16 November 2013 Tidbinbilla Peak trig bag


View N to Johns Peak from the beginning of the descent from Camels Hump

Map: Tidbinbilla 1:25000

Walk Description

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

Saturday 16 November: Tidbinbilla Peak trig bag - L/R. From the Mountain Creek car park in TNR, stroll up the Camel Back FT to Camels Hump. A possible extension to Pierce trig. Return along the crest of the Range and in via the old radio transmitter. Climb via Johns Peak (a little exposure) and SH1491 to Tidbinbilla Peak. Exit via SH1556 and thick regrowth down a handy spur to re-join the fire trail. Around 13km+3km and 760m+some climb. Map: Tidbinbilla. Limit: 8. Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$6 per person.

8 of us gathered and drove to the Mountain Creek car park at the back of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Track Maps

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

Track overview

Track 1

Track 2


Track Notes

Left The TNR Mountain Creek car park at 7.55am and strolled up the Camel Back FT. 6km in 1hr 20mins to the sign at the S approach to Camels Hump.

We continued on to Pierce trig, approaching up the footpad from the S, took morning tea, left to the N and down to the 68 blaze on the Tidbinbilla Range Road. Returned to the point where we left the FT to climb Camels Hump from the N. All that was 4km in 1hr 15mins (included 15mins morning tea).

Plenty of good fortune today, the first being a lucky route up to Camels Hump using as much of the relatively open going as possible. 0.5km in 22mins.

We didn't dally long, as I wanted to complete Johns Peak before it rained. 0.3km in 15mins down to the S to the FT. The usual stupendous views, of which I never tire.

0.3km down the FT (met a couple coming up), now marked with a blue peg, we turned in along the old benched alignment to the burnt out radio transmitter.

From the radio trasmitter to Johns Peak is 1.3km and it took us 50mins. Still a bit scrubby around SH1322, but a relatively easy footpad is developing along the top of the ridge. It's easy enough for even me to follow (with a couple of false turns), but I wouldn't recommend it unless you can navigate and have the appropriate map/compass and GPS. It looks a bit different in cloud when you can't see 10m. Love the views, especially down into Burkes Creek.

Johns Peak via SH1491 to Tidbinbilla Peak is 1km and took us 40mins. The rough footpad continues on past SH1491, then peters out (or I lost it completely). The 40th trig bag for one of our party.

Fabulous views from Tidbinbilla Peak. (Corin Dam in the video commentary, not Cotter). The white-striped cliffs on the side of Tidbinbilla Mountain and The Pimple are impressive. Our second lot of good fortune was the weather - no showers yet and quite calm for lunch at the burnt out old trig.

200m of open going S from Tidders Peak to the cairn at SH1556, then the descent began.

I'd describe it as a graceful arc (with a small correction when I was going the wrong way and a little wiggle to the left around touching contour lines). At around the 1250m contour I'd made a mental note not to fall into the drainage line close to the N - you can see from the track on the map that instead of staying on the spur down into the beak of the FT, I actually crossed the scree at the head of the drainage line and hand-railed it on its true left side. Here was the third lot of good fortune - this lower half of the descent was relatively (and I stress relatively) open.

The top half was the expected regrowth (Mike's photo shows it more dramatically than mine), but I do believe it could be getting easier. The growing tops of the wattle regrowth are now at around 3m, so the trunk-ettes one breast-strokes through are bare. We all agreed that it was a little better than feared, but I'd only recommend this exit route to experienced bushwalkers. I did hear murmurings about too much bush-bashing.

Our exit descent leg was 1.6km and took 1hr 25mins.

Back on the Camel Back FT there was a short shower. 2.3km in 30mins had us back at the cars.

Rain as we drove out of TNR and a very heavy sky with the Tidbinbilla Ridge closed in.

Some nice wildflowers about today, I guess the season a little later at altitude and the recent rain would have refreshed them.


Distance: 17.9km Climb: 1125m. Time: 7.55am - 3.15pm (7hrs 20 mins), with 45mins of breaks.

Grading: L/R; H(15-)

Walk Participants

8 walkers - Mike B, Cynthia C, David D, Gerald D, Roger E, Alison M, Edwina Y, me.

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This page last updated 5Sep22