Saturday 19 March 2022: Misplaced ACT Border Marker near Melrose ! – S/E. Check out the misplaced ACT border marker near Melrose, as pointed out by Tim the Yowie Man.
Distance: 7.6km | Climb: 149m | Time: 1hr 47mins moving | Grading: S/E; E(5).
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 Oregon 650 GPSr, is available here. It has a few waypoints in it which the AllTrails version doesn’t.
It’s always exciting to be contacted by Tim the Yowie Man, Canberra’s very own crypto-naturalist and all round great guy. You never know where his interesting information will take you.
On this occasion it was a ‘border marker conundrum’ – an ACT border marker right at the entrance to ‘Melrose Valley’. A little to-ing and fro-ing between us revealed my not so successful border marker hunting in the area in 2011 and the location of TYM’s find.
Now the ACT border along the railway line was surveyed on the ACT side of the rail easement, so that NSW still ‘owned’ the railway. My border marker finds on 4 Jun 11 are marked in green on the above map segment and the locations where I could find no extant markers are in fuchsia. Tim’s border marker as shown is located around 150m south of the border!
More to-ing and fro-ing revealed that this misplaced border marker is more widely known. An NPA ACT party visited the site on 14 November 2021. And well-known geocacher Tankengine used the location to specify a multi-cache here on 22 January 2022. His interesting description for GC9MKAB reads:
“OK – I don’t know what is going on here! At the posted coordinates you will find one of the original ACT border markers – placed over 110 years ago! However, the ACT border does NOT pass here!!! So what happened? Did the early pioneers stuff up? Or did the ACT government stuff it up? In any case, a booboo has happened here!“
So with all that, I had to trot out there to see for myself.
The parking spot I’ve used before is Corbett Place Gilmore, but cut the residents a bit of slack by parking nearby on Henry Melville Cres, as Corbett Place is very tight. Walked up through the park and under the Monaro Highway to the railway line. Turned SW.
Pleasant enough walking along the line, even if one has to adjust one’s gait. After 1.5km came to the Marking the border signage.
It’s near the points and Old Tuggeranong siding.
Popped a few metres to the north as I’m interested in the access to the NSW area around SH818, bounded on the W and S by the rail line. There’s a sign saying ‘PRIVATE KEEP OUT’. I’d previously tried to find the owner via the Queanbeyan-Palarang Council, but no joy. The tracks in the area on OpenStreetMaps via AllTrails are marked PRIVATE. Since I wouldn’t appreciate strangers in my backyard, I’m not keen to walk on private property without permission.
Then walked south-ish on the Old Tuggeranong Road to the entrance to the Melrose Valley property and there it was!
I wonder which of the markers I couldn’t find in 2011 it is? K19? There’s no way to tell.
You can see the CT (Commonweath Territory) and broad arrow with base (the base line signifies a Commonweath, not State, survey) markings on the peg. There’s a theory about why the marker got here, which I won’t repeat. I suppose an advantage of its moved location is that it’s the most accessible ACT border marker available (via Old Tuggeranong Road from the paint ball parking area) and it’s in great condition.
Collected a little information to solve Tankengine’s cache at a later date and returned to the rail line.
The rest of the trip involved a little more geocaching, once again proving that I can only find easy Difficulty-rated hides. I walked past the Old Tuggeranong siding.
The graffiti tags (‘I have been here’) reminded me of geocaching logs (‘I have been here’). But geocaching is of course more genteel. And the caches are out of sight.
Couldn’t find Tankengine’s ‘GC8WN08 Tuggeranong Terminus’ (difficulty 3.5), even with his expected wire tether. Did manage to log his ‘GC9MK9W Tuggeranong Track 336′, because it was a difficulty 1.5. Wandered further along the rail line to ‘GC7PXZJ Colourful Culvert’. No joy here for this geocaching wimp, with one side of the culvert protected by a wall of blackberries and the other by a waterhole.
Turned about and headed back. Views to Enchanted Hill.
So the moved border marker site was sighted but not solved. Else NSW owns a sliver of the ACT.
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.
Monday 28 March 2022: Old Tuggeranong Road and environs geocaching. Having missed a few caches on the above trip, a little afternoon stroll to try to pick them up.
Distance: 4.1km | Climb: 102m | Time: 1hr moving time, plus 45mins of caching | Grading: S/E; E(4).
With help from Tankengine, the owner of GC9MKAB Border BooBoo, who pointed out my failed maths in working out the final ground zero (GZ), it was time to return.
Scouted out a couple of more caches and began with a quick find of GC9Q2W5 Turtles of the World – Indian Flapshell Turtle. Encouraging.
Walked east up towards the rail line to GC9Q2VR Evel Knievel. Spent some time searching – no joy. Discouraging.
Walked to GC9MKAB Border BooBoo and some time during the trip logged its final GZ.
Back on the rail line went to GC8WN08 Tuggeranong Terminus. There are tens and tens of similar hiding places here, which fooled me 9 days ago. At the beginning of my third time searching the places, a find. Encouraging.
Back by the Old Tuggeranong Road.