Saturday 23 August: Gentle Geocaching at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – M/M.
TNR is covered with geocaches. If you’d like a stroll on Saturday, do come with me. We’ll go to Nildesperandum and nearby interesting sites such as the camellia garden, eucalyptus still, weir and Ashbrook site; Turkey Hill; Gibraltar Peak; Church Rock; Hanging Rock; Cascade and Lyrebird Trails. Let’s say max 15km and 400m climb (maybe a teeny bit more). Map: Tidbinbilla. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 firstname.lastname@example.org . Transport: ~$7 per person. Emergency contact details must be registered/provided to book. Late bookings considered.
10 of us drove in 4 cars to the Tidbinbilla Nature.
I was armed with a swag of geocaches to tackle.
Distance: 19.2km | Climb: 750m | Time: 7.40am-4.00pm (8hrs 20mins), with 40 mins of breaks, lots of hunting time and driving between walks | Grading: L/E-M; M(11-)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
We rolled through the TNR gates just after 7.30am opening time and drove as far as we could past the adventure playground and down to the picnic areas, to Webbs. Our first cache was GC5B0ZJ Basil’s Bridge Banters Banned! and we went to the required marker post to gather information for the multi. Some confusion with the data and some incorrectly published coordinate formula gave us a final GZ 53km away, so I left Kitykatch and Marmaduke Rothschild to puzzle over that one.
My next interest was in the Tidbinbilla River bridges, a couple of which have been washed away in my time. The track took us upstream a few hundred metres to a fabulous new VERY HIGH bridge which will take a titanic river flow to wash it away (alas, no sign of the other bridges).
Across the river, the track took us downstream a way, then out onto the fire trail. We headed towards Nils and up to the saddle on the fence line. Turning SE, we climbed to the back of GC1VT9A Whopping Whale. Great views as we logged the cache to the nearby ‘Whopping Whale’ boulders.
Back down the fence line and a climb towards SH865. Part way up we wandered off the side of the fire trail to a rock stack that held GC1VTAH Just for the Views #2. Fabulous views indeed! And lovely light. Returned to the fire trail, regrouped and walked on to Nil Desperandum.
There was a group occupying Nils, so we asked one of the guys staying there to go in and gather one of the pieces of data for the single offset multi GC1V862 Nearly Nildesperandum. We circled the homestead several times to gather the rest of the data. I wasn’t too careful as I knew where the cache was – one of the first geocaches I’d ever seen a few years back and I’d photographed it as recently as late in 2011. Many of the nearby sites, including the Camellia Garden, have been opened up and sign posted. We went to the final GZ of the cache and there was nothing there, except a pencil. Has it been muggled? Kittykatch left a path tag there to indicate we’d called by and is negotiating with the cache owner as to whether we can log it.
We next set to work on GC3J1B1 No Despair, did our data gathering at a couple of sites and logged the cache at the final GZ. We returned to near Nils and sat on a seat and old machinery for morning tea.
With the smell of geocaches in the air, I didn’t take the party to the Ashbrook site. We returned towards the cars and by now my fellow cachers had worked out a possible location for the final GZ of GC5B0ZJ Basil’s Bridge Banters Banned! We went where the GPSr pointed, but no joy. Making an adjustment to the data, Marmaduke Rothschild led us to another location and the cache was logged, our trio being ‘second to find’ (grin).
Pressing on via the car park, we found GC2MPZN Tidbinbilla Wonder/Wander, then returned to the cars.
We drove to the Mountain Creek car park. Walked the Cascade Trail, finding GC1VEAB Cascades and calling in at the cascade and tree fern just off the trail. Plenty of water flowing.
Onto the Lyrebird Trail and a log of GC1WJAZ Lyre Lyre, Your Brush’s on Fire.
We sat next to it and enjoyed lunch, then completed the Lyrebird Trail back to the cars.
We next drove to the Sanctuary to do the multicache GC1DM7X Tidbinbilla Tranquillity. I very soon realised that I hadn’t brought the required pictures, thank goodness Kittykatch had! I reckon the site in picture number 7 is no more, but the clue #7 is easy to solve. We did our loop as required.
As we progressed, I lost 4 of the party, we saw a platypus, found GC4CD9A Weird Weir XV – Platypus, doubled back but still didn’t find the 4, forgot about them as we logged GC22G85 Black Flats Dam (I’d not been in this part of TNR before), got stopped by a locked gate as we headed towards another nearby cache.
Returned to the cars and found the 4.
Here the 3 Queanbeyan kids left us and Roger went his own way, as previously arranged.
With the smell of geocaches waning as the afternoon wore on, we drove to the Hanging Rock car park and walked the short track to log GC211CG Hanging Rock, picnic anyone ?. Our champion muggle Lisa found it for us.
Hardly a walk, 100m as we overshot the location, we stopped on the side of the Tidbinbilla Ring Road and began to search for GC2F1CN Naturaly. Lisa found it – a tricky little hide.
Drove into the lookout and walked 50m along the ridge to the stone field hiding GC22G7Y Basil’s Tidbinbilla In-fill. Kittykatch made the find, even though a significant item seems to have been airbrushed out of the spoiler photo!
Our last task, once out of TNR, was to drive to and log the final GZ for GC1DM7X Tidbinbilla Tranquillity.
A productive day for the geocachers and, I think, a nice day for all. Many of the party hadn’t previously been to the places we visited. Lovely weather, a promise of Spring to come in a week’s time? Will have to return some time, as there are still many more caches to log, both in the valley and up on the Range.
10 walkers – Ross A, Ailsa B, Roger E, Lynette F, Kath H, Lisa M, Stephen M, Rhonda S, Ralph Y, me.