Tuesday 12 April 2022: ‘Opera House Cave’ on the Orroral Ridge of Stone ! – M/E-M. Pop up the Orroral Ridge Road and to the ‘Opera House Cave’.
Distance: 10km | Climb: 385m | Time: 2hrs 25mins moving plus 3mins of breaks | 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 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 recently saw a video of rock stacks in a private (so you can’t access unless you are a member) Facebook group, Hiking in Canberra. The location was the ‘Opera House Cave’ on the Orroral Ridge of Stone. I’m certainly not suggesting that the poster put them there. They just panned a video round the cave.
I have an aversion to rock stacks. Judiciously placed cairns are ok by me, but rock stacks are like graffiti tags and totally out of place in the natural environment.
So I decided to go up and have a look.
Drove to the Honeysuckle Creek camping ground and set off up the Orroral Ridge Road.
Nice views up to The Spinnaker.
Lots of improvements to the fire trail.
Lots of signage in the car park at the top, signaling the start of the footpad NW along the Ridge of Stone.
The new-ish blue signs about the place are using the Australian Walking Track Grading System.
Walked through the indigenous site.
As I understand it, this is site NA43 from Winston-Gregson’s 1978 Masters thesis ‘Gudgenby: a register of archaeological sites in the proposed Gudgenby National Park’.
After about 1km the track ends.
It deteriorates too!
100m further on there’s a dip in the footpad and the way down and into the ‘Opera House Cave’. Before entering, I went a fraction further for views over the Orroral Valley.
In the cave there was a rock stack near the wall on the right.
I made it disappear.
There was a rock stack at the back.
I was going to make it disappear, but relented and turned it into a small cairn as it points the way to the crawl exit to the lovely viewing slab above.
The dastardly deed completed, I retreated up the footpad a bit. There’s a route with a couple of tapes that goes further along the ridge to the Trojan Wall and Sentinel Rocks.
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 from the Corin Dam 1:25000 topographic map.
See ABC News report.