. Note: Teams of ~3. IYM walk.
Civil twilight: 0600 - 1808
A cool and overcast morning as we set off, perfect for walking but not so good for the views. We soon warmed up as we followed up the Molonglo River, just on the edge of the Nature Reserve high above the course of the river. This made for a good speed which was necessary to achieve the day's objective. The area is still struggling to recover from the fires with most of the Callitris endlicheri (Black Cypress Pine) burnt and not regenerating, except for one delightful grove. The blooming wattles did cheer the scene. Pleasant chatter as we wandered along. The area includes Site of Significance in the ACT SU14 - Lower Molonglo Gorge and SU19 - Bluffs and Terraces - Molonglo River.
A visit to the gauging station and flying fox marked the end of this leg, as we could see the fire trail on the edge of the regenerating Stromlo Pine Forest which took us back up to the Uriarra Road. A little hard on the feet, but the sun came out and we were anticipating what we'd see of the World Mountain Bike Championships from the top of Mt Stromlo (and I was hoping we'd not be shooed away because, strictly speaking, Stromlo Forest Park was closed for ad-hoc use due to this event). Not a soul disturbed us as we gained Mt Stromlo via the equestrian trail from the N. We could see the starting ramp and other facilities for the Champs erected amongst the clutter of mini-domes, the trig point and communication towers at the top. We visited the Duffields' grave and sat near it to revive ourselves with morning tea. Magnificent views out to the Tidbinbillas and Brindabellas.
Trying to do the right thing, we traversed behind the bike structures, the starting hooter blaring every now and again as a competitor set off down the hill. Heaps of spectators viewed the starts and well organised buses full of riders with trailers full of bikes wound up the mountain to the top. We hopped the guard rail on the Mt Stromlo Road as soon as we could see an appropriate way down and wended our way across the S side of Stromlo Forest Park to the next objective.
I had never visited the Bushfire Memorial since the 2003 fires (and we were right in the thick of it, living in Duffy). Well done and deserves another visit (see pic 1).
From here we crossed Uriarra Road and continued on fire trails towards lunch on Dairy Farmers Hill. The noise of the commentary, crowd and cars receded and our companions on this leg were an occasional dog walker and horse rider. A little stutter as a long, straight stretch of fire trail headed us towards DFH, but a map check showed us heading to the E of Misery Point. We crossed the mighty dribble of the Molonglo via a little concrete bridge, under the 132kV power lines and so to 'Construction Site - do not enter' sign to the S of Dairy Farmers Hill.
Confident here, as permission had been granted by the arboretum's project director for us to enter this edge of the area. A quick B-line through the regenerating pines, just to prove that we were bush walkers, to gain the hill top at the Lookout point. Lunch at last! Grand views nearly all round and over most of our WBB route. In the NE quadrant we looked over the developing arboretum to Black Mountain, the edge of the city and the lake (see pic 2). Further around was a unique view of Government House, then Scrivener Dam. The SW quadrant contained the Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek suburbs, the Bullen Range, the Tidbinbillas and the Brindabellas. A marvellous representation of our 'bush capital' - we are so fortunate to live here and have this on our doorstep.
Courtesy of the security guard who came up to check us out and the fact that work had ceased for the day, we were able to take a more direct route through some of the top of the arboretum, then down its N edge as planned to the Cork Oak Plantation. A unique area and a lovely little stroll through it. Site of Significance in the ACT NC6.
Next via underpasses, bike paths and disused roads, through GlenLoch Interchange on foot and into the Black Mountain Nature Reserve (Canberra Nature Park). This area is Site of Significance in the ACT NC1. On the home run now and following white fella's totems, we took the track up the SW ridge to the 'hat band' track, right onto it and across Black Mountain Road to the car park, then a left turn and up the track to the base of the tower and to the original viewing platform. A brief stop.
Away again down the track to the back of the National Botanic Gardens where, because of our good pace, the back gate was still open and we could stroll down through the gardens. Not tempted by cappuccino and pies, we crossed Clunies Ross Street onto the bike path, over Sullivans Creek and so to the cars. Afternoon weather was threatening, but we got home without wet tails.
A fraction shorter than planned (mainly because of a straight track through the arboretum) and a little quicker (because of the gun walkers). Certificates of completion were issued and we departed to pick up cars from the start. Well done all.
Thanks for your excellent company Anthony C, Brian S, Ian S, Jacqui R, Jenny H, Rosemarie E. We wore some sole off our boots.
Distance: 33.8km Climb: 900m. Time: 6.35am - 4.10pm (9.5hrs), with 50mins of stops.
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: WBB7 Uriarra Crossing to NMA
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Bushfire Memorial in Stromlo Forest Park
|2 The developing Arboretum and Black Mountain from Dairy Farmers Hill
|3 Cork Oak Plantation