28 March 2011 Pago and Bushranger Weirs

Map: Tidbinbilla 1:25000

Getting There

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

Monday 28 March- Pago and Bushranger Weirs - M/E,ptX. From the intersection of Bendora Rd with Warks Rd, walk first N along Warks Rd, Old MIll Rd and Pago Break to the overgrown access track to Pago weir. Return. Search for signs of Warks Camp. Then down Bendora Rd and right onto Dywers Rd (not marked on 2nd edn Tidbinbilla 1:25000) to visit the Bendora explosives store. Return. Lastly, walk SW along Warks Rd through Aerodrome Corner to Bushranger weir and return. Around 13km and 300m climb. Map: Tidbinbilla. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$8 per person.

3 of us met at my home in Duffy and drove to the intersection of Bendora Rd and Warks Rd, the same as on 28 Feb 11.

Further Information

A trip to escort John B back after 43 years. Ground-truthing for KHA.


You can also access all photographs here.


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The objective of this trip was to allow John Burns to revisit his handiwork of 40+ years ago at Pago and Bushranger weirs. John had been with me on 28 Feb 11, but had not actually reached the weir. This was my first search for Bushranger weir. John was in fine form, having completed a 400km bike ride down around Rutherglen the previous week and a 5km run on the lovely green grass track at Stromlo Forest Park the previous day. Great to have Nathan H with us too.

We strolled N along Warks Rd, then switched-back SW along Old Mill Rd. Veering left onto Pago Break, we wandered up to the spot where the access track left the Break. Not a trace of it, yet John had remembered and described this track he had bulldozed in in 1968 to me on 28 Feb 11 (cryptic crosswords is his secret). We bashed our way in slowly, the first 100m or so having a lot of large fallen timber. But at last we recognised the benched (cut level) track and the going became a little easier. I broke many twigs on the way in and out, so I could appear to be the hero tomorrow (grin). We reached Pago Weir.

Listen to John Burns talk about Pago weir

We returned the same way. This leg 5.7km in 2hrs 5mins including the break at Pago weir.

Whilst John and Nathan were munching lunch I wandered in the old fire trail which John said led to Warks Camp. A bit of tin on the ground and a wire rope anchored and strung between two trees no doubt marked the site. The fire trail became indistinct, but Bendora Rd was in sight and, across the other side, Dywers Rd (marked on 1st edn map, but not 2nd) branched off. I had a clue that I wouldn't have to walk far to see the next site.

From Above the Cotter by Ian Fraser and Margaret McJannett, p 101: 'Immediately on the left is a solidly-built wooden shed; this was the explosives store for the building of Bendora Road. It was constructed in 1959.'

Unfortunately the 2003 firestorm has not left much of it.

Wandering back up Bendora Rd I passed the Bendora Dam and Bulls Head sigh on the side of the road. Looks like one can get to Bulls Head in either direction!

Lunch over, we headed SW along Warks Rd till we came to the main arm of Bushrangers Creek. With me thinking surely the wier would have been built on this main arm, the 3 of us (with a bit extra from me) pushed 150m up the creek in 17mins. Slow going without a paddle. The creek was flattening out, so we returned.

We took Warks Road round to the next arm of Bushrangers Creek, where John felt more at home. We could even see a granite outcrop up the creek - necessary to key in the weir. Leaving Warks Rd, a climb of 120m in 7mins up the creek, with a final scramble to the top of the granite cascade, found us at Bushranger weir. A most salubrious affair - vertical wooden cladding on the measuring pipe with 'hut' atop.

Listen to John Burns talk about Bushranger weir

Return via backing out, the Bushranger Weir leg being 7.9km in 2hrs 55mins.

Thanks heaps John. And Nathan too.

Distance: 14.2km Climb: 300m. Time: 10.55am - 4.10pm (5hrs 15mins), with some appropriate stops at the weirs and lunch at the car.
Grading: M/E,ptX; M(9)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Pago and Bushranger Weirs

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This page last updated 25Aug22