7 December 2010 Jedbinbilla and beyond

Map: Tidbinbilla 1:25000

Getting There

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

Tuesday 7 December - Jedbinbilla and beyond - L/E. A wander round Jedbinbilla in TNR and beyond.

Drove to the Mountain Creek car park.

Further Information

I was not able to join the lads doing Coal Creek Bundanoon, led by Ian S, so I took the opportunity to snap a simulacrum or two and do a little KHA ground-truthing. Back in town in time to meet my commitment.


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


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Track overview Track a Track b

This turned out to be a useful walk. Easy walking, good exercise. Poor company, although no need to stop for morning tea or lunch.

From the car park (a new Bushwalking Register book is needed) up the Camel Back Fire Trail to the Spur 1 turn off on the right. Down about 300m (in elevation) to the edge of the old Block 60 Pine Forest - now renamed Jedbinbilla. Some S to N wiggles and across Reid Creek for the first time, flowing strongly. A loop to the NE then S and E. These are all old fire trails, but recently re-marked with great signage to establish the Jedbinbilla area. The regrowth - native forest - is wonderful.

A search around the 'Man on a Horse' granite tor, just a few tens of metres S up off the fire trail, to get the best photo. The tor is pictured on the walking tracks map signage at the Mountain Creek trackhead/car park. A little imagination is needed. Visit it within the next year or so before the wattle and Cassinia regrowth obliterates the view to it. Perhaps the TNR staff could cut a little footpad up through the burnt pine windrows. Maybe an entry for Tim the Yowie Man's simulacra article.

NE from here down towards the Tidbinbilla River. The new signage in this Jedbinbilla area is great and, with the excellent native tree regrowth, makes this a great place for an easy walk. A new gravel detour footpad parallels Reid Creek as it tumbles to join the Tidbinbilla River.

Further NE along the fire trail there is signage at the start of a footpad being developed which doubles back S and down to the Tidbinbilla River. The "track closed" sign was lying on the ground, so I decided to ignore it and wandered down to the river bank - where the pad currently ends. No doubt it's planned to make some sort of crossing, as the Sheedy's picnic area is visible just across the river.

Returning to the fire trail, I continued N to the next fire trail junction. My destination lay to the NW and Nil Desperandum, as the signage confirmed, but the directions also pointed to another Tidbinbilla River crossing leading back to the Visitor Information Centre. Turning right, the fire trail took me to the NE until a 'Private Property' sign indicated I was near the Tidbinbilla property and the track signage indicated one should turn off to the right and follow the new footpad down to the river. Here trees, dislodged by recent heavy rain, had knocked about the footbridge across the Tidbinbilla River. It would be easy to skip across, but not recommended for townies.

Retracing my steps to the intersection, I next headed NW towards Nil Desperandum. An excellent panorama opened up - nearby to an evocative granite tor soaring above the tree line (a snake or eel head?), Gibraltar Rocks across the valley behind and so on along the N rim of TNR. Lovely. Perhaps Tim the Yowie Man could run a competition to name the tor, unless it already has a local name. However, this route took me into the territory of a raptor - the first I knew was a swipe on my head. Much arm waving and backwards walking until I reached his border. He thought he'd won and was cool because he had my sun glasses - sorry mate, not KC, not even Cancer Council approved and I have several more $7 pairs at home.

A puff up to SH865, then N down the other side on the fire trail. The next surprise was a distant waterfall, no doubt roaring if one was there. A subsequent map check indicates something like a 60m fall. Is this the elusive Elsies Falls, certainly not at the map marked point, which we searched for on 5 Dec 06? Facing S-ish, it certainly ties in with the story I've read that, in the old days, it was visible from the current TNR Visitors Centre area.

Down to Nil Desperandum, then an abortive foray round the right bank of Hurdle Creek (including a kanga crawl under a fence line - was I in private property? - but my digital maps say no) towards the Ashbrook (John Staunton's) site.  Returning to Nils, I followed the fire trail (old Gilmore Road) NW until I guessed at the beginning of the old track to Ashbrook, just downstream of the Hurdle Creek weir. Figure 6-31-1 Compass and Pacing Survey of Hurdle Creek Eucalyptus Oil Distillery 1990 from the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Cultural Resource Survey and Conservation Plan 20 May 1991, prepared by David Bulbeck and Philip Boot, helped.

Following this across Hurdle Creek (one wet boot for the jump) and over a low dry ridge, I came to an elm grove. But I was heading to KHA site 806 on my GPS, so didn't stop. Nearing the objective by passing across the S side of a large cleared area and getting wet feet, I pulled out p 72-73 of B&B. It spoke of the elm grove, so I returned to it, went E, got my feet wet again in the overflow of Hurdle Creek, went W and found the quince tree. The doco says the quince tree is 15m E of the large fireplace, which I found and photographed.

Returning across Hurdle Creek, I visited the weir, then searched for the eucalyptus oil still (I didn't have the waypoint with me) from the S side of the tributary. Hopeless. Back on the fire trail, I crossed the tributary, turned left into the scrub and within a few tens of metres was at the vat.

The next objective to ground-truth was the old koala enclosure (KHA 788), near the intersection of Gilmores Rd and Oakey Creek Rd. I poked around a bit, but the bush by the creek was dense and I couldn't input the locations from B&B p 109 into geomin in the correct format (I returned to an email from Alex P setting me right). No joy, so I'll have to come back.

From here, it was follow the new Jedbinbilla signage SW. The last joy was a turn around view to the probable Elsies Falls from just S of the intersection, looking straight up it through the bush - that fixed its location. A pleasant plod across the NW edge of Jedbinbilla and so up Spur 2. All the creeks were running merrily and one yielded a bottle of cool drinking water. Tree ferns re-establishing.

So to join the Camel Back fire trail. Down it to the car.

I called in at the TNR VC to report a few issues and grab a drink.

Distance: 25.1km Climb: 900m. Time: 7.50am - 2.00pm (6hrs 10mins), with no stops.
Grading: L/E; H(12)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Jedbinbilla and beyond

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This page last updated 23Aug22