Day 21 Murrumbidgee River to Hall

What a big storm on the previous night! Lucky the Walk the Border ACT walkers were all home by the time it hit but it did still have an effect on Day 21.

We had a group of 11 starting off from the banks of the swollen Murrumbidgee River but the biggest climb was right at the beginning of the day.  We were assisted in getting to the start point by David M of the Gininderry development, who provided some insights on the history of the area.

Starting groupFirst Hill

Land in this area was granted to Charles Sturt, the explorer and includes the historic Belconnen Homestead.

Belconnen Homestead

The impact of the previous rain soon showed itself as the walkers reached the banks of a large and strong-flowing Gininderra Creek, resulting in the need for a significant detour away from the border in order to find a safe place to cross.

Gininderra Creek

It also meant a number of other interesting water crossings.

Creek Crossing 1Cree Crossing 2

The rural nature of the walk also meant some close encounters with the residents and lots of fence crossings. Many thanks to Homeleigh Grove who kindly turned off their electric fences to allow us to pass through unscathed.

CattleFence 1

The walk allowed for participants to come and go throughout the stage and it was a slightly different group who posed for a photo on the Wallaroo Road.

Final Group

It was great to finish up back at Hall where it all began 21 days previously and to celebrate with my family.

All up we had 14 participants during the day, who helped make the final stage a real pleasure: Graeme F, Phil C, John F, Tom T, Ian H, John F, Tara C, Maino M, Paul A, David M, Margaret N, Geoff R and John B.

Stage 21 14.8 Kms with 356 m of ascent and 139m of descent

Map day 21

Advertisements

Day 20 Mountain Creek Road to the Murrumbidgee River

Thankfully, Day 20 was one of the most pleasant stages of Walk the Border ACT, with long sections of open pastures to make walking very easy.

Walking 1View 2

But it wasn’t all fun as there were numerous fences to cross which allowed today’s participants to show their many and varied styles in getting over these thorny barriers.

Fence 1

And then every time we hit a creek line we were met with a barrier of blackberry and spiky natives.

However the pastures and the rolling hills did offer some impressive views.

Sheep, cattle, horses, kangaroos and an echidna (twice) made up the list of land animals, while birds were abundant in the thickets we encountered along the way.  Check out the video of the echidna on Facebook by clicking here.

A steep descent to the Murrumbidgee greeted us as we sought out the lowest point in the ACT, the opposite of Day 15’s Mt Bimberi, the highest point in the ACT.

Murrumbidgee descent

The banks of the Murrumbidgee were heavily guarded by blackberry and we retreated back across the pastures to cars.

Group

Thanks to Quentin M, Phil C, Graeme F, John F and Tom T for sharing a really great walk.

Stage 20 Length (along border only) 7.5km with 260m of ascent and 389 of descent.

Map stage 20

Day 19 Pabral Road to Mountain Creek Road

Day 19 promised more of the hard country experienced at the end of Day 18 and it didn’t disappoint.

The thick scrub continued as Walk the Border ACT climbed from Pabral Road, so thick almost completely hiding the border marker at the top of the hill.

Yes, there is a line of rocks below!

Border Marker hidden

A long descent led into a wonderful world of creeks and lush vegetation including a massive tree fern.

Dappled shadow 2 comp

The climb out of the valley gave an opportunity to reflect on the landscape back to Mt Coree.

View 1 comp

Near Genges Trig the vegetation changed to drier forest and descended down to the edge of the pine plantations to the west of Uriarra. The meeting of disturbed land meant the appearance of the bushwalker’ s nemesis, blackberry, which resulted in one major detour from the border.

Path 2 comp

The final struggle over Two Sticks Hill lead to the open pastures of the rural lands near Two Sticks Road as well as some great views towards Uriarra and Canberra.

The drier slopes also gave a chance to see some of the ACT’s orchids from the Petalochilus genus.

flower comp

A very tired but happy walker.

Three corner border comp

Stage 19 13.8 Km with 779m of ascent and 1,179m of descent.

Map Stage 19

Day 18 Chalet Road Brindabella Range to Pabral Road

Fear not, days 10 to 17 will also be loaded as Walk the Border ACT tries to catch up after not having electronic communications in the southern part of the ACT.

Day 18 was surprisingly harder than first thought.  Of course getting onto and off Mt Coree was always going to be a challenge but where did those other hills appear from?

The day started in the beautiful high country forests of the Brindabella Range.  Check out a short video here.

Much of the time until lunch followed old and new trails through the forests, high meadows, fern glades and service easements in the high country.

Bulls Head picnic area gave us a chance to see one of the locals.

Bulls Head

After lunch, the serious climb up to Mt Coree, which was rewarded with stunning views.

Coree 1Coree 2Coree 3Coree 4

Coree 5

And getting off Mt Coree was even harder with the challenges of thick scrub  and steep terrain reducing progress to 1 KPH.  Still a small but happy group finished.

End Group

Thanks to David H for his company and good companionship through some rough country.

Distance 20.1km with 894m of ascent and 1,161m of descent.

Map Stage 18

 

 

 

Not a walk in the Park

Thanks to ABC Canberra‘s team who interviewed Rod Griffiths last week about the Walk the Border ACT project, with its goal of raising awareness for the need to advocate for the environment in the ACT region.

9074116-3x2-700x467

Courtesy ABC Canberra TV News

Read the story here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-23/act-border-circumnavigation-no-walk-in-the-park/9074082

The walk will finish this Friday 27 October, with funds raised to date just on $7,500.

Don’t leave it too late – donations to this fundraiser are able to be made through the Conservation Council’s website.

 

More Walk updates to come …

According to dispatches, the going has been tough down in the southern reaches of Namadgi National Park, as the Walk the Border ACT walkers trudged, crawled and slid through some pretty tough terrain … and rain on Thursday and Friday.

This FindMeSpot map gives an idea of the location and landscape over the past few days.

While you’re waiting for the latest updates, scroll back through the stories of the first week, and see how far they’ve come.

And sincere thanks to those who have been able to sponsor a walker or donate to the Conservation Council directly. Your support is very gratefully received.

Donations can be made at any time: https://conservationcouncil.org.au/CiviCRM/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/contribute/transact&reset=1&id=30

Day 9 Ingledene to Mt Clear Range

Three walkers tackled the ascent from Smiths Road Ingledene up to the Clear Range on day 9 of the Walk the Border ACT.

Group

The cool morning was welcome as the group passed through rural lands on the 400 metre vertical ascent up to the range.

Breaks on the way up gave opportunities to appreciate the broad views on both side of the ridge.

Rural 2Walking 1

The walking was a combination of on and offtrack walking with some solid bits of scrub to ensure some patches of very slow going.  Some very pretty dry schlerophyll forest covered the top of the range.

 

Throughout the day however we encountered feral deer and horses and evidence of pig damage countered by some great bird sightings and many wallabies and kangaroos.

An example of a stock yard was an unexpected find.

yards

A long day with 24.4 kms of walking and 1363m of ascent  and 990m of descent.

Great walking with Alex H and Tom T and fabulous support from Jeff M.

 

Bird sightings from Day 8 – Royalla to Ingledene

Having experienced bird-watchers walking with you means you can capture great data and information about the birds living in the area.

Day 8’s walkers included Matthew and Lia = thanks to Matthew for providing this comprehensive list of the birds seen throughout the day.

Swainsona Reserve, Royalla, New South Wales, AU
Oct 14, 2017 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
14.0 kilometer(s)
Comments:     travelling south along NSW-ACT border
45 species (+1 other taxa)

Australian Wood Duck  2
White-faced Heron  1
Wedge-tailed Eagle  1
Masked Lapwing  2
Crested Pigeon  4
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo  1
Pallid Cuckoo  4
Fan-tailed Cuckoo  2
Rainbow Bee-eater  2
Nankeen Kestrel  1
Galah  30
Little Corella  4
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo  10
Crimson Rosella  8
Eastern Rosella  6
White-throated Treecreeper  1
Superb Fairywren  10
Eastern Spinebill  1
Yellow-faced Honeyeater  20
Noisy Miner  30
Red Wattlebird  1
Noisy Friarbird  2
Spotted Pardalote  4
Striated Pardalote  11
Buff-rumped Thornbill  4
Brown Thornbill  2
Yellow-rumped Thornbill  10
Weebill  5
White-throated Gerygone  2
Dusky Woodswallow  4
Grey Butcherbird  2
Australian Magpie  25
Pied Currawong  3
Black-faced Cuckooshrike  7
Rufous Whistler  10
Olive-backed Oriole  2
Willie Wagtail  1
Grey Fantail  6
Magpie-lark  4
Australian Raven  5
Little Raven  2
Welcome Swallow  5
Fairy/Tree Martin  15
Silvereye  4
Common Starling  10
Australasian Pipit  1

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39909774

Day 8 Royalla to Ingledene

Eleven walkers joined Walk the Border ACT today, marking the beginning of week two of our fund-raising endeavours for the Conservation Council ACT.

The day was mild, and towards the end, the terrain scrubby – most of us crawled at some stage. But the company was good, and we welcomed many walkers back from the last week.

railway walkers

The wildflowers were out everywhere the eye could see, and offered a pleasant reason to stop and catch our breath.

yellow flowerspaper daisiespurple orchid

The incline to the top after Angle Crossing was worth the views, which were expansive to the south and a reminder of the coming days heading down into Namadgi National Park – even so, the going was definitely tough.

views to southview to south 2view from the topinclie climb 1

incline climb 2

Congratulations to all of the walkers who made it to the sign-post at the ACT/NSW border and to Geoff and Margaret for their floral expertise.

Thanks to Robert N for this group shot at today’s half way point.

MAtthew Frawley image edit

 

 

Day 7 Gilmore to Royalla

One week down already!   And what a range of landscapes the 39 participants have experienced over the past seven stages of Walk the Border ACT 2017!

Day 7 was another day of unexpected views and interesting walking.  An early diversion was a meeting with a much maligned resident – a brown snake sunning itself on disused railway track near Gilmore in the south of the ACT.  It’s always good to get the heart pumping early with a close encounter. But we observed it from afar, keeping a safe distance, and left it to its sun-baking.

Brown Snake

We didn’t see any more.

The day was spent on and around the old railway line which winds through the hills south to Royalla.  It gave us plenty of examples of the engineering feats needed with lots of cuttings and fills forming the basis of the track.

The twists and turns of the route opened up unexpected views.  These are views of Tuggeranong Hill, Mt Tennent and Mt Taylor that are from less travelled perspectives.

Tuggeranong Hill viewMt Tennent viewMt TAylor view

Occasionally the railway infrastructure would present some quandaries.  What happens to the staff once they stop, as directed, at this point?

Stop

There were also other touches of whimsy.  Is this a modernist sculpture?

Sculpture

Naturally there were border markers, maybe not as many as we had hoped to see though some came with friends.

BM1Horses and BM

A blue tongue lizard greeted us near Royalla.

Blue tongue All up it was another fascinating day in the borders of the ACT.

Group2

Map Stage 7

Day 7 14.9 kms with 217m of ascent and 114m of descent

Thanks to the good company, of Andrew C, Tom T, Jeff I, Margaret and Robert N, Debbie R,  Jane R (and Molly & Tilly)