30 April 2013 Stockyard Gap sites with Matthew Higgins

Billy and aluminium saucepan at Stockyard Arboretum Hut site

Map: Corin Dam 1:25000

Walk Description

This walk was organised by me, with site identification contracted out to Matthew Higgins, as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 30 April: Stockyard Gap sites with Matthew Higgins - M/M-R. From the Mt Ginini car park, follow the old track via Cheyenne and Morass Flats to the former Stockyard arboretum. Then to the Stockyard Creek hut ruin. Climb onto Stockyard Spur and come back around via the firetrail to Stockyard Gap to see the ski shelter ruin there, and back up the firetrail to the car park. Around 10km and 400m climb. Map: Corin Dam. Limit: 12. Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$18 per person.

12 of us drove in 3 vehicles from Canberra via Cotter, Brindabella Rd to Piccadilly Circus and S along the Mt Franklin Rd to the Ginini car park.

Track Maps

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

Track Walk 1

Track Walk 2

Track Walk 3

Track Notes

It rained a bit overnight in Canberra and Mt Ginini recorded 3mm over the previous 24 hours, but we carped the diem and enjoyed a dry day up in the Brindabellas.

Around 1.5hrs to drive from Duffy to Ginini car park, 122km round trip.

We set off down the old ski run from the car park and headed straight down to the drainage line (Ginini Creek) between Morass and Ginini Flats. May not have found the footpad on the Four Wheel Drive track (marked on the 1st edn Corin Dam map) I last used on 31 Jan 09, as the area has changed quite dramatically. We did see a couple of yellow tapes that Barrie R said had been recently hung in order to keep the footpad open. Came through to the Namadgi Bog Restoration signs at the N of the Flats, then crossed from the Cheyenne Flats to Morass Flats side. Got onto the track/footpad.

Stopped at the insulator on the tree (Matthew said that the phone line from Bulls Head to the Stockyard Arboretum hut was made of fencing wire and indeed it was - some still up in the tree and around the insulator).

Wandered on to the 2 fir trees, all that remains of the Stockyard Arboretum which was cut down in the 1990s.

Matthew said that there was a 'Friends of the arboreta' web site. I googled it and found a pretty clunky site 'Friends of the Australian Capital Territory Arboreta (FACTA)', but a document that might just tell all at https://659bb385-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/factacanberra/History20of20ACT20Arboreta.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7coGu6bRZejjWwopqNQ8WaozTC4grmrX_vHdSzYtGMOoG_NDIu1ZNJXlavIZ-dcG2TF-M_BH5VNLnUhRAzE-bmFDFA0v-ug5VXystoJirxOyA-VHQsafIvPbtcmlix4Fq9HL2OPjfxRUIBBX9J5sKE8arg44RIoKsme8LgkpJNlT72TtCN-fYS3DjncHdDG_Mo1JR9o_8MxqlXADM-g4tz5KzwmlEawrsKJbMfCO5jF0d2BK6kM%3D&attredirects=0. Have a read!

From the arboretum we contoured SW for a bit through young Alpine Ash at 1500m, then down to cross Stockyard Creek. Matthew works from 20 year old memories and dots on his map (the only tools available when he last visited this site), so it took a while to find the Stockyard Arboretum hut site. A couple of the party had a search and Adam L was the hero. Lots of interesting things at the site and lots of interesting tales from Matthew. He also had a copy of a photo from one of his books showing the hut in its heyday. The location of the hut site is not shown on the map segment or the Google Earth kmz file.

From here we turned SSE, crossed another arm of Stockyard Creek and climbed towards Stockyard Spur. We had to walk across a lovely expanse of sphagnum, between the creek and 1500m - there was no other option. A puff to the crest of the spur, coming in at the viewing slabs on the NW side of the Stockyard Spur vehicle track, just opposite Graeme Barrow's 'Stockyard Spur Grandstand' with its views across to Mt McKeahnie. We enjoyed a break and the views from both sides. Rang home and collected some emails. My Wild Namadgi track notes are out today - thanks for letting me know Sean.

Easy walking from now on along the vehicle track. A stop at the brumby trap for Matthew to again share wonderful tales of brumby running and the history of the area. So to the Mt Franklin Road and a tromp NW to Stockyard Gap.

When Matthew first told me about this next site, he said it's just West of Stockyard Gap. Suitably vague and I'd spent some time looking for it on a couple of occasions. It's actually a significant 'just' W and an extremely insignificantly marked site. Again we spread out in an attempt to pin it down, but it eventually yielded to Matthew.

After lunch, back to the Gap and a tromp back to the cars.

We arrived at them at 1.55pm, so had plenty of time to do something else.

A couple in our party hadn't seen Mt Franklin, so we stopped at the car park and walked up via the emergency shelter, Bill Ginns hut site, the old chalet site, the Franklin trig and down to the Austin A40 ski tow.

Returning to the cars, we drove to near where the S end of the now Chalet Rd joins the Mt Franklin Rd. We popped over to view the ACT border 11 Mile lockspit and blaze and the 7½ Mile from Piccadilly Circus marker for the Mt Franklin Rd.

Huge thanks Matthew, for sharing your knowledge and company with us. Done at last, this trip was first planned nearly 2 years ago, on 18 Jun 11.


Distance: 3 walks totalling 15.1km Climb: 500m. Time: 8.40am - 3.35pm (6hrs 55 mins), with 50mins of breaks, plus looking and driving time.

Grading: M/M-R,ptX; M(11)

Walk Participants

12 walkers - Cynthia B, Mike B, Peter C, Eric G, Matthew H, Jenny H, John H, Maggie K, Adam L, Quentin M, Barrie R, me.

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This page last updated 2Sep22