Tuesday 18 February: Cotter to Uriarra Crossing – M/R,X. Battle the blackberries in the Stoney Creek Nature Reserve (more likely stroll the dry tops) to follow the Murrumbidgee River from Casuarina to Uriarra Crossing. Early start, early finish. Around 10km and 200m climb. Maps: Cotter Dam and Umburra. Limit: 8. Leader: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$10 per person (car shuttle required). Further details at www.johnevans.id.au.
7 of us drove from Canberra in 3 cars and, thank goodness, got the car shuttle right.
GC4P83B Winslade Homestead
GC2G62T Casuarina Cache
GC15TBC Casuarina Capers
GC1PXEN Murrumbidgee Meander IV (if we can cross the river)
GC4JH1K Uriarra Sentry
GC4JH41 Uriarra Entry
GC3HMR9 Uriarra Uncovered II
GC25BD8 Cotter Construction
GC2J065 Biker rides a Harley
GC2JEC1 Biker R.I.P Temporary Citizen
GC2J05W Biker ABS Rocks
GC2J05K Biker does a mini me
GC2J03V Biker loses a pillion.
Maybe McDonald Ecce (#48) and Walker (I rang Ian, the Manager of Huntley, and got the nod) (#85) for Phillip.
Distance: 11.6km | Climb: 350m | Time: 8.00am-12.05pm (4hrs 5mins), with 40mins of breaks | Grading: M/M,X; M(9)
|From 2014 02 18 Cotter to Uriarra Crossing and geocaching|
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
‘Lite’ food, lite beer – now a lite Tuesday walk. Don’t tell anyone, but even after a late start, a car shuttle and a 20 minute morning tea, we were sitting down to lunch at the end of the walk at 11.45am! However, on a positive note, it’s the first fully eXploratory walk I’ve led for quite some time, an easier day suited a couple of the party who were a bit off their oats for various reasons and it allowed the two true believers to do a bit of geocaching.
We set off from Duffy at 7am, 2 cars going via Uriarra Rd to Uriarra Crossing East and the rest of us going via Cotter Rd to Casuarina Sands.
We found GC4P83B Winslade Homestead on the way out to the Cotter.
After disgorging its contents, the Cotter car then went via Uriarra Rd to Uriarra Crossing to pick up those out there and, miraculously, when we returned to Casuarina Sands, we were all in the one place ready to walk to the 2 cars. Meanwhile, a concerted effort to find GC2G62T Casuarina Cache had turned up nothing.
I can’t remember ever going downstream from Casuarina Sands so it was all new for me. Down the road took us to the beautiful decking beside the lovely Murrumbidgee River pool, the signage telling us that here is named Charlies Point.
From here, a well worn human footpad took us down river. Just near the weir, Marmaduke Rothschild and JohnnyBoyACT found GC15TBC Casuarina Capers.
The bulk of the river-side walk was easy, following human footpads at first, then wombat pads. A couple of little rocky corners to negotiate, as well as some large patches of blackberries to skirt around – either uphill or back down to the edge of the river. We crossed where Stoney Creek joins the Murrumbidgee, but I didn’t particularly recognise it (was last here from Mt Stromlo on 20 Oct 12).
The last blackberry infestation we saw was choking a side creek on the river below the ‘Huntly’ complex. It drove us up the S side of the gully and finally across. (No chance to cross the Murrumbidgee to look for geocache GC1PXEN Murrumbidgee Meander IV.) Now was the time to leave the Stoney Creek Nature Reserve and, with permission, to enter the ‘Huntly’ property and head for Walker trig. A couple of knolls and gullies made the sweat bead on the 185m climb (a ‘Taylor’ so John H reckons) to the trig. But it was open grazing land.
A 20 minute morning tea enjoying the view. Scattered cloud made it bearable in no shade.
A descent to the river across the open grazing land. A couple of fences to carefully cross. Back into the Stoney Creek Nature Reserve.
Easy walking by the river until we hit an old vehicle track. It was then that I realised we were embarrassingly close to the end. The track petered out, but the going was still easy. Roger and I skipped up through the grass to log GC4JH1K Uriarra Sentry.
A final view of the beautiful Murrumbidgee, tempting one party member to think about kayaking it.
Onto the lovely grassy level of Uriarra Crossing East. A large bench for us to luncheon on, then wander a few metres to the cars.
This walk would be great for a CBC after-work walk next daylight savings summer, going down river for an hour, then returning for a swim (shudder) or picnic tea. It would also be an excellent Wednesday walk (which might take a bit longer going along the river all the way).
One car and 3 walkers returned directly to Canberra and the other car with 4 walkers returned to Casuarina Sands. Here the car and 2 deserters returned to Canberra, whilst Roger and I, the true believers, picked up my car and went geocaching.
We had another search for GC2G62T Casuarina Cache, but still no joy. Then, driving back over the Murrumbidgee River bridge and Uriarra Rd, we found GC25BD8 Cotter Construction; GC2J065 Biker rides a Harley; GC2JEC1 Biker R.I.P Temporary Citizen; GC2J05W Biker ABS Rocks (a VERY sneaky cache); GC2J05K Biker does a mini me (cute cache); GC2J03V Biker loses a pillion (another good one). Then, at Uriarra West, GC3HMR9 Uriarra Uncovered II. Over to Uriarra East, GC4JH41 Uriarra Entry.
Driving back past Huntly, a couple of guys were driving cattle across the road. I asked if they knew Ian, the Huntly Manager, and one said he was Ian. So I was able to thank him personally for allowing us to walk on the property.
7 walkers – Mark B, Roger E, Eric G, John H, Phillip S, Ian W, me.