Eight keen bushwalkers set off for the Blue Waterholes to spend the Australia Day long weekend exploring the Cave Creek and Cooleman Plain Area. We were very lucky with the weather, with Huey delivering not much more than a short shower on on of the nights. The caves on Cave Creek and on the Goodradigbee River were spectacular and we spent lots of time exploring these. The Cooleman Plain was also quite nice, with Seventeen Flat Creek providing opportunities for further cave finding.
We drove up on Friday night and on Saturday morning headed early down our first creek and before we knew it, it was narrow canyon followed by an abseil into a small amphitheatre with tall straight coachwood trees scattered around a leafy forest floor. The only disappointment about it was that it ended all too soon, becoming scrubby creek. We crashed and bashed and crawled and lurched with our 3 day packs down this creek for a while until finally it became true canyon once more, and with another short abseil entered deeper canyon and thus became our gateway to the Bungleboori.
On January 19th Adrian Blake and I drove down to the Geehi to have a look at some of the aqueduct intake stations. Our primary reason for this trip however was to search for the northern end of the “Goat Track”, which siddles around the Watsons Crags Spur from Siren Song Portal to Crags Creek Portal. The regrowth after the bushfires of January 2003 was so thick that we were unable to find any clues as to the whereabouts of the track. It was a very wet walk, with Huey dumping down the full eight inches… We did get some magnificent views though of the north face of Watsons Crags, and in the distance we could just see Reinhold Echidna as he scaled up those precipitous cliff faces.
Namadgi National Park makes up about 45% of the ACT and the beauty of it is that it has plenty of interesting daywalks close to Canberra. I drove out to the old Orroral Deep Space Tracking Station on the evening of Thursday 17th January and the next day walked the Orroral Valley Circuit. It is a 19km walk, along a fire trail for the first half, then along a grassy track for the second half. The nearby Orroral Homestead is worth taking a look at.
This was a tough trip. It was a solo trip, visiting a classic part of the western edge of the Main Range. The route was basically Charlotte Pass to Mt Townsend via Seamans Hut, then across the Townsend Plateau, climbing Mt Alice Rawson and the other unnamed peaks, then following the Abbot Ridge north to a saddle at 1480m, droppping down into Lady Northcotes Canyon, and then ascending the creek to Lake Albina before returning to Charlotte Pass. The whole walk is covered on the 1:25,000 Perisher Valley topo if you want to look over it.