14 April 2009 Border Marker Hunting along the Southern Brindabellas Photos
Map: Corin Dam 1:25000
Getting There

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

Tuesday 14 April – Border Marker hunting along the Southern Brindabellas – L/M. ACTPLA have digitised and made available to the public the extant survey field books from the ACT-NSW border setup in 1910-1915. It’s fun, but not as easy as one might think, to find and identify them. We’ll wander at a reasonable pace up to Stockyard Spur from Corin Dam, then hunt north or south. There is also supposed to be a hut site ruin west of Stockyard Gap. Around 20km and 800m climb. Map: Corin Dam. Limit of 8. Leader: John Evans – jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$7. Further details at http://jevans.pcug.org.au.

4 of us drove to Corin Dam.

Further Information

I apologise for postponing my advertised walk to Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt. I’m having trouble finding low gear at the moment and my starter motor is undergoing some maintenance. My wife requires that I tackle something a little less strenuous. Have a look at the publicly available digitised original survey field notebooks on the ACTPLA website here. Have a look at my ACT-NSW Border Markers page.

This walk, different to that advertised in it, is an approved CBC walk.

See page 38 of Graeme Barrow's Namadgi & Tidbinbilla Classics: Tough Bushwalks in Canberra's High Country: "(...walk westwards through scrub for a short distance at Stockyard Gap to reach what's left of a hut (605645) built in 1948 by a group of Mt Franklin skiers; scraps of bush and sawn timber and metal ridge-capping are all that's left.)" The GR is probably AGD66 datum.

We'll go to Stockyard Gap and look for the hut site, then follow the border over Little Ginini Mountain to Pryors Hut. Little Ginini holds border markers:

H57 (no description)
20 Mile Concrete Pipe and Cairn - location is 381.76 links (=76.79m) at 45°48' (=45.8°) from H57, with a post 10 links (=2.01m) on in the same direction
I57 (no description)
J57 (no description)
K57 (no description)
L57 1" Pipe
M57 Pipe
N57 (no description)
O57 3" Downpipe Concrete Core and Cairn - Station on knob Shist [sic] outcrop
P57 Downpipe and Cairn.

Just S of Pryors Hut we'll try to find the Reference Post 8.6 links (=1.73m) at 170°25' (=170.41°) from Q57 (which is the angled cairn previously found). This will be a test to see if the posts have survived - this one has a survey mark up arrow on base with CT under). We'll also see if we can find the 3" Concrete Downpipe in the 21 Mile marker mound (previously found).

If time, inclination and weather allow, we'll scoot down the Mt Franklin Road and up Mt Gingera. Here I'd like to:

Confirm the position of the 'mast' as X57 (1" Pipe and Cairn), which would make it the NATMAP Mt Gingera
Find W57 - Gingera (MOUAT) 1" Gaspipe driven into cleft of Boulder - is this the tors that Brigitte and friends went to?
22 Mile 3" Downpipe with Concrete Core and Bolt - location is 1320.86 links (=265.71m) at 144°53' (144.88°) from W57. There is also a post 10 links (=2.01m) closer to W57 on the same line and a survey mark on a Gum 27.13 links (=5.45m) at 78°03' (=78.05°) of 45 above up arrow on base above R above M above 22.
V57 1" Pipe Rock Station
U57 Station on Granite Boulder 1" Pipe cemented in crevisse [sic] of boulder about 12' above ground
T57 (no description)
S57 (no description)
R57 1" Pipe - found last time. Check the pipe. It has a survey mark on a Gum 14.3 links (=2.87m) at 249°21' (=249.35°) of up arrow on base above C.T.


Another tough wander up to Stockyard Spur. The other 3 hardly raised a sweat. Wet at first from brushing through all the pea regrowth on the switch-back sections at the start. 1hr7mins to cover the 2km and 530m climb. A pause at the cairns. Then along up the spur to morning tea at Graeme Barrow's 'Stockyard Spur Grandstand'. Cold in the breeze with a sweaty shirt. Then along to meet the Mt Franklin Road at the Stockyard Spur marker post.

We turned N and trotted down to Stockyard Gap, where we headed into the bush to try to find the above mentioned hut site. No joy. I've assumed the the GR is ADG66, as this puts it closer to Stockyard Gap. Maybe not, so emailed and enquiry to Graeme Barrow.

Next was BM H57, its location putting it right by the Mt Franklin Road. With no description from the original survey field notebook, no joy. Maybe it got graded away! The day, which had been surprisingly sunny to this point, started to threaten showers.

But all was ignored as the hunt turned into a veritable orgy of border markers! I think Eric found the first one, the 20 Mile border marker. These are harder to locate than the other markers for which I have locations, as the only clue is a distance and bearing from the previous marker. In this case the previous marker, H57, was not found. After that, we all shared in finding them.

At each find I photographed my GPS on the marker (to record my location for it) and then the unadorned marker. I must admit to moving the marker cairn's rocks in some cases to explore further, returning them afterwards. We agreed that this was not the first time it had been done - many rocks were lichen-side down (so someone must have moved them first) and some cairns hid newer-than-original 4" squared wooden pegs. In addition, my ACTPLA contact Alex P told me that the border from Mt Coree to Mt Gingera had been resurveyed and that explained the nearby wooden pegs, which at times proved a handy guide to locating their close-by border marker.

Unless you have a thing for border markers, you wouldn't appreciate the photos. But, just in case you do, you'll find them all on my ACT-NSW Border Markers page.

Up over Little Ginini Mountain, looking very pretty in the damp (it was somewhere up and over here that the showers caught us and rain gear required for the first time in living memory), we found border markers 20 Mile, I57, J57, K57, L57, M57 (just near the summit rock-pile of Little Ginini Mountain), N57, O57 and P57.

O57 and P57 (see pic 1) were unique - 3" Downpipes with a Concrete Core, rising up from the middle of the surrounding cairn. Most downpipes were driven flush to the surface. Obviously these, because of their size and rocky terrain, could not.

A lovely trip down the gentle S spur of Little Ginini Mountain to Pryors Hut through Snow Gums and grasses. I think on previous occasions I've veered a little to far left and descended more steeply through scrubbier going to the Mt Franklin Road. Lunch in Pryors Hut. Threatening showers as we left, which soon turned into the real thing for a while. But lovely to walk in the rain!

Just S of Priors Hut we visited 2 previously bagged markers - 21 Mile and Q57. Yes, the 3" Concrete Downpipe nestled under an easily removed rock in its cairn; but no Reference Post near Q57. I guess these have decayed with time or been burnt.

The shower ended as we reached the walking track to Mt Gingera so we disrobed during the journey up, only to experience another shower. As you reach near the top, the footpad forks left and straight ahead. I was originally taken left and so have always gone that way, to the guyed pole area with plenty of room and wonderful views. Today we went straight ahead and reached the granite tors I'd obviously walked past before and seen Brigitte and friends on on 21 Mar 09. At the top of one rock pile the GPS showed 1m to border marker W57, but no joy in finding the 1" Gaspipe driven into cleft of Boulder. Nice views E to Mt McKeahnie, but trees blocking the view further S, so that's why people go to the pole site for the better views. But this is the real Mt Gingera (see pic 2).

To double check we wandered about 100m S to the guyed pole and checked the GPS. It showed we were at border marker X57. And there, I'd never noticed it before, a metre S of the base of the pole, was a small cairn surrounding the newer 4" square dressed timber border marker. According to a hand annotated 1:16000 map I have, the guyed pole at X57 is marked as a trig point for NATMAP. But W57 is the real Mt Gingera. Maybe NATMAP and NSW Mapping have a slightly different point for this feature.

'Not sure when. Maybe checking the co-ordinates on old trig lists could give a clue. Reason would be because the flat rock where it is now so much easier to occupy - with a tripod and surveying equipment - than the original point atop a rock outcrop. Also clearer view in east.' (from RW, MH's friend on 22/1/12)

We next continued the usual Mt Gingera circuit, NW along the ridge. We passed the area of W57 (I must look up next time). We located 22 Mile (another good find, as we had only a distance and direction from the unconfirmed W57). But no post or survey mark could be found. Then V57, U57, T57, S57 and finally R57 (which I previously found. Eric shared chocolate to celebrate. 18 border markers (including 3 mile markers) in all!

With time slipping away and a thunderstorm heading our way, we scurried down to Pryors Hut, back down Stockyard Spur and down to Corin Dam. The thunderstorm went around to the S.

An excellent day, I thought! Thanks heaps Eric, Karen and Mike for wonderful border marker hunting and pandering to my penchant.

Distance: 20.9km  Climb: 1350m.  Time:
Grading: L/M; H(12)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Border Marker Hunting along the Southern Brindabellas

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Border marker P57
2 The real Mt Gingera (MOUAT)