19 October 2013 Canberra Centenary Trail - Hall to Duffy


Deasland-Belco-AIS-Donkey orchid-Telstra tower-Cork Oak plantation-Zigzag track in Arboretum-Dairy Farmers Hill eyrie

Maps: Canberra, Hall and Bedulluck 1:25000

Walk Description

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

19 October: Canberra Centenary Trail (Hall to Duffy)/Worn Boot Bash - L/E. The Canberra Centenary Trail is due to be opened in October. There is more information at http://www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-recreation/recreational_activities/canberra_centenary_trail. Let's get an early look at it by walking it in 3 non-contiguous days. This walk is one of the 2013 CBC Worn Boot Bash walks. Side trips to Percival trig, Gossan Hill, Black Mountain, Dairy Farmers Hill (these 3 not trigs on the list, but hills), Narrabundah trig. Around 50km and some climbs. Some walking in the dark involved. Walkers can join and leave the walk wherever they like, but will have to arrange their own transport. At least 30km and a few hills to qualify for WBB. Maps: Hall and Canberra. Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: drive yourself/car shuttle or pickup.

7 of us gathered in Duffy and drove to Hall. Two more were waiting to join us.

Further Information

The opening date for the Canberra Centenary Trail is Sunday 27 October.

Sat 12 Oct 13 - Duffy to Federation Stone. Side trips to Narrabundah, Cooleman, Arawang, Wanniassa, YA 90 and Davidson trigs. 50km + side trips. Sun times: 5.59am-6.25am-7.15pm-7.41pm. So 12hrs 50mins of sunlight. Did Tuggeranong to Federation Stone on 18 Aug 12, 28km in 6hrs including 25mins of stops.

Sat 19 Oct 13 - Hall to to Duffy. Side trips to Percival trig, Gossan Hill, Black Mountain, Dairy Farmers Hill (these 3 not trigs on the list, but hills), Narrabundah trig. 42km + side trips. Sun times: 5.49am-6.16am-7.21pm-7.47pm. So 13hrs 5mins of sunlight. Did Kambah to Hall on 4 Aug 12 on as close as possible to the then trail alignment, 35km in 8hrs 30mins including 55mins of stops.

Sun 27 Oct 13 - Hall to Federation Stone. Includes One Tree trig. Side trips to Oak and Old Joe trigs. Includes Majura trig. Includes Mt Ainslie (not a trig on the list, but a hill). Participate in the Centenary Trail opening. 54km + side trips. Sun times: 5.39am-6.06am-7.29pm-7.55pm. So 13hrs 49mins of sunlight. Did Federation Stone to Federal Highway on 23 Jun 12, 23km in 6hrs 10mins including 40mins of stops. This section last due to last minute access and construction issues near One Tree trig. Also, it is likely that the most significant of the 5 opening locations will be Hall.

So need to average 4+km/hr over a 13hr day.

The 'rules' for the Worn Boot Bash are at least 30km and a few hills. See previous WWBs here. My main concern in proposing the above walks is to prevent Rob H from carrying out his threat to repeat WBB #1.

Participants can join and leave these walks wherever they like. For WBB recognition, must do at least 30km and a few hills.

Spoke to Canberra Centenary Trail Ranger on 21 Aug 13. Sections of the Trail under construction/modification are closed until opening day.

The URL for the Canberra Centenary Trail is www.act.gov.au/centenarytrail.

Email from Wade. Many thanks for the heads up -

"Good morning John. Libby and I went out to inspect the North Weston Pond area yesterday afternoon, and it appears the Land Development Agency has well and truly shut us out now. For the time being, we’re going to divert people from the Arboretum straight down to Scrivener Dam (past the National Zoo and Aquarium along Lady Denman Drive bike path) and on to the bike path that runs parallel to the Molonglo River heading to Weston Creek, so that users can meet up with the bike path across Cotter Road. In the longer short term, we’ll probably cut a trail in from Southwell’s crossing along the Molonglo to Close Crossing, and have people follow the North Weston Pond trail as per our original short term alignment."

Proposed route for today:

Start at Hall Schoolhouse Museum in Victoria St between Loftus and Hoskins Sts; S along Victoria St to meet Barton H'way; E side of Barton H'way across Clarrie Hermes Dr to Curran Dr; across Curran Dr and S down O'Hanlon Pl through Federation Square; across Gold Creek Rd and along the back of Deasland (4km) to rejoin the Barton H'way; side trip to Percival trig; under Barton H'way and along W side of William Slim Dr; under William Slim Dr near Chuculba Cr roundabout to E side; under Baldwin Dr; veer to edge of Lake Ginninderra (8km); bridge over Ginninderra Creek in arm of Lake Ginninderra; thru John Knight Memorial Park; over footbridge to Emu Bank; to N end of Eastern Valley Way; 2 blocks S along Eastern Valley Way; E along S side of College St (12km); SW into Gossan Hill NR; side trip to Gossan Hill; across back of Radford College; S along W side of Haydon Dr; cross Haydon Dr at Purdie St; E along S side of Purdie St to near end of Battye St; NE along W side of Battye St to AIS; wiggle thru AIS to throwing field (16km); S then E to under GDE; SE on main bike path to cross Kunzea St near Dryandra St; S along W side of Dryandra St between it and Barry Dr; under Barry Dr and S along W side of Frith St for a while; follow path then rejoin Frith St; W-ish to climb spur to N of Black Mountain (20km); [option here to wait and miss ~2km around Black Mt] do 'hat band track' from N thru W to S; track to Telstra Tower car park; side trip to Black Mt (a survey pin in the ground); N down spur to meet any optional waiters; [option here to go 200m N to next track junction and miss ~1,5km circumnavigation of 'Little Black Mt'] go E N and W around 'Little Black Mt' (24km); meet any optional waiters and go N then SW to cross under Caswell Dr; SW then W thru Aranda Bushland NR (28km) to E side of Bindubi St; S along E side of Bindubi St; SE along N side of William Hovell Dr; under William Hovell Dr into Cork Oak Plantation; S thru Cork Oaks to enter Arboretum; thru Himalayan Cedars to cross main entrance road; walk up zig-zag (32km) to arboretum building; walk S; side trip to Dairy Farmers Hill; rejoin CCT and go S-ish generally paralleling Tuggeranong Parkway; under power lines; ~500m SW (36km); begin detour to get around North Weston Ponds and cross Molonglo River via ACTEW facility; join bike path at back of Australian Defence College/RSPCA; cross Cotter Rd at lights; follow bike path (40km) thru Stromlo Forestry Settlement and 'transmission station' to Eucumbene Dr; S on W side of Eucumbene Dr to Warragamba Dr intersection; [optional] side trip to Narrabundah; down Warragamba to home sweet home.

Will be chatting to Greg Bayliss on ABC 666 about CBC and CCT.

Track Maps

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

Track overview CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 1 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 2 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 3 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 4 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 5 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 6 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track 7 CCT - GREEN; our track - BLUE

Track Notes

I began by recording a phone interview at 5.10am with Greg Bayliss (he is an extremely nice guy), which was aired at 6.20am on ABC 666 as we walked along Victoria St out of Hall.

Prior to that, 7 of us met at my home and were whisked in the van to Hall outside the Schoolhouse Museum, where 2 more were waiting. A yellow-orange moon setting and soon after a blood-red sun rose, due to the smoke from NSW bush fires.

Along Victoria St and out to the Barton Highway, then across Clarrie Hermes Drive and Curran Drive and down through Federation Square. Onto Eddie Payne Close and round the back and side of Deasland, a lovely old restored farm house. Back down to the Barton Highway and along to a gate which Nathan knew was at the bottom of a track leading up to Percival trig. 4.3km in 48mins to here.

Up the track then off-track through lovely white flowering heath to Percival trig. The prayer flags are no more. Smoky views to Crace (I'm afraid there are lots of little boxes) and views to Belconnen in the hazy early morning sun. Back down to the big intersection. 1.1km in 18mins.

We were back on the CCT alignment, but had to cross Ginninderra Creek via the stepping stones. Not quite sure how CCT users are supposed to do this. (Driving by there on 27 Oct 13, dummy me finally realised how - use the footpath/bikepath beside the S-bound carriage way on the bridge!). Then onto the bike path.

Along the bike path on the W side of William Slim Drive. The CCT alignment is a little further to the W - again, not too sure how this is supposed to work. Under the underpass near Chuculba Crescent, then along the bike path on the SE side of William Slim Drive (except for a little me caused detour). Pretty hard on the feet - would be great to ride this bit. Over the bridge (not quite the way the CCT alignment goes) and so through the John Knight Memorial Park to the E-W footbridge. Very nice here. 5.6km in 1hr 6mins.

Over the foot bridge to the party area of Emu Bank and around 2 sides of the little square bit. One could go straight ahead at the E end of the footbridge, but it's a nice area. Belconnen is certainly taking off and leaving Woden behind. Past the Belco skate park. S along Eastern Valley Way and E into College St to gain the open NW corner of the Gossan Hill Nature Reserve. 1.4km in 16mins.

Some obvious CCT track construction here. Into Gossan Hill NR and a little off-alignment to the open W end with the views, then a side trip to the map-marked Gossan Hill. Back down to the CCT alignment, across the back of Radford, bike path beside Haydon Drive and across it to Purdie St. 2.2km in 30mins.

More bike path and hard surface, but an interesting area for me as I rarely go to the AIS and have never been through it. Paralleled Purdie St then along one edge of the athletics field (where a coach was flogging his charges) and down and along the front of the main AIS area. A coffee shop sign beckoned at the corner of the next building. A bit bewildering, but we followed the crowd heading for the swimming pool and, nearing its entrance, a family pointed us in the right direction up some zig-zag ramps and so between various AIS buildings. More bike path took us beside the playing fields and under the GDE. 2.7km in 32mins.

Next, down the major, lit bike path seperating the O'Connor Ridge NR and Bruce Ridge NR to Dryandra St, then over MacArthur Avenue and between Barry Drive and Dryandra St to go under Barry Drive at Frith St. Along a bit of the cut off drain to plonk in the shade with views over the electricity substation for morning tea. 2.5km in 30mins. 10am.

A pretty ratty place for morning tea, so I thought, till the very nearby patch of donkey orchids was pointed out.

Getting up with difficulty at 10.15am, the next leg took us on a circuitous route around and over Black Mountain and around Little Black Mountain. A quite nice area, although dry and the fire trails and concrete paths hard on the feet. We ended up on the Old Weetangera Road which took us under Caswell Drive. 7.7km in 1hr 55mins.

So to the Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve. A strange CCT alignment across the S edge of the NR, the lovely track to the Snow Gums with farmer's allowed walk-way ignored (maybe expecting too much traffic in a fragile area?), then S down the bike path beside Bindubi St and E along it beside William Hovell Drive to the underpass. Into the Cork Oak plantation to find a seat for this old man for lunch. 3.0km in 42mins.

A special spot for lunch.

The next leg took us out the S end of the Cork Oaks and into the main Arboretum. The CCT alignment followed a road across the bottom of the Himalayan Cedars, rather than going up to 'Wide Brown Land' - don't know why. Across the main Arboretum road then up the zig-zag path to the main building. Pedant me would not cut any corners! A comfort stop at the main building, out via the celebration building (so a little off CCT alignment) then a side trip to Dairy Farmers Hill. I love that eagle in the nest sculpture. Down off the hill, back on the CCT and a long haul along fire trails to the SW to a spot where we knew we'd have to do a major deviation. 6.6km in 2hrs.

Thanks to Libby and Wade in TAMS for the heads up that the North Weston Ponds area is still a lockout and for suggesting the alternative that we used. Across the bridge over the Molonglo River, across the little bridge over Weston Creek near where it enters the Molonglo, then a wiggle round gated off bike path to join the commuter bike path at the back of the Australian Defence College. Followed the bike path to Cotter Road. 2.4km in 30mins.

It's a while since I've riden through here, so I was fooled by the temporary bike path changes.

With feet getting sore, there was a party decision to skip Narrabundah trig. So we left the CCT and headed up the side of Dixon Drive to home sweet home. 1.6km in 28mins.

Some nice areas. Bike path best for bikes, not feet!


Distance: 40.9km Climb: 790m. Time: 6.00am - 3.50pm (7hrs 50 mins), with 40mins of breaks + a few comfort stops.

Grading: L/R; H(13+)

Walk Participants

9 walkers - Cynthia C, Nathan H, Jenny H, Rob H, Keith T, Barb V, Ian W, Edwina Y, me.

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This page last updated 5Sep22