29 June 2010 Curley Falls and Queanbeyan River Loop

Map: Captains Flat 1:25000

Getting There

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

Tuesday 29 June - Curley Falls and Queanbeyan River Loop - L/E,X. From London Bridge via fire trail and a little bush to Curley Falls on the Queanbeyan River. Then fire trail via the Queanbeyan River Loop Ride and Queanbeyan River Loop, crossing the river at Gelegnite Crossing and Flynns Crossing. Around 20km and 350m climb. Map: Captains Flat. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$5 per person.

Door-to-door service for my walking companions. I picked them up and we drove to the London Bridge Woolshed car park.

Further Information

Beginners' X-country skiing was postponed at the last moment due to insufficient snow, so I put this together. Thanks very much to Judy G, who has the Curley Falls walk on the FBI calendar on 4 July. She readily shared the details of the walk with me:

Curley Falls is a cascade on the Queanbeyan River upstream from Googong Dam headwaters. The falls are also upstream from the junction of the Queanbeyan River with the Burra Creek. The walk starts at the London Bridge woolshed and follows the fire trail to Gelignite Crossing. We then walk north along the western river bank thru the bush and with some rock scrambles to an overgrown beach adjacent to Curley Falls. A recently graded firetrail enters the back of the beach. We climb steeply up this fire trail to meet the Gelignite Crossing fire trail which we retrace back to the Woolshed. An easier alternative is to take the unmarked Curley Falls fire trail from its junction with the Gelignite Fire Trail. The junction is at the top of a steep hill and marked with a stone cairn and pink ribbon about an hour's walk from the woolshed.


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Track Curley Falls and Queanbeyan River Loop

A bit foggy and certainly around the forecast -4°C when we set off. Brochures available, including one with a handy map, on the net at http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/13466/Googong_Map_and_Guide_Brochure.pdf. My wife had spun the wool and made me a lovely beanie, so at least my brain was warm (but still dull). Mike B was warming down from 3 weeks on the Larapinta Trail. Up the paddock, down the road and over the hill to London Bridge, last here on 12 Mar 04. From there, a few tens of metres across to the Gelignite Crossing fire trail which parallels Burra Creek running N. At the first intersection, where the trail turns E, we wandered down to Washpen Crossing.

London Bridge 1 London Bridge Washpen Crossing

Back up from our diversion, we progressed further SE to the pink ribbon and cairn - exactly as Judy had described - which marked the descent to Curley Falls. This took us down the spur to the Queanbeyan River and Curley Falls, a pleasant and rocky cascade. 5.4km and 1hr 15mins (including our diversion to Washpen Crossing) to here. We had a good look about.

Curley Falls 2 Curley Falls

Our next leg was along the S bank of the river to Gelignite Crossing. Open, dry bush. I chose a reasonably high path above the river - approaching Gelignite Crossing and preparing to drop back down to the river, Max pointed out the pink tapes which no doubt set out a way along the river bank (as I said, dull). 1km in 40mins.

The river was flowing well at the crossing. A light had gone on at 7am and I'd packed some rubbery slipons and a micro-towel (too late to tell the boys). So they crossed bare-foot. A veneer of ice on the edge of the river.

A pleasant wander of 5.3km in 1hr 30mins (including 15mins morning tea) took us along the Queanbeyan River Loop Ride, SE up the river then looping back to Flynns Crossing. A similar crossing to the previous.

Gelignite Crossing - the first time A delicate shoe breaks the ice at Gelignite Crossing Dainty bare-footed walkers at Flynns Crossing on the Queanbeyan River

The fire trail is now known as the Queanbeyan River Walk (can't see the river, just a fire trail through reasonably pleasant, open, dry forest). 4.2km in 1hr back to Gelignite Crossing, where lunch was taken on some basking rocks. It was 12.30pm and the pools beside the river were still iced.

3 Iced pool beside the Queanbeyan River at 12.30pm at Gelignite Crossing A delicate shoe breaks the ice at 12.30pm at Gelignite Crossing

Our homeward leg took us past the morning's turnoff to Curley Falls, then via a shortcut and a longcut back to London Bridge arch and so to the car. I had a quick poke around the woolshed and shearers' quarters.

London Bridge woolshed London Bridge shearers' quarters

Max had warned us to bring our diaries (paper, not electronic - we're from the age of gracious living - although young Mike was flashing a mobile phone with his diary). We sat at a picnic table and had a most productive future walks planning meeting ... now all remains is to convince our wives to let us out.

A pleasant ramble on a lovely Winter's day. Thanks Max and Mike.

Distance: 20km Climb: 550m. Time: 8am - 1.35pm (5hrs 35mins), with 30mins of stops.
Grading: L/E,X; M(10)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Curley Falls and Queanbeyan River Loop

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This page last updated 19Aug22