6 July 2013 Bullen and Black Hill Trigs, Castle Hill and 20 July recce


(clockwise from left) Barnes trig, Castle Hill trig, Calvary, Bullen trig, (centre) Black Hill trig

Maps: Cotter Dam and Tidbinbilla 1:25000

Walk Description

This walk was organised and led by me as a CBC short-notice walk:

Saturday morning 6 July: Bullen and Black Hill Trigs - M/E-M,X. Climb on fire trails from Murrays Corner on Paddys River to Bullen trig. Return and drive South along Paddys River Rd to a suitable point. Climb on fire trails to Black Hill trig and tower. Return a slightly different way. An early start and for quick walkers as I have to be back in town by 1pm. Around total 9km and 450m climb. Maps: Cotter Dam and Tidbinbilla. Limit: 8. Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$7 per person.

7 of us drove in 2 cars from Canberra to Murrays Corner on Paddys River Rd.

Further Information

Walk 1

From the Murrays Corner picnic area on Paddys River, cross Paddys River (ford/wet feet?) and follow fire trails up to Bullen trig. Return. Around 6km and 200m climb.

Walk 2

From further south along Paddys River Rd, head West up fire trails to the trig and tower on Black Hill. Return a slightly different way. Around 3km and 250m climb.

I now have no Saturday afternoon commitment back in town, so this walk is extended to optionally include:

Walk 3

Climb Castle Hill. Permission to cross private land has been obtained from the owner of  'Booroomba'. Around 5km and 250m climb.

Walk 4

Join Cynthia C on her recce of her walk on 20 Jul 13 - Bullen Range Trigs. Up to 16km and 600m climb.


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Track Maps

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

Track overview

Tracks 1 - Bullen and 2 - Black Hill

Track 3 - Castle Hill

Track 4 - Cynthia's recce


Track Notes

Walk 1 - Bullen Trig

Arrived at Murrays Corner with the ford to the East side of Paddys River well covered. I'd forgotten the W(et), but Roger hadn't. Equipped with his Crocs, he gallantly waded across to show us we could drive the shin-deep water. It only took 2 or 3 hours for him to regain feeling in his feet. So the rest of us drove across.

We wandered along, passing a sign on our track for Bullen FT. Probably left it after a while, headed SE for a bit, then climbed a disused ft to join the fire trail I'd planned to use along the border of ACTF and Bullen Range NR. Joined the fire trail on the crest of the Bullen Range and went N to Bullen Hill. No doubt an impressive trig pre-2003 fires; now a heap of rocks pretending to be a cairn. Directly down just S of W on a moguled, disused fire trail (disturbing a wombat which hurried away) to join our inward leg.

5.2km and 250m. 1hr 20mins walking.

Walk 2 - Black Hill Trig

Drove 2+km S down Paddys River Rd to the border of ACTF area and grazing land. A wide access track took us up the ACTF side of the fence to the bottom of a severely steep fire trail that took a couple of hand holds in places to summit the moguls. The fire trail turned SW and eased a fraction and we eventually made Black Hill. A most impressive tower and a singularly unimpressive trig - 2 star pickets and a survey pin. Came off the top to the W, then S down a steep section, then along an access track.

We had morning tea down at the cars.Thus ended the advertised short-notice walk. It was 10.45am, so I'd have been well back in town for my 1pm appointment, except it had been cancelled. I'd advertised 2 additional, optional walks to those who had booked on, so on we went.

3.2km and 250m. 1hr 5mins walking.

Walk 3 - Castle Hill Trig

We drove S along Paddys River Rd, past the turnoff to the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, past Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and across the Paddys River bridge to park on the side of the road near the entrance to the Miowera Pines/Paddys River Travelling Stock Reserve.

We first crossed the road and crossed a gate and headed S towards Castle Hill. I'd gained permission from John H to walk on the 'Booroomba' property, but discovered at church the next day that the initial area, up to the cattle yards where the bull stood and the bulldozer sat, belongs to church friends. Quite cold climbing the exposed slope in the roaring wind. Went up via the 'tooth tors', whilst the rest of the party disturbed another wombat. We ate lunch in the lee of some tors, out of the wind. Back down the way we came up.

5.3km and 240m. 1hr 20mins walking + 25mins lunch.

Walk 4 - 20 July recce - led by Cynthia C

2 of our party said good-bye and the remaining 5 of us put ourselves in Cynthia's hands. Very capable too. A stroll up the management trail, continued off-track up the spur to Barnes trig, down through a saddle and up to the next knoll and so on to where we turned off-track again down to Calvary. Cynthia knew where she was on the map all the time, had her landmarks to get us near to Calvary. Only the last couple of hundred metres did we cheat with the GPS. We had a poke about the site.

Back along the old fence line to the fire trail. Miowera was in sight, but it and Brett will wait till 20 Jul 13. A seemingly long bash back along fire trails to the car.

10.1km and 300m. 2hrs 30mins walking.


Distance: 23.8km Climb: 1040m. Time: 8.00am - 3.20pm (7hrs 20 mins), comprised of 6hrs 15mins walking, 40mins of breaks, the rest driving.

Grading: L/E-M,X (W for one); H(13-)

Walk Participants

7 walkers - Cynthia C, Roger E, Stephen M, David and Annmaree N, John T, me.

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This page last updated 3Sep22