17.2 km,  750 m climb
start: 8.30 pm finish:3,45 pm
Party : 10
Philip, Jan, Mike, Leon, Liz, Miriam, Stephen, Kerry, Trevor and myself


It was my turn to lead one of the weekly, inter-club, Wednesday Walks, this one on behalf of the National Parks Association of the A.C.T.

I decided on the  close-to-home destination of Rob Roy but wanted to avoid the awful, boring trudge up and down the hard-packed fire trails-cum-walking tracks.  I had a look at the map and chose a route that I thought would work.  On the prior Sunday I did a bit of a recce as I had never been up that way through the bush, following a creek and then a ridge, but all went well.

Mt Rob Roy and the surrounding nature reserve lies in the south of Canberra, immediately behind the suburbs of Conder and Banks. It is, however, most confusing just where one can walk.  Some of the land lying within the declared nature reserve has been leased out to private interests.  Not only that, but if there are maintained fire trails through the leased land does that mean that the public may use them.  The best one can do is to check with the nature reserve rangers and depending on your route, get permission from the lessees.

At 8.20 am 10 of us met at Kambah Village shops (although one couple misread the walk description, thinking that the meeting time was the departure time.  Now I wonder who that might have been? ) and not long afterwards we were parking at the top of Jane Sutherland Ave.,  From there it was a short distance up the slope to the flood mitigation works at the bottom of the creek we would walk up.  The fog blanketing Canberra added an air of mystery to the morning.

With great confidence I led the charge of the light brigade , not paying much attention to the map as the previous Sunday it had all been so easy.  After about half an hour I realised that for a little while I had missed the main creek and was on a tributary.   OK, everyone makes a small mistake sometimes, so I zigged over to the next creek only to realize I was still wrong.  Oops!  Now for a careful look at the map and it was time to zag.  Apart from a couple of fences and a deep tributary creek, we were back on track.  Not a whisper was heard from my party.   What a lovely bunch they are. But the sting is always in the tail!

By now the fog had lifted from where we were and it was a glorious, sparkling morning, nippy in the shade, sunlight slanting through trees.  We followed the creek until it crossed the fire trail  and then continued up the ridge on the true right of the creek to the saddle at 935e, 713n.   Working our way up the side of this creek was fairly easy with little scrub.  At the saddle we stopped for morning tea, before climbing the ridge south-west from the saddle.  Very easy off  track walking, going over several knolls  and coming out on the FT at about 928e, 707n.  From there is was only a few minutes up the FT to the trig on Rob Roy summit.

From the trig we went through the bush to the FT, and followed it in a south-easterly direction before leaving it to contour  through the bush along an old footpad  to  the beginning of the FT to Rose Trig..

Rose Trig offered a superb vantage point on a glorious day for lunch. 360 degree views.

Then it was back along the FT to a high and relatively level ridge which we then followed down to the creek just above Mike’s (dry) waterfall, which is most impressive, falling sheer for quite a long way down.  Here we paused to admire the position and the view before scrambling down to the bottom of the fall.

From the fall, on what was now a glorious, mellow, golden autumn afternoon, we followed the creek down through many small canyons and down many small falls.  A most interesting creek .  Along the way there were a number of Kurrajong trees, their bright green leaves contrasting with the surrounding vegetation. Eventually it was time to leave the creek and head across grasslands to the corner of  Banks where we picked up the track that runs along the south-east side of Banks, below Big Monk and so back to the cars.

Back at the cars, enjoying a chat, some banter, tea and coffee and some biscuits and Liz came to me with such a sweet smile and thanked me for the most enjoyable walk.   I said it was a pleasure, now feeling pleased with myself, but then she added, ever so sweetly, despite the zigs and zags.  I promptly said what zigs and zags.  Immediately there was a 4-fold chorus of  Your zigs and zags have been officially recorded (on our GPSs) and we will remind you of them forever.  As I said, the sting is in the tail!

IMG_0687 a first creek

Setting off up the first creek

IMG_0688 a first creek

Going up the first creek, before the zig and zag!

IMG_0689 a nearing the morning tea saddle

Looking back as we near the first saddle.  Tidbinbilla Range in the background, and fog still heavy over Canberra.

IMG_0690 a nearing the morning tea saddle

Approaching the saddle

IMG_0691 a morning tea

Morning tea at the saddle

IMG_0692 a climbing the ridge after morning tea

After morning tea, climbing the ridge from the saddle

IMG_0693 a from the ridge after morning tea

Still climbing the ridge.  Tinderry Range in distance

IMG_0694 a Mt Rob Roy Trig

Mt Rob Roy Trig – height gained, but no view

IMG_0695 a Rob Roy, back to the FT

Straight down, south, from Rob Roy trig to the fire trail

IMG_0696 a Mt Rob Roy from FT to Rose Trig

looking back – Mt Rob Roy from fire trail to Rose Trig

IMG_0697 a approaching Rose Trig

Rose Trig now in sight

IMG_0698 a Rose Trig

Rose Trig, 10 km from start of walk

IMG_0700 a from Rose Trig

one of the views from Rose Trig – looking across to the Tidbinbilla Range.  Fog still lingering

IMG_0699 a From Rose Trig

Canberra still under fog

IMG_0701 a from Rose Trig

We are making for the waterfall hidden down in the gorge on the right

IMG_0702 a 2nd creek, at waterfall

In contemplation at the top of the waterfall

IMG_0703 a 2nd creek, at waterfall

IMG_0704 a 2nd creek, at waterfall

Making our way down the side of the fall

IMG_0705 a 2nd creek, at waterfall

The waterfall.  An impressive, and hidden drop.



IMG_0706 a 2nd creek

Just downstream from the fall – a great mini canyon