Saturday 23 April

The SW side of Camels Hump

Saturday 23 April: Camels Hump Summit. An early start from Mountain Creek carpark to Camel Hump summit (13km). A steep climb on fire trail through forest for most of the walk. The last kilometre is off track and requires rock scrambling and some exposure to heights. Views to Tidbinbilla ridge on the way up. Lunch at the summit. Slow pace.


Distance: 12.4km | Climb: 660m | Time: 4hrs 20mins total | Grading: M/E-M; M(10).


Photographs are available here. More photos from last week’s trip to Camels Hump here.

gpx File

The gpx file, recorded on my new little boy’s toy Garmin MAP66i GPSr, is available here.

Track Notes

I was on Camels Hump last Saturday 16 Apr 22 (see below).

Back again a week later and another fabulous day. A better leader today, with Shell calling the breaks to fit my uphill style.

Wonderful views on the drive out.

Tidbinbilla skyline on the drive out

We were away smartly, the other 3 chatting as I puffed up the Camel Back Fire Trail. The Hump came into view towards the top.

The Hump from Camel Back Fire Trail

I needed to apologise to my companions for all my phone dingings – I’m still testing the tracking and messages to and fro the Garmin MAP66i.

We turned left onto the footpad to the top at the sign which cannot be missed.

Signage at the start of the footpad to Camels Hump

At one of the short flat bits on the climb, we stopped for the usual photo south along the Range.

Tidbinbilla skyline – Johns Peak, Tidbinbilla Peak, Tidbinbilla Mountain, The Pimple

A short morning tea break at the top by the large cairn. 6 other walkers about coming down/climbing up.

We descended together back to the fire trail, on the way a view to cloud rolling in over the Range.

A little cloud rolls in over Tidbinbilla Peak and Mountain

Down on the gravel, our leader allowed the party to split. Two walkers went on to Johns Peak and I high-tailed it as fast as I could back down, as my dear wife is in hospital.

Track Map

Here’s the track laid out on my old TopoView 2006 map segment from the Tidbinbilla 1:25000 topographic map.

Track Camels Hump


4 walkers – Jenny, Sal, Shell (our leader), me.

Saturday 16 April

Happy walkers on Johns Peak

Saturday 16 April 2022: Johns Peak and Camels Hump via Camel Back Fire Trail * – L/E-M. Walk the developed track from Camel Back Fire Trail to Johns Peak. Lunch on Camels Hump. The route provides fabulous views along this section of the Tidbinbilla Range. It includes short rock scrambles at each top and, unfortunately, a long fire trail bash starting at the Mountain Creek car park for entry and exit. Around 15km and 750vm of climb.  Tortoise, not hare, pace, especially climbing the fire trail.


Distance: 15.5km | Climb: 840m | Time: 6hrs 15mins total | Grading: L/E-M; M(11).


Photographs are available here. More photos from last month’s trip to Johns Peak here.

gpx File

The gpx file, recorded on my new little boy’s toy Garmin MAP66i GPSr, is available here.

Track Notes

I was last on Johns Peak on 14 Mar 22.

It was an absolutely beautiful day on the Tidbinbilla Ridge today! Blue sky, no breeze and an ACT forecast of minimum 8°C, maximum 17-23°C. No doubt the daytime temperature was a little lower at 1440m.

We met at 7.30am and motored to the Mountain Creek car park. Although we had them, no Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve boom gate pass required for entry from when the early Rangers open the main gate to when the administrative staff start work.

Very impressive work from my companions as they chattered their way up the Camel Back Fire Trail. I puffed along at the rear, but did better than I was expecting (a whole 8 minutes quicker than last time). A few lyrebirds calling.

The switch back turn off to the start of the John Peak track is lovely and grassy.

Walking the grassy vehicle track after turning off the Camel Back Fire Trail

At the burnt out communications tower, the route deteriorates into a footpad, but very easy to follow and very easy walking. Views begin to open up back along the ridge to Camels Hump.

View back to Camels Hump from the footpad to Johns Peak

It’s quite a narrow ridge at 1300m as the footpad continues.

The footpad to Johns Peak

Views to the many scree slopes to the west.

View west from the footpad to Johns Peak

Near the bottom of the final climb, an open patch provided a photo op.

Photo op before we climb Johns Peak

I’m afraid the sharp climb to the top gave my ego a battering as I stopped multiple times. Disappointing. My gracious companions called for morning tea #1 to give me a break.

Beginning of the climb to Johns Peak

The little scramble completed, we stopped for morning tea #2 at the top of ‘my’ hill.

John with Johns Peak signage | photo Richard H

Johns Peak is named after John McDonald, the husband of Eliza Webb. They farmed in the Tidbinbilla Valley below. The hill behind the Visitors Centre is named Mt Eliza, so husband and wife gaze at each other across the land.

Spectacular views down the north arm of Burkes Creek, which tumbles steeply down the west side of the range to the Cotter River.

North arm of Burkes Creek from Johns Peak

With oodles of time, we agreed to descend and then pop up to Camels Hump for lunch. I could talk a bit on the descent and the flat. Back to the fire trail, then the short, steep climb up the Hump. Again, my companions were kind to me and enjoyed a stop to capture the reverse photo, whilst I gasped for air.

View to Johns Peak from the climb to Camels Hump

We had lunch beside the cairn.

Settling in to lunch on Camels Hump

Our hill tops completed, it was like life – all downhill from here.

The lads gave the lassies a run for their money on the return down the fire trail, but probably because the girls just didn’t stop chattering.

A fun day for all!

Track Map

Here’s the track laid out on my old TopoView 2006 map segment from the Tidbinbilla 1:25000 topographic map.

Track overview Johns Peak and Camels Hump

Track detail Johns Peak and Camels Hump


6 walkers – Jenny, Joanne, Marlene, Richard, Teresa, me.

PS. I do a bit more solo walking these days, so that my ego is not so damaged. My dear wife worries, so I recently acquired a Garmin MAP66i GPSr. It combines a very rich feature set of navigation tools with the inReach 2-way communication service provided by Iridium satellites, plus 24/7 SOS monitoring. It includes a 10 minute interval tracking feature which I tested today. So concerned loved ones can access a real-time progressively populated MapShare personal website, which looked like this at the end of the day.

inReach 10 minute Tracking Points

The blue points are the 10 minute tracking signal locations, just joined by straight lines (so not the detailed track recorded by the GPSr). The green points are my pre-recorded waypoints (eg. Johns Peak 1440m) and the blue flags are waypoints recorded on the trip (eg. 0003 was our lunch spot).

As well, predefined messages can easily be sent from the field to email and SMS contacts. You can even compose messages in the field and send them. The GPSr can be bluetooth connected to a mobile phone to facilitate message typing. Those watching via the MapShare website can message back to the MAP66i in the field.

All-in-all a great investment, once I learn to drive it properly.