Tallaganda NP and the Brindabellas (NSW/ACT)

Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 17:00

Member - Michael O (NSW)

Sat June 23
745am rendezvous with the Nicholls’s at Forest Hill (at least I think it was the Nicholls’s – the fog was pretty bad…) made three vehicles and oddly 2 off them were BT50 utes. We picked our way through the fog which finally cleared out near Borambola, and trundled along the Highway to Yass, then on to Murrumbateman and over to sunny and cool Bungendore.
Coffees were called for (where we met Little Donna…) and a couple of the blokes went for the bacon and egg rolls.
Turning at the old Carrington Hotel we travelled south to Hoskinstown and came across a dead wombat by the roadside with a splash of blue paint on its back. We were told that this means the wombat has been checked for young. We then turned east into the Tallaganda National Park at Forbes Creek where we passed a property called “Fungus Crutchings...?”
North onto North Black Range trail and the roads were easy but the scenery very pretty with large stands of eucalypts with long strands of recently shed bark hanging from them. The altitude varies from 700-1300m and the vegetation changes accordingly
The former Tallaganda State Forest has been logged successfully for 100 years. This logging is still carried out but now on a limited scale. A small pine plantation was established in the forest in 1968 with the aim of supplying mainly scantling to the developing local market.
Took Butmaroo Trail southeast, and then stopped for lunch at a small clearing near the Mulloon Creek crossing where we were stunned to find a discarded takeaway pizza box, miles from civilisation. The crossing here is deep but access and exit were easy with an arc approach on the upstream side.
Bombay Firetrail took us around the foothills of Mt Palerang then to the Lowden Forest Park. It was here that a group of logging contractors established their camp in 1937. In 1952, a water wheel built by William Hopkins and Spencer Hush in Queanbeyan was transported to the campsite. There it was installed to generate electricity for the camp and charge the truck batteries. The wheel and associated weir and water storage areas have been restored and are allegedly in full working order. Forestworkers used the camp regularly until the early 1960s when improved roads and transport made on site accommodation unnecessary. There is a lot to see here but our daylight was running out so we had to push on.
The GPS then got a workout as we tried to find a track across to the base of Mt Cronin. A steep short track took us up to the firetower where we had a wonderful view of the setting sun (but was the wind COLD?)
Down into the village of Captain’s Flat to the imposing old Hotel. The mines here closed in 1962 and the Pub has perhaps seen better days but new owners Vicky and Tony are doing their best to improve things. We had dinner there and a thousand Heinekens.
Sunday June 24
The morning was frosty but sunny and we had a quick walk around the village after brekky, then a drive up to the mine site on the hill overlooking town.
South to Jerangle, then east on a beautiful drive through the Tinderry Mtns. This road comes out on the Monaro Highway at Michelago. Next was Angle Crossing, a wide causeway over the Murrumbidgee which looked deep and foreboding. After some discussion (and some good leadership from the more experienced Joe) it was decided to tackle the crossing which turned out to be a doddle.
Across to Tharwa then a lunch stop at Cotter Dam, where there is much work going on to raise the dam wall. Up through the pine forest on Curries Rd, then Pabral Road, then up a steep switchback track to the fire tower at Mt Coree which at 1421m ASL affords a wonderful view over Canberra and the Brindabellas. Down the hill to Piccadilly Circus then home through the Brindabella Valley (where the little bridge has been badly damaged by the floods earlier this year)
The last stage of our trip was through an almost Scottish mist into Tumut and home by about 630pm.
Thanks to exploroz Member Colin for the trek notes!!!!
Michael O
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
The Easybeats 1966
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