26 September 2009 Border Markers between Oak Hill and One Tree Hill Photos
Map: Hall 1:25000
Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as a private walk:

Saturday 26 September - Border Markers between Oak Hill and One Tree Hill - L/E-M,X. Into the northern section of MFNR to Oak Hill then onto One Tree Hill, scouting for border markers.

2 of us drove to the SW entrance to the Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve section on the NW side of Horse Park Drive.

Further Information

I was reminded of this area of border markers by the Stateline report on 'The Stakeout of Canberra'. You can view the item on Youtube here.

Leave home at 6am. Bring lunch.

I don't have locations for these border markers, just taking a guess from the 1:25000 map and the original survey notebooks. The BMs near Oak Hill seen on 28 Jul 09 need verifying.

An interesting exercise in gaining permission from lessees. Got a name or two from the Mitchell Parks and Conservation depot. John S's land doesn't go to the border. He gave me Allan P, Lee C and Kevin B. They all gave permission, one begrudgingly, another said "first time in 20 years anyone has asked". I don't blame them - they have a lot of trouble with vandalism, dogs, broken fences, gates left open, etc. But it's right to ask - I wouldn't like a stranger frigging about in my backyard! Have to ring Kevin B when off his land.

I may not get permission to come this way again, so it will be great if we can persist to get them all!


A cold, showery (a little hail) day. We nearly packed it in at one point. An excellent haul of border markers. Many original pegs marked with the surveyors' vertical arrow or CT. We identified border markers:

B2, A2 (seen previously on 28 Jul 09), Z1 (seen previously on 28 Jul 09), W1, V1, U1, T1 - Oak trig (seen previously on 28 Jul 09), P1, M1, G1, B1, A1, Z, X, W, V, U, S, R, Q, P, K, J, H, 1 Mile, G, F, D, C, B, A and One Tree trig. The photos of them are below and also on the ACT-NSW Border Markers and Lockspits page.

Border markers which could not be identified (even at a distinct corner in the border fence), were:

E2, D2, C2, Y1, X1, 5 Mile, S1, R1, Q1, O1, N1, L1, K1, J1, I1, H1, 4 Mile, F1, E1, D1, C1, 3 Mile, Y, T, 2 Mile, O, N, M, L, I and E.

From the car park at the gate off Horse Park Drive we headed straight up through the Nature Park to the border, aiming for E2. This, and some other border markers and all the mile markers except one, was not recognisable. As on previous hunts, 3 photos at each site (see pic 1) - identification, location, site. We headed anti-clockwise along the border fence.

Some lovely little flowers (see pic 2). An excellent mate with excellent knowledge, Barrie R, later identified this for me as member of the lily family, its common name is Early Nancy and its botanical name is Wurmbea dioica. Stopped and talked to a NSW land owner whose house is right next to the border. I was able to assure him that I had contacted the ACT lessees. He told us that new survey pegs we spotted around 20m into the ACT opposite some border markers were defining the rerouted Bicentennial National Trail. Lost my glasses. Hail at border marker C on the steep approach to One Tree Hill.

Maybe saw my first survey blaze at this point. The original survey notebook says "315°18' Apple 38.0 [survey vertical arrow]". 38.0 links = 7.6m and provided the direction is specified from the tree to the border marker, then the old scar on the tree fits. I checked this out with border marker guru Alex P who said:

In NSW (and the ACT) the bearing from a reference mark –such as a tree with a shield (“blaze”) cut into it- the bearing was always from the reference mark to the corner.  Occasionally a Qld surveyor might have done the survey and showed the reverse bearing (bearing from the tree to the corner + or – 180 degrees), or the surveyor inadvertently showed the reverse bearing on the plan.

Reached One Tree Hill at 11.40am. Great views down to the nearby new Gungahlin suburbs and further into Canberra (see pic 3). The only straight part of the ACT border, stretching from Mt Coree to One Tree Hill, was shrouded in rain and cloud (see pic 4). A short lunch out of the driving wind on the E side of the hill.

Our return leg took us generally E, heading to near Oak Hill. The NSW land owner had pointed out the access road which services 'Elm Grove' and 'Horse Park', but I decided to keep a little up in the hills. Woodland flowers (see pic 5), this one identified by Barrie as also a lily, Bulbine bulbosa or Bulbine Lily or Native Leek. Apparently the corm is edible. SE from near Oak Hill back to the car.

B2 A2 Z1 W1 V1
U1 T1 - Oak trig P1 M1 G1
B1 A1 Z X W
P K J H 1 Mile
A One Tree trig

32 border markers hunted! Excellent, thanks for your company Quentin.

Distance: 18.3km  Climb: 600m.  Time: 6.30am - 2.15pm (7hrs 45mins), with 25mins of stops.
Grading: L/E-M,X; M(10)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Border Markers between Oak Hill and One Tree Hill (password protected)

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Johnny Boy at work - photo courtesy of Quentin M
2 Tiny flowering plant
3 View to Gungahlin and beyond from One Tree Hill
4 View to Mt Coree from One Tree Hill
5 Grassland flower