At the southernmost point in the ACT

Tuesday 18 August: Return to our Southernmost Point – L/M. This walk to the ACT’s southernmost point begins/ends near the Mt Clear Campground. We travel through beautiful mountain forest and high meadows and see several hut ruins and stockyards. The climax is surveyor Freddie Johnston’s 1915 fire-damaged but still standing reference tree at the southernmost point (NB the border fence and the true border do not align and the walk is framed accordingly). Some off-track. Around 17km and 300m climb. Maps: Colinton, Bredbo. Leader: Matthew Higgins. Bookings: John Evans 0417 436 877 . Transport: ∼$15.

16 of us drove in 4 vehicles to the Naas Valley Walking Track car park. A 17th joined us there from Tumut.


Distance: 18.7km | Climb: 520m | Time: 9.20am-3.25pm (6hrs 5mins), including 65 mins of breaks | Grading: L/M; M(11)


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


Video courtesy of @chifley_alison

Waypoint and Track Files

Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
Download the .kml file.

Track Notes

We gathered from as far afield as Tumut and the south coast for this walk. I think Max summed it up well “This has been an excellent Tuesday walk – we knew where we were and what we were looking at”! How could we fail, with leadership from the Canberra region’s pre-emminent historian Matthew Higgins and, appropriate for a visit to the southernmost point of the ACT border, the ACT’s Surveyor General.

In addition it was an absolutely perfect walking day with blue sky, crisp to mild temperature in the brilliant sun, fabulous company from a diverse array of old and new friends, a series of interesting features, lunchtime entertainment … and a geocache. You definitely wouldn’t want to be dead for quids today and you should have been with us.

Even the dirt portion of the Boboyan Rd was in great nick – we passed the grader at work around the Yerrabi Track track-head.

We left the car park and headed south up the west side of Back or Grassy Creek. An eagle rose from near the junction of the Long Flat and Naas Valley Fire Trails, possibly the same one I saw last Saturday. Our first stop was Potters Chimney and Matthew shared the history of its construction and the occupants of the hut. Then a jump (either elegant or otherwise) across the creek to gain the Long Flat FT.

This we tromped as it rose in the zig-zags up to the flatter section. A stop to admire the unburnt woodland. Further on, we stopped at the stockyard beside the fire trail and learned of its construction and use.

The wonderful ‘loo with a view’, Sam Abouds dunny, was our next stop. You can read a bit about it here. Then down to beside the nearby creek for morning tea.

Our next leg took us along the fire trail to the junction of the new and old areas of the track. Here we turned left to walk up the beautiful Long Flat (the new fire trail is designed to keep vehicles away from the boggy areas of the Flat; feet are fine to walk up the Flat). Features here were the remnant sheep-break of drop log fencing at the northern end; the damp-loving, olive-green branched Black Sallees (Eucalyptus stellulata); and at the southern end, remnant drop log fencing.

At the junction with the Mt Clear Fire Trail we turned right. Last Saturday, on the CBC Worn Boot Bash, we’d turned left and continued up to Mt Clear. After a few hundred metres we left this new section of the Long Flat FT, hopped a fence (which does not reflect the true line of the ACT border) and followed the border SE for another few hundred metres to the southernmost point of the ACT, Johnston’s border corner C39 and nearby blaze tree. Here, the history of the border survey came alive for us through Matthew’s commentary and Jeff’s original survey material that he shared around. If you are interested, you can view photos of 1500 border corner lockspits and blaze trees by drilling down through here. Matthew shared the story of The Mouat Tree, the project he initiated to preserve a border blaze tree. Check out details on this here, particularly the project’s own website here. This whilst we lunched.

And to cap off (well, for the 4 geocachers in the party) an extraordinary day, ChifleyGrrrl continued her run of great cache finding by unearthing GCK74J Southern Outpost for us.

However, what did cap off lunch for us all was Jeff playing us three harmonica items (he just had 2 harps with him today, but admitted to carrying a bag of 30 with him on other occasions!). Alison hit the nail on the head here, by saying it made her feel like being part of an Australian bush painting. A very evocative sound in the Aussie bush – and an instrument favoured by surveyors over the recent centuries. Thanks heaps, Jeff.

After lunch we retraced our steps to the ford near Sam Abouds dunny, then headed bush down the true right side of Long Flat Creek to Chalkers Chimney. Whilst the remainder of the party admired it from an upright position, I had to peer up the chimney to collect clues for the third stage of geocache GC1W6K9 Tour de South Namadgi. I did a quick calculation, but must have got a shape wrong as the check sums didn’t compute. Still, I have other options to try.

From here, a nice cross-country leg, past the aerial photography post, down to join the Naas Valley Fire Trail on the car park side of the nearest ford of Naas Creek. And so back via the Naas Valley Fire Trail.

At the cars, Matthew generously handed us all invitations to Stephanie’s latest art exhibition opening.

I would rate today as one of the best Tuesday walks I’ve ever done. Sure, a repeat of 30 Jul 13 (that’s just to remind a party member – and that we had dry feet), but the combination of weather, walking friendships, sites, story, information, nature and music made it a top day. Many thanks to Matthew, Jeff and everyone.

And a note for Wombat Woman – your friends are ever-present. A very large fellow at Glendale Crossing but, as we slowed, he had the sense to duck back under the guard rail, so to live another day.

Like this? Matthew has another walk in this area, to the west of the Boboyan Rd, in October. Check out the Activity Program on the Canberra Bushwalking Club‘s website.

From To Distance Time
 Start Morning tea 5.8km 1hr 30mins
 Morning tea C39 blaze 3.9km 1hr
 Lunch Chalkers Chimney 4.6km 1hr 5mins
Chalkers Chimney End 4.5km 1hr 20mins
Track Maps

Track overview

Track 1

Track 2



17 walkers – Jeff B, Phil C, Douglas E, Eric G, David H, Meredith H, Matthew H (leader), Stewart J, Jonathan M, Robert M, Alison N, Lyn S, Max S, Jenny S, Michael S, Phil W, me.

Next Tuesday Walk

Tuesday 25 August: Parliament Hill, Blue Mountains National Park – L/R/X. The walk starts at the junction of the Little River fire-trail and the Jerong Road, 34 km northeast of Taralga. This is a new area for the leader. We will follow the fire-trail north for 6 km then head off-track for the day. We will climb Parliament Hill and explore the woodlands and forests in the catchments of Parliament Creek and Cunninghams Creek. This is a long day, with numerous ascents and descents. There is a 2 hour 35 minute drive each way. Minimum distance: 16 km with approx. 850 metres of ascent. Map: Mount Armstrong. Leader: Ian W. Transport:  371 km return. Limit: 8.