Saturday 10 May: Cotter Gap for AN and friends – L/E. From Orroral Valley Tracking Station, walk Cotter Hut Rd and the Australian Alps Walking Track to Cotter Gap. Views to the majestic Split Rock. We pass a number of indigenous and European sites. Return the last 3km in the Orroral Valley. Around 18km and 670m climb. Maps: Rendezvous Creek and Corin Dam. Leader: John Evans –, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$12 per person. Further details at

9 of us drove from Canberra to the Orroral Tracking Station site car park.

Further Information

Bartering at its best – they get a walk giving a taste of the Namadgi and I get a twitter lesson.

Gear list for walkers: 1 Walking shoes (the walk is all on fire trails and cleared walking tracks) or boots. Gaiters not needed – but wear them if you wish to. 2 Layered clothing, including a fleece jacket or jumper. It is quite warm whilst walking, but cool when stopped. So layers that are easily taken off and put on. The current forecast temperature range for Saturday is 4-17°C. Our destination, Cotter Gap, is at nearly 1400m. We lose about ¾ °C for every 100m up, so it will be around 5°C cooler. 3 A rain jacket is essential. 4 First aid kit/any personal medications. 5 Hat, sunscreen. Light gloves for warmth. 6 Morning tea, lunch, perhaps a snack for arvo tea. These days, a thermos of hot drink is a good idea. 7 1 litre of water. If you don’t want to drink from the flowing creeks, perhaps 2 litres. 8 Camera if you want. 9 A good sense of humour and lots of yummy things for John to eat.


Distance: 20.4km | Climb: 700m | Time: 8.20am-3.10pm (6hrs 50mins), with 45 mins of breaks | Grading: L/E; M(11)

Track Map


Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.

Google Earth

Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.

Track Notes

The weather forecast had reduced to 50% chance of 1-5mm rain, but there were no dropouts after the emergency contact list arrived on Friday night. Great sign of keen walkers.

Much waiting around at meeting point and at the car park. Ladies, even keen ones, are not easy to organise. But, boy, can they walk – and talk – and are they fun!

Had a brief pre-walk chat, then headed off. Threatening skies, but we fortunately had no showers and it wasn’t cold – just a bit cool in the breeze when we stopped. Plenty of roos and a few rabbits.

A geocache for me a few tens of metres up in the bush just after crossing the James Creek concrete ford on the Cotter Hut Road. GC2EZ5Y Vilya was lying on the ground near a tree.

A little less chatter as we climbed the u-bend in the road, then strolled on to the AAWT footpad intersection. Morning tea. By this stage, we’d covered 5.8km in 1hr 40mins, a very good pace. A couple of the ladies ducked into the bush; I ducked the other way, behind the aboriginal rock shelter site and logged geocache GC1ZK7X 20 Good Reasons.

The next section of the AAWT is always pleasant. A gentle up, then down to cross Sawpit Creek, through lovely forest. Views up to the end of the De Salis knobs ridge. A lot more birds about in the middle of the day, perhaps as it was overcast. A huff and puff up to Cotter Gap (a rise of around 200m) caused chatter to cease for a while. We drifted down the other side and it’s always great to see the response of folk seeing Split Rock for the first time. Here’s a pic of what I described inside:

Our leg along the AAWT cleared footpad was 3.6km in 1hr 20mins. We sat down on logs in the regrowth for lunch, to give us a little shelter from the breeze.

A pleasant amble back, but all the talk was taking its toll on this introvert (grin), so I retired to the rear of the party to walk silently with my fellow introvert and good friend. At the AAWT turnoff on Cotter Hut Road, we followed it down to the Orroral Valley. We called in at the stockyard site with its pile of old tin cans. Down to the Rowleys Orroral Hut site, then the last 2.7km along the lovely Orroral Valley under the watchful eyes of the granite features on the Ridge of Stone.

For this effort I was awarded honorary membership of FARCM (Females (Ambling) Around Regional Canberra Mountains)!!

Huge thanks to Cynthia C who came to control the throng and ably bring up the tail. Alison (@chifley_alison) does a huge job leading these ladies, planning their walks and representing our wonderful Canberra and the surrounding bush.

I had a ball and I think the ladies enjoyed it too.


9 walkers – Alison (@chifley_alison), Anne-Marie, Elise, Jenny, Judy, Karen, Lyndall; Cynthia C, me.