Happy walkers at ‘Calvary’

Saturday 20 April 2024: South Bullen Range and ‘Calvary’ * – M/E-M. Lovely views of TNR and the Tidbinbilla Range. Walk fire trail and off-track through Barnes Hill onto the south Bullen Range. Turn down west through shrubby country to ‘Calvary’, a pisé homestead ruin built c1870. Further down to the west in open going, we’ll visit some lovely grass trees near Larrys Creek. Return is through the Miowera Pine Forest. Around 16km and 450vm of climb. Check out information on ‘Calvary’ here. A joint CBC/NPA outing.


From Garmin Connect (recorded on Epix Gen 2) – Distance: 16.26km | Climb: 400vm (Elev Corrections Enabled) | Time: 3:52 moving +1:39 of stops = 5:31 | Grading: M/E-M; M(10).


View photographs here.

gpx file

Download the gpx file here.

Track Map

Here’s where we went.

Track South Bullen Range and Calvary

Trip Report

I was last at ‘Calvary’ on 24 Apr 22. So today was my eleventh visit.

Very pleasant to facilitate another combined CBC/NPA walk. Many new friends to walk and talk with, as well as old friends.

We met a a very civilised hour and drove to the Travelling Stock Route entrance on Tidbinbilla Road. Walking by just after 9am.

In along the fire trail for a while, meeting a family group coming down the trail. Then up along the crest of the southern end of the Bullen Range through Barnes Hill with its trig. The thistles not as bad as previous trips. Down then up to the NW to the next knoll, turning N on the Bullen Range Fire Trail. Grand views west to the Tidbinbilla Range and east into southern Canberra.

My usual route from the fire trail is directly west down to Calvary through quite dense, but supple shrubbery (not hakea). I like to occasionally cast an eye over the BBC walks program and noticed a similar trip on 5 May. Leigh talked about walking past this usual turnoff to the next wooded spur for an easier going descent, so it was worth a try.

Morning tea just off the fire trail.

The top 400m of the 600m leg down to Calvary was indeed through easy going open woodland.

Open going on the top 400m of 600m descent from fire trail to Calvary

Just a bit of shrubbery towards the end, as marked,

Track detail new route to Calvary

We could see Calvary ahead, but the going was easier over the other side of the nearby creek line.

Passed the orchard area just before the homestead site.

Calvary orchard

And so to the deteriorating walls.

Calvary’s pise walls

Some bits and pieces that visitors have picked up.

Another collection of remnant items

There’s some information on ‘Calvary’ here. The ACT Heritage Council entry gives the whole history.

Leaving the site, a few hundred metres to the SW we joined a fire trail and walked west-ish to the point of the Miowera Pine Forest.

A little loop of Larrys Creek followed. Easy walking on old fire trails/management tracks. Once again I was chatting too much and took my eye off the navigation. We did a clockwise loop instead of the planned anti-clockwise.

PS. An enquiry via Access Canberra led to a response from Ranger Darren R. The land we walked on around Larrys Creek and the grass trees is indeed private leasehold land. So, in future, walkers need to ask for permission. Darren gave me the current contact details.

We passed a rather gaunt looking tree.

Skeletal tree with mistletoe

The track took us close to, then over, Larrys Creek.

Larrys Creek

Lunch at the grand Grass Trees.

Lunch at the grass trees

All that remained was the walk out to the SE through the rather sterile Miowera Piines.

A good round, with many visiting ‘Calvary’ for the first time. Fabulous company and much chatter. Thanks all!


16 walkers – Ceilidh A, Mike B, Jo B, Di C, Marlene E, Paul F, Richard H, Philippa L, Ming L, Meg McK, Bernadette M, Helen O, Lam S, Zoe S, Wahyu S, me.


The AllTrails map is here, where you can pan and zoom.

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