Orroral Homestead – arvo tea and a great talk by Jenny H on Andy Cunningham

Saturday 11 April: Yet More HMAS geocaching – S/E. Morning bike ride for a couple of hours in the old Stromlo Pine Forest area west of the National Arboretum and east of the Molonglo housing development to further geocache the HMAS series.


Saturday 11 April: Orroral Valley Heritage Walk – S/E. CBC is organizing this walk in conjunction with Minders of Tuggeranong Homestead. Meet at 1.30 at the Orroral River campground, just inside the entry to Namadgi National Park. The walk of ∼4kms goes from there into the Orroral Valley and along to Orroral Homestead, former home of decorated Light Horseman and intrepid pilot Andy Cunningham. Afternoon tea will be served after a talk about Cunningham and his colourful career. Return the same way. Gold coin donation. Bookings required, contact Jenny H.

W1 – I drove to the edge of the pond down the bend at the end of Kirkpatrick St in Weston, past the RSPCA;
W2 – Rob and I drove to near the Orroral Homestead.


W1 – Distance: 8.0km | Climb: 150m | Time: 8.50am-10.45pm (1hr 55mins) | Grading: S/E; VE(3) – a bike ride
W2 – a wander in to the homestead, then later down the Orroral Valley to meet the party walking up.

Track Map – W1



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Track Notes

Walk 1
Still plugging away at the HMAS series. Coming back from the hospital, a chance to ride the area to pick up a few more caches. Certainly quicker on a bike than on foot. Still plenty of flow in the Molonglo. Visited ‘Coombs Crossing’ for maybe just the second time. Some nice views in this area with perhaps the potential for daylight savings after work walks, even though it’s just management trails and pine trees. The Molonglo suburbs are close – would be nice to live there.

Had a time deadline, so was going fast and missed a few (an excuse for being a poor cacher), but got 14. GC4ZWMR Coombs Crossing, GC4V3WA HMAS #71: HENRY BURRELL, GC4V3W7 HMAS #69: VICTOR SMITH, GC56YN5 HMAS #68: GEORGE HYDE, GC4V3W6 HMAS #67: GUY GAUNT, GC56YN2 HMAS #66: ERNEST GAUNT, GC4V3W5 HMAS #65: RAGNAR COLVIN, GC56YMZ HMAS #64: FLEET BASE WEST, GC4V3W4 HMAS #63: FLEET BASE EAST, GC56YMW HMAS #62: WATSON, GC4V3W2 HMAS #61: WATERHEN, GC56YKF HMAS #58: CRESWELL, GC56YNE HMAS #76: WILFRED HARRINGTON, GC56YNC HMAS #74: WILLIAM CRESWELL.

Came home via the edge of the developing suburbs and the old cottage down there.

Walk 2
Rob packed his great home-made walking trolley, modified with a bit of framework to carry the 20 litres of water. It was very handy for carrying the gear 400m down from the Orroral Road to the Orroral Homestead. We got a a couple of MSR Whisperlites going with big pots of water and a couple of gas stoves with smaller billies. Set up the table with lovely eats that Jenny had made.

A family with young children wandered down from the road. Asking that question “Are you by any chance geocachers?” got a positive response, so we went over to Gregory’s and the kids found the cache there.

Back to watching pots boil, which never works.

So I wandered down the valley to pick up the 23 walkers coming up the Orroral Heritage Trail, said hello, then trotted back to the Homestead to re-kindle the fires.

The party arrived and Rob did a great job of serving tea and coffee, whilst I kept the (hopefully boiling) water up to him. Scored a couple of new CBC members – thanks Pj and Kerrie!

Jen then gave a lovely talk on Andy Cunningham.

We packed up, whilst Jen and the main party visited the newly re-opened Woolshed. We walked back up to the car; the others returned down the valley to their meeting point at the Orroral camping ground.

A great walk for Heritage week, sponsored by Minders of Tuggeranong Homestead (MOTH) and Canberra Bushwalking Club (CBC) – AKA Jenny H.


W1 – 1 rider – me
W2 – 2 – Rob H, me; 7 walked down from the road; 23 walked up the valley on the Orroral Heritage Trail.