Normally the end of the line at the bird refuge area

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).


Photographs are available here.

gpx File

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).

Track Notes

AllTrails trip report.

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.

Kellys Swamp S end | walking Kellys Loop | view from bird hide | Kellys Swamp

Across the land bridge separating the two areas of water.

On the land bridge between Kellys Swamp and the Jerrabomberra Billabongs | View from land bridge

Then around the Billabong Loop. Walked the excellent Biyaligee Boardwalk. A great sculpture.

Long-necked turtle

Tall reeds.

Tall reeds on the Biyaligee Boardwalk | photo Rudy

It’s a great boardwalk.

On the Biyaligee 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.

Enjoy the serenity

We walked west to the new ponds within a stone’s throw of the Kingston Foreshore.

Signage at new ponds near Kingston

Backed out to a little view over the creek to our destination.

View over Jerrabomberra Creek – we’ll be over there later

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.

Trees dripping bark on the Woodland Loop

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.

Walking the track through the bird refuge area

Plenty of water about. A few birds, including spoonbills.

A waterway out to Lake Burley Griffin | Not much blue but plenty of green algae

We stopped on a little rise at the end of the track for morning tea.

Lolling about at morning tea | photo Jan

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.

A muddy start to Sean’s detour

But certainly a new perspective on LBG.

Lake Burley Griffin views from the lake wall

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.

Walking the wall

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.

I just love this gate

Back along Dairy Road to our cars and onto the rest of the day.

Track Map

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.

Track Jerrabomberra Wetlands and bird refuge area


19 walkers – Gerald, Zenobia, Roger, Tilly, Lorna, Andrea, Mike, Richard, Joanne, Jan, Sean, Rudy, Rochelle, Gabriela, Teresa, Bernie, Terry, Sue, me.