Friday, February 26, 2016

Square Rock Namadgi National Park

This is a short but very popular walk in Namadgi National Park that leads to a couple of view points, one over the Orroral Valley and the other over the Tidbinbilla Range. The track start is at Smokers Gap on the Corin Road and some easy uphill walking through open forest leads to Smokers Flat. There is a track junction here, and you can walk out to the Orroral Valley.

Looking out over the Orroral Valley

About a kilometre further along, there is another track junction and it is worth taking both branches to their ends. The left junction leads to a view over the Orroral Valley, although you will have to crane your head around a bit to see through the trees. The right junction leads to the main attraction - Square Rock - where you can scramble about or even do a bit of roped climbing. 

 
Square Rock

Square Rock is a couple of hundred metres above the valley and it's nice just to hang out and enjoy the view for a while. 

 
 Hanging out at Square Rock

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mount Bimberi

At 1913 metres, Mount Bimberi is not a giant among mountains, but, it is the highest mountain in the ACT, so, if you are into that kind of thing, you need to walk up to the top. Luckily, doing so goes beyond easy and is actually quite pleasant. People hike up Mount Bimberi from all sorts of directions but the easiest way is to walk in from the west via Murray Gap and then amble the final three kilometres on a beaten in foot-pad.

 
Grasslands near Goodradigbee Creek
 
From the Snowy Mountains Hwy, drive up Tantagara Road, crossing the surprisingly small Murrumbidgee River just below Tantagara Reservior, and continue on Pockets Saddle Road until you reach the gate at Gorrangorambla Creek. There are a couple of lovely campgrounds up this road. 

 
Oldfields Hut
 
Walk up the road for almost 1.5 km to the well marked Murray Gap track and follow this up and over a ridge-line down the other side to arrive at the grassy plains around Oldfields Hut. From the charming old hut, it is about another four kilometres of pleasant walking to Murray Gap. There are plenty of campsites, either around the Oldfields Hut, or even up at Murray Gap where there was some water at the gap. 

 
Looking south to the Scabby Range

A cairn marks the start of the footpad up Mount Bimberi and the pad is easy to follow with some faded taped sections but also a pretty clear pad. Just under one kilometre from the top, the track reaches a flatter plateau with stunted snow gums and scattered granite boulders. The summit trig is now visible and it is only about 10 minutes further to the top.

Grasslands near Oldfields Hut

There are good views from the top, south to the Scabby Range, east into Namadgi National Park and over to the Tinderry Range, and west to Kosciuszko National Park. Enjoy the view, have lunch, and return the way you came. Although Gorrangorambla Creek is not deep, there is just enough water in it to dunk in and wash off the sweat of the day at the end of your walk. 

 
 Mount Bimberi