THE BIG MONK ‘WATERFALL’ WALK, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
Now wait a minute, Mike, this must be a joke: there are no waterfalls on Big Monk. In any case, the summer heat is still persisting into autumn and whilst I enjoy walking up Mt Rob Roy via Callaghans Hill and then across to Rose Trig and back via Big Monk, in the winter, I avoid this area in summer heat. But no, it was down on the National Parks Association (ACT) program. Was it that steep rocky gully that comes down to the Canberra suburb of Banks with flood mitigation works at the bottom and once in a blue moon has a trickle of water in it? No! Now I was intrigued.
The walk started on the walking track that runs along the back of Banks, a little east of the track up to Big Monk. Big Monk, incidentally, is really just a bump on the side of Mt Rob Roy. Anyway, we walked south-ish along this track for a while, before going off track, contouring along the hill until the creek at about 901e, 707n. We followed this “creek”, dry except for an occasional remnant small pool, for quite some way. It was an interesting route involving rock hopping and scrambling as we ascended minor falls (I won’t call them waterfalls!) and traversed some pleasant little gorges. At roughly 911e, 7005 we came to a significant fork. We took the one on our left, went through a narrow slot and were soon at the waterfall. Dry as a bone of course, but a substantial vertical fall which would be quite a sight after heavy rain. There was a large pool at its base. Here we stopped for morning tea.
After morning tea we worked our way up the true left bank to the top of the fall and then continued on up the creek to about 915e , 702n. From there we headed up to the dam and from there to the Big Monk trig for lunch. The views to the south, west and north from Big Monk are grand, and the suburb of Banks lies almost vertically below the trig. I hope there is never a land slip!
After lunch we continued off track down the steep slope to join the Fire Trail which descends very steeply to Banks and so back to the cars.
This had proved to be an interesting walk and was actually a good one for the heat, as the temperature was still reasonable up to lunch time. After lunch it became very hot, but by then it was all downhill and not far to the cars.
Ha! At last! The Waterfall and morning tea.
The dam just below Big Monk. The trig can be seen as a black dot on the skyline just to the left of the 3 trees on the skyline ridge of Big Monk
Big Monk trig.
Looking back from Big Monk
Banks at our feet from Big Monk trig
view to the south from Big Monk trig
view to the West
Descending to the fire trail. Looking back up towards Big Monk trig