2 March 2010 Kiandra

Maps: Cabramurra and Denison 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by Max S as an ad-hoc FBI Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 2 March - Kiandra area. Max’s email is on the blink at the moment, so he has requested that I send out notification of tomorrow’s walk (a subsequent email may come from Max). We’ll drive up to Kiandra and have a poke around that area. We can choose from Four Mile Hut and the Selwyn area. Flexible, say up to 20km. Meet at Kambah Shops, cnr Drakeford Drive and Marconi St (opposite the Woolies petrol station) at 7am. Forecast for Snowy Mountains region is ‘Partly cloudy. Southeast to southwest winds.’ This will be an FBI walk if 4 or more participate; otherwise private.

3 of us met at Kambah at 7am, picked up a fourth down in Tuggeranong and drove via Cooma, Adaminaby and Kiandra to the Selwyn Snowfields car park. Arrived around 9.15am, so a 2hr 15min trip.


Access all primary pics here. All thumbnails in the walk report are active - click for a larger picture.


Track overview Track a Track b

I have never previously visited Selwyn. There weren't too many other visitors about. We got ourselves ready (including beanie and gloves, so the season has turned) and headed off at 9.30am through the buildings and up the tows to the top of the chair lift. Said g'day to a couple of guys doing maintenance. We headed to the communications tower at the top, then across to a track marked with snow poles, the Mt Selwyn Cross Country Ski Trail. Selwyn trig was a few hundred metres to the NE, so we didn't bother. Around 1km to here in 17mins. Lovely walking on a cool blue-sky day from here, following the vehicle track and the ski trail poles. Open ridge with patches of recovering Snow Gums. 2km in 11mins to the signposted junction with the Tabletop Trail, where we were informed that it was 6km to Nine Mile Diggings, 2.2km to Four Mile Hut and 9.3km to Mt Tabletop Summit. We turned right onto the Tabletop Trail and wandered 6.2km along it in a bit over one and a half hours (including a lovely lolling morning tea on the mountain grasses). Easy walking. We decided not to go directly to Four Mile Hut, but visit the diggings first.

Selwyn Snowfields car park Paper daisy Snow Gum swirls

Coming upon a steep gully which had obviously been worked, we left the track (note that the Tabletop Trail has been slightly realigned in this area) and headed down it. White, sludgy-looking soil at the top, the typical piles and piles of stones at the bottom of the gully. The photo is looking back up the gully. We did a u-turn and headed back up towards the track, crossing numerous water races.

Nine Mile Diggings

A further 500m along the track we reached the t-intersection of the Tabletop Trail with Four Mile Trail, again well signposted. This bit of the Tabletop Trail we'd walked is actually the AAWT - at this piecemeal rate Max and I will cover it all over the next hundred years or so. We turned left (north) onto the Four Mile Trail and 1.6km took us to Broken Dam Hut. The original site is on the SE of the track and the wonderfully rebuilt hut on the NW. Lunch. Reading the log book, there was reference to a well (45m at 89deg, from memory), so I wandered down to find and inspect it. After munchies we wandered down Broken Dam Creek to Broken Dam - empty and broken it is. Again, lots of water races to cross as we returned to the NW.

1 Broken Dam Hut - original and reconstructed Broken Dam Hut (reconstructed) Broken Dam

From back near Broken Dam Hut we headed NW over into the top of Bloomfield Creek. Soon the tailings from Elaine Mine were visible. Down at the site there was lots of old gear lying about, hut ruins and the mine entrance itself. Scads of flying insects guarded the entrance. 100m or so further down was a derelict steam engine.

Elaine Mine Insect inhabitants of Elaine Mine Elaine Mine 2 Steam engine at Elaine Mine

Under Mike B's guidance we next turned 90deg and headed up the slope, looking for the next two features. The first was a vertical shaft (Max had a book which detailed all the mining strategies and efforts) - one wouldn't want to be running around here on a rogain in the dark!). The second, nearby, was a magnificent length of dry stone wall.

Shaft above Elaine Mine Rock wall near Elaine Mine

Around 2km to the NW was Four Mile Hut, so we contoured round the top of a gully and headed down towards it. Passed through heaps more digging areas. Four Mile Hut is a classic, with wonderful kerosene tin cladding. It's worth firing up the Signage in Four Mile Hut photo to read its story.

3 Four Mile Hut Detail of kerosene tin cladding on Four Mile Hut - note leather washer Signage inside Four Mile Hut

With the day ticking by we left the hut and followed the obvious footpad 750m back to the Tabletop Trail. We inspected the drop-log gate and fencing (again described in Max's book). All that remained was 4.3km in around 50mins back to the car, still the only one in the vast car park.

Drop-log gate and fencing near junction of Tabletop Trail and footpad to Four Mile Hut

Thanks Max, another excellent day to a totally new area for me. Great company from Eric G and Mike B.

Distance: 22.2km Climb: 700m. Time: 9.30am - 4.45pm (7hrs 15mins), with 40mins of breaks and lots of poking around features,
Grading: L/M; H(13)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Kiandra

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This page last updated 15Aug22