30 July 2013 Our Southernmost Point with Matthew Higgins


Our southernmost point with Matthew Higgins (clockwise from top left) C39 reference tree blaze, Potters Chimney, Stockyards, creek flats, Sam Abouds dunny (centre) Chalkers Chimney

Maps: Colinton and Bredbo 1:25000

Walk Description

This walk was organised by me and guided by Matthew H as a CBC Tuesday walk:

Tuesday 30 July: Our Southernmost Point with Matthew Higgins - L/E-M. This walk to the ACT's southernmost point begins/ends near the Mt Clear Campground. We travel through beautiful mountain forest and high meadows and see several hut ruins and stockyards. The climax is surveyor Freddie Johnston's 1915 fire-damaged but still standing reference tree at the southernmost point (NB the border fence and the true border do not align and the walk is framed accordingly). Some off track. Around 17km and 300m climb. Maps: Colinton and Bredbo. Limit: 16. CBC Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$15 per person.

15 of us drove in 4 vehicles from Canberra via the Boboyan Road to the Mt Clear car park. $10 trip from Lanyon Shopping Centre.

Further Information

If the Boboyan Rd unsealed section is in poor condition because of the weather and the dirt road into Yankee Hat (with its two fords) is open, an alternative walk is to the Hospital Creek cascades, Hospital Creek hut and nearby granite tors.

Track Maps

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

Track overview

Track 1

Track 2

Track Notes

Absolutely delightful! Started with a weather-clearing drive S from Canberra into lovely sunshine (we've experienced this a few times lately), thanks either to Tim the Yowie Man (who, sadly, couldn't find an ankle-biter's sitter at the last moment)'s crossed fingers or my prayers. The Boboyan Road is in the best condition I've ever seen since 2004 (thanks to Michelle at the Namadgi Visitors Centre for allaying my fears and very willing 4WD drivers). We left Lanyon just after 8.30am and, dodging the roos, were ready to walk at 9.40am.

August company, a day before the month. Matthew is superb as a walk leader and he knows the story behind every tree. New friends including a TNR staffer and a Mr Kambah historian; Mr new KHA HMO for NNP and old friend Kaz back from Kakadu sporting a new Garmin Oregon 600 (I want one!), plus the usual selection of amazing friends with various fields of knowledge. If you're reading this, you should be walking on Tuesdays with the Canberra Bushwalking Club!

We headed S down the fire trail, then continued S down the W side of Back or Grassy Creek to Potters Chimney. Matthew gave us the history. Sadly, the side of the warming box has fallen away - the ravages of time which effect both stone fireplaces and my ageing body.

We stayed on the W (true left) side of Back or Grassy Creek for a further 800 metres, then crossed and gained the Long Flat Fire Trail. A magnificent wedge-tailed eagle glided down the valley, making us feel like earth-bound chooks.

Up the wiggles in the fire trail (cutting a couple of corners), after passing the intersection with the (relatively) new fire trail that goes S to Burnt Hill (not shown on the Bredbo 8726-3S 1:25000 topographic map, but shown on the Bredbo OZraster digital map). A pleasant tromp along this to the Stockyard just off the trail. Matthew filled us in on the history. An audio file here.

On to Sam Aboud's dunny. An audio file here. A tale of a large group visiting here some years ago, with a photo of one member sitting on the dunny and the rest lined up waiting for the loo! A lesson for me that the nearby hut site pre-dates Sam's shed and is Edward Brayshaw's hut site.

Down to the near-by ford of the creek which drains Long Flat for morning tea.

After our break we continued SE along the Long Flat Fire Trail and gently up towards the N end of Long Flat. There is a vestigial salt lick site around 200m to the NE of the FT. There is a New Long Flat Fire Trail which skirts around to the West of Long Flat, so that vehicles do not churn up the fragile flat. We turned left at the T-intersection and walked a few hundred more metres out into the open flat. A long, narrow, grassy flat, ringed by trees. With 'a story behind every tree', Matthew took us to the NW fringe and showed us some remnant drop-log fencing which used to be a sheep-break. A further kilometre S, near the other end of Long Flat, is some fork fencing.

The Long Flat Fire Trail meets the Mt Clear FT at a T-intersection and we turned right and headed S in a bit of a loop to reach the Namadgi National Park boundary gate. The current fencing does not quite reflect the ACT border here. We walked SE through lovely light (not burned in 2003) forest to border marker C39 and the nearby reference tree blaze. Matthew had a photograph of it in pristine condition - it has since been burned in a controlled burn. We were all amazed that the still reasonably slender tree is over 100 years old. A spot for lunch. On returning and checking my Johnston border markers, I'd previously reckoned that I couldn't find C39. Must have been blind on 20 Nov 10 - there is an obvious nearly right-angled lockspit in front of the reference tree.

Returning to the NNP gate, we went 50m NW along the border to see the E39 reference tree blaze - in very poor nick. Same story with border marker E39, missed it on 20 Nov 10 but it was obvious today.

Next, we retraced our steps back down the Long Flat (someone was talking and you can see from the track map that we missed the corner!) to the ford where we had morning tea.

Here we turned downstream and followed the creek via wooded banks and open flats to Chalkers Chimney. A unique spot. Not much information known about its history.

Finally, a lovely stroll to the NW through open forest to a post that I'd seen before. Matthew was able to tell us that it's placed there, next to a rock visible from the air, for aerial photo calibration. N from here, then a sidle to the NW down to the open flats of the Naas Creek and back the Naas Valley Fire Trail.

A lovely round, just scraping in at around 20km, the new standard for Tuesday walks (or else they must be Rough) (grin). Many thanks Matthew.


Distance: 19.8km Climb: 450m. Time: 9.40am - 4.00pm (6hrs 20 mins), with 55mins of breaks.

Grading: L/E-M; M(10)

Walk Participants

15 walkers - Mike B, Karen C, Chris F, Eric G, Matthew H, Jenny H, Stewart J, Stephen M, Quentin M, Alison M, Bob S, Glenn S, Max S, Ian W, me.

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This page last updated 3Sep22