Australia Day lunch views to the Orroral Valley

Tuesday 26 January: Orroral Adventures – L/EandR,ptX. A short search for the second SATAN command antenna site. Walk the Granite Tors Walking Track from the Orroral Tracking Station – that’s easy. Head 500m SE from the geodetic observatory to find geocache GC2133V Something’s out there. Then plunge 350m down through the bush to the start. Next, park beside Orroral Rd before the camping ground and climb the valley side to find GC21TQK Land of sweeping plains & ragged mountain ranges. Next, down to the valley for GC61YX6 Orroral Observation, target=”_blank”GC61YVV Orroral Overpass, GC620PN Ordovician Orroral, GC61YVA Herbert’s House and GC61YWF Heritage Hike and an indigenous site. Look for GC61XED Weird Weir XX – Orroral at the picnic area. Around 15km and 700m climb. Map: Rendezvous Creek. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 . Transport: ~$12 per person.

6 of us drove in 2 vehicles to the Orroral Tracking Station car park.

Further Information

Several more geocaches were thrown in.


Distance: 17.5km | Climb: 870m | Time: 8.25am-4.15pm (7hrs 50mins), including 50 mins of breaks, plus driving time between walks | Grading: L/E,M,R,ptX; H(13)


Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.


Waypoint and Track Files

Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.

Track Notes

This was a very pleasant and successful day. It’s always difficult taking visitors that one doesn’t know on a trip. How does one balance giving them a bit of a go against the cohesiveness of the whole party? I’ve had some bad experiences in the past. However, I said yes to three unknowns. They turned out to be great walkers and very nice people, interested in the objectives of the walk. Come again!

Walk 1

As this old codger puffed up the Granite Tors Walking Track, I made a mental note to never walk with these people again. Paula and Clinton (two of the newbies!) were showing me a clean pair of heels, and Hugh (the third newbie) and Derek were nonchalantly chatting as they walked. The only one I could keep up with was Roger (I usually can’t), because he’d had two and a half hour’s sleep after working with the State Emergency Service last night till 3am. I was just alive when we reached the top.

We enjoyed the views down into the Orroral Valley from NMC106, the nearby granite slab and boulder and the geodetic observatory.

Gaiters were strapped on and we contoured through some tight scrub to find and log the traditional geocache GC2133V Something’s out there, hidden in some shapely granite. We then headed straight down the hillside, finding the going more open than the contour across to the cache. Came upon a metal seat (?) on a boulder in the bush.

For interest and amusement, we next visited the old tanks that must have supplied water to the Tracking Station in its heyday. Across to rejoin the Walking Track and down to the picnic area for morning tea. Four of the party scurried off to log a cache that I’d previously found (GC1AF2A Moon Mirrors), so sacrificed some of their morning tea time. We genteel two suffered the delicious smells as picnickers fired up the barbie to fry onions and cook steak.

At some stage during this walk, the final GZ of GCMKC3 Lost French Tourist was located and logged by some (thanks Cankid, I have no caching scruples). I can assure you that the published track on map segment and in gpx file has been doctored, so you will get no clue.


Walk 2

In late 2014, Clive Broomfield sent me a photo of him working atop one of the SATAN Command 148MHz Antennae associated with the tracking station. Located beside the Orroral Road, I’d previously found one, the proud structures reduced to concrete stumps. The second is marked on the 1st edn Rendezvous Creek 1:25000 topographic map and today was the day to find Clive’s stumps. That we did, the remains larger than the first. Most pleasing for me, as this has been on the agenda for a while.


Walk 3

We next drove and parked at the entrance to the track that goes down to the Orroral Homestead. We headed across the cleared grasslands to a couple of knolls, the first yielding GC65Q84 Orroral Observation – Junior and the second, higher knoll, GC61YX6 Orroral Observation. The exit from here was via an old walking track with burned posts from the 2003 fires, but being redeveloped again. It took us down to the Orroral Homestead where some of the others logged GC16AEV Orroral Run, at Gregorys. I’d found this one previously. An apple from the tree in Gregory’s orchard was delicious. The roos lolled about in the shade of the nearby pine tree. We went across to the Homestead which is in great nick. Thanks to KHA and the Namadgi HMO, Bob S! Back up to the cars. Three of us waited whilst three cachers hurried off to do GC1HWPD Personal Best (which I’d previously logged).


Walk 4

Driving further back along Orroral Road, we parked and headed south-west up the side of the ridge. Open going at first, then it closed in a bit, but not too bad. The 170 vertical metre climb made me puff a bit. Our reward was a lunch spot in the shade, with breeze and fabulous views. What more could one want for Australia Day lunch? We jollied back down to the cars.

From here we headed off down the other side of the road, easier walking in the woodland and open valley. Through a couple of Winston-Gregson historical sites, an indigenous shelter and the gate and nearby stockyard site at the southern end of the old Orroral track. Down to the Orroral River bridge to find and log GC61YVV Orroral Overpass. Over the bridge and we walked around 500m of the Orroral Heritage Trail to find and log GC61YWF Heritage Hike, then back to the bridge, over and collect the required information for earthcache GC620PN Ordovician Orroral. This can’t be logged until the cache owner gives the nod for the information we sent in. Finally, along the Orroral Heritage Trail for a bit to the signage, then down the line of stones to find and log GC61YVA Herbert’s House. Back to the cars the easier way, via the road.

At some stage during this walk, the final GZ of GC21TQK Land of sweeping plains & ragged mountain ranges was found and logged. Regaining a little pride, I can confirm that I had independently worked out the location of the final GZ! I can assure you that the published track on map segment and in gpx file has been doctored, so you will get no clue.


Walk 5

Drove to the Orroral picnic area (opposite the camping ground), alighted, watched most of the others cross the weir to find and log (for themselves and me) GC61XED Weird Weir XX. Pride gone again. (Although, as someone kindly pointed out, my contribution is to organise and put on these caching walks. Does that gain me kudos? I think not and I’ll go to my grave as a geocacher with no ethics.)

Walk 6

Our next stop was on the side of the Naas Road where the big pot hole/washaway was fixed a couple of years ago. We searched for GC5Q7XK Rocky Reinforcement, with the hint ‘ Under a rock’. There were plenty of those there in the reinforced drainage line and it was muggle Paula who came up with the goods. We all logged on.

A long walk, 0.11km

Walk 7

The last cache for the day was at Gudgenby in a Box, so we pulled up on the side of the road near where the AAWT/Mt Tennent Walking Track crosses. We all collected the clues, my contribution being to record them. The cache waypoint on the map segment is for GC66877 Gudgenby Genesis, not the final GZ. And the little blip in the track is not the final GZ, as we got one digit wrong and had to go back. But we then returned to find the final GZ. I can assure you that the published track on map segment and in gpx file has been doctored, so you will get no clue.

I pointed out The Mouat Tree to my companions and told them the story.


Walk 8

That might have been the last cache for the day, but it wasn’t the last walk. We drove to park outside Val Jeffrey’s Tharwa General Store. We selected ginger beer, light beer and Coopers beer (for the two ex-SA folk) and enjoyed them, sitting on the verandah. I can think of nothing more locally Australian for Australian Day and always a pleasure to say g’day to Val.

Track Maps

Track Walks 1-3

Track Walks 4 and 5

Track Walk 6

Track Walk 7


6 walkers – Hugh C (Cankid), Roger E (Marmaduke Rothschild), Paula F, Derek S (Kambahkid), Clinton P, me (JohnnyBoyACT).

Next Tuesday Walk

Tuesday 2 February: More Headwaters of Honeysuckle Creek – M/R,X. Starting at Honeysuckle creek car park, go West for about 3.5 km along the ridge between the two main arms of Honeysuckle creek until we meed the Legoland ridge. Turn South-East along the ridge and between the boulders to the Orroral Ridge road. Then, depending on the day/scrub/inclination of the party, either down the road to the carpark, or follow the watershed by going a little to the East and North to the Spinnaker, from where we will drop down and back to the cars. 10km and a little over 500 metres ascent. Limit: 8. Map: Corin Dam. Leader: David H; contact me by 6pm the previous Sunday to discuss options. Transport: ~$40 per car.