|31 January 2009
|Mt Ginini, Little Ginini and Stockyard Arboretum
|Map: Corin Dam 1:25000
This walk was organised and led by Peter W as an FBI walk:
Sat 31 Jan – CIRCUIT TO SOUTH OF MOUNT GININI – 9km Medium (10) Leader: Peter W This will be a circuit, mainly off-track, through the open snowgum forest, rough underfoot. It will be at 1500 to 1600m, so should be 8oC colder than Canberra. We walk to Mt Ginini, Little Ginini Mountain, then down Stockyard Creek to the arboretum, and back to the cars on the old fire trail. Total climb: 570m. Cars: 140km ($17). Map: Corin Dam. Meet at W.
6 of us met and drove in 2 cars (once again I was fortunate to be chauffeured) to the Mt Ginini car park, as far as one can drive along the Mt Franklin Road. Approximately 1hr30mins each way.
Perhaps it seems a little strange to be going up into the hills on a forecast 38°C Canberra day, but with the temperature dropping around 1°C for every 100m above the city, it was a good plan. Heading for a waterfall and pool was even better (for those who enjoy water).
We were walking by 10.40am, up the cleared, old ski run from the car park to the top of Mt Ginini. Our fearless leader calls breaks according to the time, so just before 11am and over the crest from the air navigation facility I ate my first ham and beetroot sandwich for the day. Daisies and other flowers were abundant, the ACT's floral emblem the Royal Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gloriosa) among them (see here). Views SW into NSW, with the Currango Plain in the distance (see here).
Down the ski run to the SSW from Mt Ginini, passing a little brumby yard near where the Harry Spur track curved off to the W and we headed bush to the S. Lovely walking as we followed the ACT-NSW border down the spur to Stockyard Gap. Passed a border marker, probably Site 47 BMZ56 (I find some of these GRs a bit out - the ACT-NSW Border Markers entry in the ACT Heritage Register has it at GR603656(ADG66)). (NB. Later investigation using a different source of data reveals this border marker to be A57, not on the Heritage Register list.) A couple of metres on the Mt Franklin Road, then bush again to head up to Little Ginini Mountain (see here). Turning E, we found lunch at the 1700m contour because, of course, it was 12.30pm. Two more ham and beetroot sandwiches.
Continuing E, we went down to hit the Mt Franklin Road within metres of the big post marking the top of the Stockyard Spur track. A kilometre along this, great views were to be had to the Bimberi Wilderness tops to the SE. To the NW we could see the tops and gaps we'd walked through. We continued through SH1615, wondering if this would be the last time we'd see the Stockyard Spur track before it is upgraded. At around the 1540m contour we went bush, down and generally NNW to hit Stockyard Creek. Even with the recent weeks of high temperatures (and a few thunderstorms) it is flowing strongly, fed from the many arms emanating from around Stockyard Gap and the sphagnum of Morass and Cheyenne Flats. Cooling water, as the temperature was around 27°C (see table below - no breeze down here). This was the part of the walk that was of particular interest to me, as it was new territory.
We crossed to the left (N) bank and headed upstream. The major side stream was flowing too. Our trusty leader and another party member had previously visited the targeted pool and small waterfall, which we found around 750m upstream (see pic 1). A joy for all the water-babies in the party except me. Uncomfortable with H(eights), B(lood) and W(ater), I soaked my sweat-rag and took some photos (a vivid red fungus at the side of the waterfall - see here) whilst the others wallowed.
Refreshed, we headed up to the NW to the Stockyard Arboretum. Spied a possum (common ringtail, a white length at the end of its tail) up in the middle of the day. Quite a rare sighting, both for time of day and the first of this type our bush-savvy leader (and I) had seen. The arboretum must have been glorious pre-2003 fire, now consisting of conifer logs, encroaching eucalypt seedlings and 2 remaining fir trees (see pic 2).
Within 150m of the 2 fir trees (GR6219565729(GDA94) or 662195-6065729 if you're using a GPS) our leader found the end (GR6211565826(GDA94)) of a leg of the old vehicle track through the area. No doubt the track (now overgrown) serviced the arboretum. It joins the 'Four Wheel Drive' track marked on the 1st edn Corin Dam 1:25000 map at GR6195966048(GDA94)/GR6184765864(ADG66). This we followed, E of Cheyenne Flats and through Morass Flats. Areas abounded in daisies (see pic 3, here) and Trigger plants (Stylidium graminifolium) (see here). We crossed the arm of Stockyard Creek which drains S from Morass/Cheyenne Flats. At around the 1610m contour, the track U-turned to the SW and we wandered up the cleared ski run to the cars.
The tables below, from BoM, show the temperature at Canberra Airport and Mt Ginini for the duration of our walk. With the height difference between Canberra and Mt Ginini around 1762-570=11.92 (hundred metres), there's a reasonable correlation between temperatures at locations (eg. at 5pm it was 38°C in Canberra and 28°C at Mt Ginini). In the car, coming back with the aircon on, it wasn't worth worrying about in the back seat.
Thank you, Peter, for another fine walk to some parts I'd not visited before. Excellent company also from Cynthia, Jillian, Madeleine and Prue.
Distance: 10.6km Climb: 650m. Time: 10.40am - 5.10pm (6hrs30mins), with 40mins of stops.
Grading: M/M-R; M(10)
KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Mt Ginini, Little Ginini and Stockyard Arboretum
|Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
|1 Small waterfall above pool on Stockyard Creek
|2 Two remaining fir trees in Stockyard Arboretum
|3 Prolific daisies at Morass Flats