View south into Jerrabomberra Grasslands NR

Saturday 25 June 2022: Callum Brae and Jerrabomberra Grasslands Nature Reserves – M/M,ptX *Canberra Nature Park – a breath of fresh air for busy walkers. There are 39 Nature Reserves in the Canberra Nature Park. How many can we walk in? These are numbers 2 and 3.
From the car park on Narrabundah Lane, walk via track to visit the three 1950s powder magazines. Trend SE past the Symonston Pumping Station to the narrow strip joining Callum Brae to Jerrabomberra West. Visit Quartz trig. Return NW to the car park via some dams. Around 11km and 200vm climb. A few geocaches for those interested.



Distance: 10.4km | Climb: 203m | Time: 3hrs 45mins plus 15mins of stops | Grading: M/M,ptX; E(7).


Photographs are available here.

gpx File

The gpx file is available here.

Depending on the desktop and mobile apps you use, you can do many things with a gpx file to visualise its contents. Today’s suggestion is to pop it into AllTrails and have a look. There’s an AllTrails mobile app, but it’s easier to work with more screen real estate on your desktop/laptop via the AllTrails website. You’ll have to create an account. Do Saved, Create Map and follow the procedure. (The link to the AllTrails map in Track Map below does not require an account.)

Track Notes

I was last in these Nature Reserves on 29 Jun 13.

I have a new little boy’s toy – a Garmin tempe wireless temperature sensor. It connects to the MAP66i GPSr via my mobile’s bluetooth. It has a snazzy little cage that allows it to thread onto a pack strap. It tells me that the 24hr Min. Temp. recorded was 6°C. That was probably in my bedroom when I got up. The temperature during the walk was 12°C.

We set off from the gate on a track heading SW. Passed some old fencing along the edge of the block on the corner of Narrabundah and Mugga Lanes on which it is proposed to build a southside crematorium. Was the fencing remnants of the old Rehwinkel’s Mugga Lane Zoo?

Old fencing of Rehwinkel’s Mugga Lane Zoo?

A bit further on we stopped at a great specimen tree known to Teresa. She entertained us with a fanciful tree story.

Specimen tree

Next stop was the three powder stores associated with the Mugga Mugga quarry.

Powder magazines

The signage tells the story.

Powder magazine signage

From here I changed the intended route from walking management tracks to heading cross country. So we made a general B-line to the Symonston Pumping Station.

Symonston Pumping Station art

A little track then down to the one geocache for the day, GC7GW7Y Callum Brae Nature Reserve ACT. A quick find, but the logbook sodden.

Then further through the open woodland to a dam(n) – pardon the French.

Dam(n) (excuse my French)

A few hundred metres to the east, we came to another of Teresa’s story trees.

Another great tree and story


We joined the management track to the south-west of the Callum Brae homestead. Again, signage tells the story.

Callum Brae signage


Then a footpad beside a fence, through a small running drainage line to the gate at the northern end of the link between the two Nature Reserves.

Teresa had warned me what was to come, but I neglected to pass it on. We soon found ourselves squelching through 20 metres or so of wet footpad. Some Jans were not happy!

The soggy patch

We popped out at the southern end of the link, another gate.

From here, we had the expanse of the grasslands before us. I’d planned a bit of a wander via maps on (hopefully) slashed walking trails. Our southerly route to morning tea was that.

View south into Jerrabomberra Grasslands NR

After morning tea, the plan was to visit Quartz trig. We paralleled one fence line.

Callum Brae and Jerra Grasslands | photo Sean O’T

But a couple of electric fences got in the way (accidental touches resulted in no zap, but I understand they pulse so you can be safe on one touch and zapped on another). So the route was not quite direct. At one point we came to a real fence and with some legs in the party not quite as long as mine, we headed up the fence to a ‘saving gate’. Animal pads through the long-ish grass got us to Quartz trig, located on a little ridge of rock outcrop.

Quartz trig

With time slipping away, we made a B-line towards the northern link gate. Animal pads assisted.

Animal tracks through the grasslands

Alas, another fence caused a swing away to the south gate. Back through the slosh, then on track back to our cars. Finished as promised by midday.

Nature Reserves #2 and #3 ticked off. Read all about them in the 2021 Management Plan.

Track Map

Track Callum Brae and Jerrabomberra Grasslands NRs

You’ll find the track in AllTrails here, where you can pan and zoom.


10 walkers – Amanda, Eric, Jan and Sean, John, Kim, Lesley, Lorna, Teresa, me.