Tuesday 11 February: Emu Flat and Upper Blue Gum Creek, Namadgi National Park – M/R,ptX. Starting at the Corin Dam road we will follow Smokers Trail for 2km then head off-track for most of the day. It is likely to be slow going in scrub for much of the day, though there will be some grassy creeks to follow in places. We will follow a meandering route to Emu Flat, via some small granite outcrops. I believe Emu Flat is the grassy area at the head of Blue Gum Creek at Ref: 755631, though the map marks it at a location 500 metres further south. From Emu Flat we will follow Blue Gum Creek north for about 2 kilometres, before heading back to Smokers Trail. Note: The Smokers Trail carpark has recently been relocated and parking is now at the junction of Smokers Trail and the Corin Dam Road. Maps: Corin Dam Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8 Transport: Approx. 70 km return.
4 of us drove from Canberra up the Corin Road, parking at the temporary Smokers Trail car park.
Distance: 17.0km | Climb: 620m | Time: 7.10am- 3.25pm (8hrs 15mins), with 50mins of breaks | Grading: L/R; H(13-)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
We were expecting it – an extra wander up from the temporary new Smokers Trail car park on the Corin Rd to the old car park. Quite an autumn feel about the early morning just after 7am, with the cloud base down over SH1457. But the cloud soon burnt off and the walking day was warm to hot. 30°C when we got back to the car at about 3.30pm. 1.8km in 25mins. A further 1.2km in 15mins S along Smokers Trail, where it starts to bend away to the W, we headed into the bush. The heat is certainly stressing some of the plants.
Our route took us further generally S, through open forest, cleared creek runs, a surprise open flat and some scrubby scrub. Morning tea was called at 9.30am in the latter. This leg 3km in 1hr 40mins.
As always with Ian the granite hunter, we expected granite. He did not disappoint. A few very slow hundreds of metres to the SW of morning tea, he had a lovely set of tors and blocks which tumbled down the hillside (Ian has a WP naming system that must mean something to him, this was Emu 01). Looking over the edge, far below was a walled fern garden, so we worked our way to the bottom of the stack. There was no way to get in behind the guardian blocks – does this garden remain locked away?
Slow going to the W for a couple of hundred metres got us to a fabulous lookout view. We could see the N end of the Orroral Valley, SH1339, Split Rock, Bimberi Peak, Dutchies Peak and Mt McKeahnie. Smokers Trail must have been somewhere down below us.
Next, generally E back towards the real Emu Flats (a large open area, not the tight scrub of the map-marked Emu Flats). The going eased a little. But with the open flats in sight, Ian had another granite site for us, so we headed S for a bit to Emu 02. A little crawl to amuse us and a huge granite spire.
We returned to the flats then, joy oh joy, there was time to head SE to the knoll above the map-marked Emu Flats. After leaving the real flats the going on the morning leg was a bit scrubby; better on the afternoon leg out which was a little to the NE. A bit of a crawl to pull out the cache – despite the lunchbox and ammo box, the new log book is just a little bit damp. A short lunch.
Turning for home, we went back to the flats, then N and NE (I don’t know why the short track discontinuity forming the straight line) to pick up the top of Blue Gum Creek. It was flowing and we got water where we crossed it. A but scrubby to begin with, up the bank just a bit, but useful animal pads and the going eased a bit.
At the point Ian had planned, we left Blue Gum Creek and went NW then W back up towards the open leads. 2 of us puffed up the hill to find GC45B9A Bruce’s Bin Here. A HUGE log book – the CO must be optimistic about many finds. A km following the open lead back to join Smokers Trail and the walk out to the car.
As always, Ian can turn a bit of a ho hum round into something very interesting with his granite. A couple of geocaches adds life for me too.
4 walkers – Peter C, Eric G, Ian W (leader), me.