14 December 2011 Orroral Sites

Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Corin Dam 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular CBC 'Tuesday' walk on Wednesday:

Wednesday 14 December - Orroral Sites - L/M,ptX. Explore a few old sites around the Orroral Tracking Station, including a 1st edn map track going up to the Geodetic Observatory (this could be a scrubby climb). Return via the Granite Tops Walking Track, then up the Orroral Valley to lunch with the Wednesday Walkers at New Fishloch Yards. Around 17km and 600m climb. Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Corin Dam. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, 0417 436 877 or (h) 6288 7235. Transport: ~$10 per person.

I picked up another couple of starters at 6am and we drove to the Orroral Valley.

Further Information

Sites to visit include: Space antennae, tanks, stockyards, huts, footbridge site across Orroral River, Orroral Astro Ecce.

This is an approved CBC walk.


You can access all photographs here.


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Tracks overview Tracks 1 and 2 Track 3

The countryside is pretty as a picture in this mild, spring-like early summer period with all the rain and cool temperatures.

Walk 1

We parked on the side of the Orroral Road at a point indicated on the 1st edn Rendezvous Creek map where a track takes off into the bush. We soon knew were were heading in the right direction, as there was a waterfall in the bush, flowing out of a significant culvert. Signs of blacktop too. We followed the benched old road for a couple of hundred metres and came to the concrete pad of the site in the bush. This is KHA site 752. I wonder what it originally looked like and what it was used for? Returned to the car.

Walk 2

We drove to the Orroral gate intersection and walked in along the Cotter Hut Road for a couple of hundred metres to another 1st edn map marked track heading SW up towards the Geodetic Observatory. Just discernable, although I would have walked past here a couple of times without noticing it. Open to start with, then a bit scrubby, but the 1st edn map marked intersection area with the track running into the tanks was open. No track that I could see, so we pressed through to the tanks. Returning to the intersection, the track up the hill was able to be followed for quite some distance. It eventually closed in and we climbed through scrubby going towards the top. Perhaps a hint of a benched track very near the crest, and near my waypoint for the end of the track. We crested the ridge and turned N-ish to wander through the pea regrowth to the Geodetic Observatory and NMC106. Morning tea. A stroll down the Granite Tops Walking Track with James Creek running voluminously and noisily down in the gully. Down at the Cotter Hut Road I whipped over and got the car and drove to the tracking station car park. Saw some walkers, presumably Wednesday walkers, on the heritage trail down near the Orroral Homestead.

Walk 3

Next we wandered up the Orroral Valley through the grass, St Johns Wort and kangaroos to the Rowleys Orroral Valley Hut site. Here we turned left and visited the stockyard site just off the edge of the track heading up to the Cotter Hut Road. The great pile of tins are there - maybe empty sheep dip tins. Returned to the valley, then down to the footbridge site on the Orroral River. This had me tricked for a while, as the rocks at the GPS waypoint were recognisable, but nothing else. Crossed via a log-jam a few tens of metres downstream, went back up to the rocks and found the wire and star picket anchor for the old bridge. On reviewing my photos from a 27 May 08 visit, what has happened is that the 'log-jam' is the remains of the old footbridge, washed downstream. We returned to Rowleys hut site and continued on up the valley past the star picket at W-G OR14 hut site, arriving at New Fishloch yards at 11.20am. We hung our Christmas tinsel and lazed around and ate lunch.

Half an hour or so later a large group was spied walking up the valley. 33 Wednesday Walkers arrived under the marshalling of Janet E and we enjoyed a shared lunch in the shade of the tree. Santa visited and gifted chocolate frogs to many. A lovely time on a fabulous day.

The Tuesday Trotters had eaten too much, so we set off to return. We crossed the Orroral River at the washed-down footbridge again, picked up a nice old vehicle track on the left side of the river (documented in Namadgi Footpads), skirted a large black snake, crossed the Orroral River at the concrete bridge carrying the link track and returned to the car.

Sad to note that, even with offering seniors discount petrol rates (Tuesday trotters $10, Wednesday walkers $12), I can only attract 3 walkers (grin).

Thanks Jenny H and Ken W. And huge thanks to Janet E for organising the Wednesday Walk + lunch for us all.

By the way, as long as the Orroral River crossing (as described above) remains usable, it plus the route down the left side of the river allows a very pleasant Orroral Valley 'round'.

Distance: 18.4km Climb: 450m. Time: 7am - 2pm (7hrs), with 1hr 45mins of stops + a bit of driving and faffing around.
Grading: L/M,ptX; M(11)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: Orroral Sites

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This page last updated 29Aug22