27 March 2011 Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve and surrounds

Map: Hall 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as a combined CBC/Parkway Sunday arvo ramble:

Sunday 27 March - Sunday arvo ramble - Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve and surrounds - M/E,X. A wander from Binns St in Fraser across the top of Dunlop. Touch the ACT-NSW border and a little of Ginninderra Creek. Use some of the Bicentennial National Trail. Around 14km and 50m climb. Map: Hall. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: drive yourself to Binns St Fraser to meet at 1.15pm.

11 of us met in Binns St, where the loop is gated off.

Further Information

Take Tony B's info on Crowajingalong - see email 22/11/10; invite him to come and show us around.

The ACT Government schematic of the Dunlop Grasslands Nature Reserve is here.

The pond we visited is called West Belconnen Pond and there is some info on it here - thanks Greg (May 11). (Local copy in ...\ACT Brochures\pomlakeswestbelcpdf (West Belconnen Pond).pdf).


You can also access all photographs here.


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

We set off at 1.15pm under the expert guidance of Tony B, to whom I'd gladly contracted out the route finding. Tony lives in the area and knew of our first destinations - the Crowajingalong site(s?). Nothing via Google, except the local Scout troop. Does anyone know anything about the area? We first went E to a large group of very mature exotic trees, including old olive trees. Tony had previously seen lines of stones/bricks around here, but not in the long grass today.

Then NE to the corner of the CSIRO private land, where our guide picked us an osage-orange fruit. Milky white sap. First time most of us had seen them - here's a Wikapedia entry for Maclura pomifera (Osage-orange tree).

Next, roughly WNW along the border of the nature reserve, picking up alignments of the Bicentennial National Trail. We crested the rise a the N end of the section of the NR that extends S into Dunlop. On the ground, the area is nothing like the Hall 1:25000 2nd edn topo map - there has been a tremendous lot of development in the area. The (current) Google Earth satelite imagery (kmz file) shows the extent of new suburbia, but not the green grass from the late Spring rain and mild Summer conditions.

From the crest we could see our way down to the Dunlop ponds (don't know their proper name). Even (the current) Google Earth does not show the new houses built facing the ponds - I could live in most of these McMansions.

Down at the nicely developed and maintained park around the S edge of the ponds, we came across the border survey signage and plaque that I'd hoped we'd find.

At the SW extent of the ponds we were offered an extension of the ramble to the distant-seen sewerage treatment plant, but we decided to leave that for another time. So back up the NW side of the pond, along a walk-way between houses and up the side of the strangely shaped fenced off area of the NR and back towards the cars.

The final joy of this urban fringe ramble was to cross some grasslands, hop a soak, scrounge a few blackberries, trundle through some builders rubble mullock heaps and visit another building site with more exotic trees, this one with a concrete footpad.

Forgot to stop for arvo tea.

Thanks very much Tony. Some interesting sites and flora to enhance some lungfulls of fresh air on a Sunday arvo.

Thanks for your most pleasant company Alison M, Amanda B, Bob D, Gerald D, Nathan H, Paul E, Rina B, Teresa Z, Tony B and Wayne P.

Distance: 7.8km Climb: 50m. Time: 1.15 - 3.30pm (2hrs 15mins), with no stops.
Grading: S/E,X; E(5)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Dunlop Grasslands NR

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This page last updated 25Aug22