12 July 2011 Bushfold Flats with Matthew Higgins

Map: Williamsdale 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me (with site finding and description contracted out to Matthew H) as an adhoc FBI hard Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 12 July - Bushfold Flats - M/E-M. Walk the fire trail off Apollo Rd to Bushfold Flats. With guidance from well known local historian Matthew Higgins, visit a number of sites of interest in the area. Meet at 8.15am. Limit 12. Around 15km and 300m climb. Map: Williamsdale. Leader: John E.

11 of us met and drove in 3 cars down Tharwa Rd, Naas Rd and right up Apollo Rd to park at the car park around 400m on from the Mt Tennent Fire Trail.

Further Information

Thanks to NPA ACT who made back issues of their Bulletins available via their web site (and to Mike B who drove the project). In the June 1995 Bulletin, Matthew Higgins penned an article detailing many of the sites we'll visit. You can check out the full Bulletin here, or else just the extracted article here.


You can also access all photographs here.


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Track overview Track 1 Track 2

A lovely morning, a little crisp in the shade. We wandered up the fire trail and onto the S end of Bushfold Flats.

Our first stop was the rebuilt George and Russell Read's hut. Excellent signage in the hut (courtesy of MH!) explaining its history. Until now, I've known this as W-G TH5 1-2. Matthew related the history of the area, its previous owners and its incorporation into NNP. Located at UTM 55H 683666-6063225 (MGA94).

Next, up the N end of the Flats, was Russell Read's 1-stand shearing shed site. Until now, I've known this as W-G TH4. Located at UTM 55H 683685-6065120 (MGA94).

This little walk promised more and the next site was new to me - Duncan KcKeahnie's 1884 hut site. Located at UTM 55H 683592-6064986 (MGA94), just a couple of hundred metres SW of the previous site.

We returned to the flat rock area just near the fence line and gate to enjoy morning tea in the sun.

Refreshed, we continued N and came to Russell and Muriel Read's hut site. This was the high ceilinged hut, before it was burnt down and now exists as a neat pile of corrugated iron sheets, an old stove and fridge. Until now, I've known this as W-G TH3. Located at UTM 55H 683567-6065324 (MGA94).

A further couple of hundred of metres N, W of the old vehicle track, we spent some time searching through the grass looking for the next site. The area was strangely familiar but, as I'm old and stupid, I didn't refer to the locations I had with me. At least an old fence line was found, fitting in with Matthew's memory of the area, which eventually led us to Martin McMahon's post 1902 hut site. I'd previously found this on 16 Dec 08 and known it as W-G TH2. Located at UTM 55H 683638-6065473 (MGA94).

Matthew then took us a further 1 or so km N through patches of wattle regrowth, heading for Dunns Flat which he last visited 13 years ago. The vehicle track and cleared area are not as on the 2nd edn 1:25000 Wiliamsdale topo map, one having petered out and the other covered with regrowth. He remembered an Apple Box (Eucalyptus bridgesiana) with a low horizontal branch. With a little difficulty he found the Flat and the tree was there. So too was Dunn's hut c1910 site, built by siblings Jack, Bob and Jennie Dunn who lived at the Tennent Homestead at the time. I think our guide was pleased to revisit this area. The hut site is located at UTM 55H 683654-6066537 (MGA94).

We visited the nearby little dam and settled down in the sun by the big Apple Box for an extended lunch.

Afterwards, back to the N end of Bushfold Flats, a detour down the fire trail to Blue Gum Creek runing clear and well, then back to the cars.

GPS lesson learned today - don't forget to lock the display, Johnny Boy, or every press and knock whilst it's in your pack will change the settings and you'll look like a fool when someone asks you for a simlpe bearing.

Must find Matthew's book Namadgi Huts, 1994, where all these sites and many more are described. Try NVC library, Heritage Unit library, maybe heritage section in ACT library at Woden.

Thanks Matthew, another wonderful day. Thank you for your historical sites and commentary, your stories and your flora and fauna identification. And thanks to Barrie R, Eric and Pat P, Eric G, Jenny H, Ken W, Laura P, Mike B and Robert M.

Distance: 18.9km Climb: 600m. Time: 8.40am - 3.15pm (6hrs 35mins), with 1hr of breaks.
Grading: L/E-M; M(11)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Bushfold Flats with Matthew Higgins

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This page last updated 28Aug22