Sunday 10 April: Jerrabomberra Wetlands and bird refuge area – S/E *. Want to walk the Jerrabomberra bird refuge area? Get a different view of Lake Burley Griffin? An opportunity to visit the rarely walked northern part of the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. It’s bounded by the Molonglo River in the north, Dairy Road in the east, Jerrabomberra Creek in the south and Lake Burley Griffin in the west. This area is a breeding ground for migratory birds and a rural lease, normally closed. I have permission to walk the closed area from the Ranger-in-Charge (“the birds have flown north”). The cost – bring a sturdy bag and collect any rubbish along the way. First walk the well-known tracks of Jerrabomberra Wetlands – Kellys and Billabong Loops, the Biyaligee Boardwalk and Woodland Track. Take in some new ponds and Molonglo River views towards the Kingston Foreshore. Then walk north on Dairy Road to the Trench Track. Extend this to take in the larger northern area of the Wetlands. Around 11km and pretty flat, 3-4 hours walking.
Distance: 11.9km | Climb: 109m | Time: 3hrs 10mins moving + 30mins of stops | Grading: M/E-M; M(8).
Download the gpx file recorded via AllTrails here (in AllTrails, activate …, Download Route, Select the file format GPX Track, OK).
Another version of the gpx file, recorded on my new little boy’s toy Garmin MAP66i GPSr, is available here. It has a few waypoints in it which the AllTrails version doesn’t. Sorry about the security warning at download – if you follow through the various prompts it will work (I recently applied an SSL certificate to my blog; everything else works fine, except for these download warning messages).
I was last in this area on a private walk with no permission to enter the refuge area on 20 Jan 22. I’d not do that for a CBC walk, so obtained the necessary permission.
We met in the holey (not holy) car park off Dairy Road and were away just about right on 8am. Not many other folk around at this time and as the 19 of us noisily chattered along past the first bird hide with a ‘quiet please’ sign, a couple of bird watchers perhaps glared at us. We did, in fact, change our direction around the first two walks so that we didn’t follow a birdie with a HUGE camera lens.
We walked a figure of eight, first around Kellys Loop.
Across the land bridge separating the two areas of water.
Then around the Billabong Loop. Walked the excellent Biyaligee Boardwalk. A great sculpture.
It’s a great boardwalk.
Next we joined the Woodland Loop which took us across the main bridge over Jerrabomberra Creek and left turn past a new ‘enjoy the serenity’ seat.
We walked west to the new ponds within a stone’s throw of the Kingston Foreshore.
Backed out to a little view over the creek to our destination.
Back onto the Woodland Loop to a bird hide (too late in the morning for both birdies and birds) and some nearby magnificent bark-shedding gums.
Back to the car park, then north along Dairy Road with plenty of cyclists to the Trench Trail area.
Here we followed the track along the SW side of the trenches and through the ‘no unauthorised access’ gate. Continued on the vehicle track through the refuge area.
Plenty of water about. A few birds, including spoonbills.
We stopped on a little rise at the end of the track for morning tea.
Turning about, we walked north. At a small metal post beside the track (actually a water quality bore), we said good-bye to 10 of the party who had further activities planned for the day. Thanks to Sean, we all had a little surprise. He’d mentioned to me that he knew of a route from here out to an area of walling along the SE side of East Basin. Not an attractive start with plenty of cattle dung mixed with the muddy water.
But certainly a new perspective on LBG.
Up to this point we’d not ‘paid’ for our walk – not a bit of rubbish to be seen. But, as we realised, with Canberra’s prevailing NW weather, plenty of rubbish had been blown onto the wall area. We continued to enjoy the view as we emu-bobbed our way along.
Our turnaround point, within view of a lovely grassed triangular area (see map below), was determined by our rubbish bags being full to overflowing and the sighting of two nearby snakes.
We retraced our steps, visited the Trench Trail mock-up (mind the two wasp nests) and walked out beside the gate that amuses me.
Back along Dairy Road to our cars and onto the rest of the day.
The AllTrails recorded track map is here, where you can pan and zoom. And here’s the track laid out on my old TopoView 2006 map segment.
19 walkers – Gerald, Zenobia, Roger, Tilly, Lorna, Andrea, Mike, Richard, Joanne, Jan, Sean, Rudy, Rochelle, Gabriela, Teresa, Bernie, Terry, Sue, me.