New Cotter Dam

Cotter Dam Views – L/E-M,X. Three walks overlooking Cotter Dam. From the back of Uriarra Village, walk SW to Mt McDonald then S to overlook the dam from the northern side. Next, a walk from near the Murrumbidgee River bridge up through Stoney Creek Nature Reserve.  Could be pretty at the map-marked Grasstree Lookout. Finally, walk the Honyong-Cotter Walking Track from the end of Cotter Avenue for views to the dam from the southern side. Around 17km and 600m climb, all exploratory for the leader. Mainly fire trail, but some off-track sections. Also a geocaching walk, 23 of the blighters to find. Map: Cotter Dam. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 . Transport: ~$5.


Distance: 17.0km | Climb: 725m | Time: 8.35am – 4.00pm (7hrs 25mins), including 45 mins of breaks plus driving between walks and caching time | Grading: L/E-M,X; H(12-)


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

Waypoint and Track Files

Download the gpx file for this trip (if your browser does not automatically download the file, it will open the gpx file in a new window and you can then save it). To use in Google Earth, do File, Open… and select Gps or All files as the File Type.

Track Notes

We met in Weston and travelled via Cotter Rd and Brindabella Rd to turn into Uriarra Village. Drove up the back of the Village.

Walk 1

We walked down the SE boundary of Uriarra Village to get to the starting caches. Entered the pine forest and walked SE to find GC6JPAR The Village People #1 – Jim Bradley Cres, GC6JPB2 The Village People #2 – Len Ryan Street, a DNF of GC6JPB8 The Village people # 3 – Sue Watt Place. A find of GC6JPBC The Village People #4 – Ray Donnelly Street, GC6JPBH The Village People #5 – Ritherdon Place and GC6JPBN The Village People #6 – Lance Bates Street.

At last out of the trees and warming a bit. Glimpses to Cotter Dam as we walked SE to find GC7VK0M An Uneventful Cache.

Better Cotter Dam views from west of Mt McDonald

Then up to Mt McDonald. Here we logged GC2GF7Q Old Maca’s and, back at the bottom of the fire trail, GC83BBH Satellite Peek.

The fire trail took us E to find GC83BBA Between Little and Big McDonald. Further fire trail and some easy off-track had us at the knoll SE of Mt McDonald. Here we logged GC8353J Maca’s Mate.

More off-track to the SW to the fire trail junction south of Mt McDonald, then fire trail to morning tea and a log of GC4PVPE Cotter Views. Nice signage.

27 Signage at morning tea

Next, to GC4QJ54 Cotter Crane, an interesting location. The geocache description included that this was a foundation for a crane used to build the original Cotter Dam.

Foundation of original Cotter Dam construction crane

We found the nearby pulley.

Nearby pulley of original Cotter Dam construction crane

Then we walked down the side of the fenced off area above the dam wall to GC7FM6M Bitsy Bitty teenyweeny bestest Cotterdam McScenery. This was a single leg multi and, although we collected the information and worked out the location of the final GZ, we couldn’t find anything there (of course the track has been doctored to remove the location of the final GZ.

Survey pillar on north side of new Cotter Dam

We climbed back up the fence line for a way, then walked NE to find GC7K1X4 Stoney Skyline. Nice views from here.

Pump House near Murrumbidgee River bridge from geocache GC7K1X4 Stoney Skyline

Next came a long cut to find GC83BBN Lower Cotter Views, then the long haul back up north along the fire trail. A knoll, even though it was surrounded by blackberries, presented a lunch opportunity.

Cotter Dam from lunch

Back to the cars and we drove to the end of Cotter Avenue.

Walk 2

We walked the short distance to the end of the road and viewed the dam wall from the bottom. A log of GC3W7FN Cotter Comeback II. Then, having examined the signage at the start, via the Honyong-Cotter Walking Track to climb towards the south side of the dam wall.

Honyong-Cotter Walking Track signage

A DNF of GC7CBYG Honyong-Cotter Walking Track was disappointing, but the cache may have been muggled.

On up for great views of the structure and a log of GC4QJ3Y Dam Dome.

Cotter Dam from the southern side

It was then SW along the Saddle Dam.

The Saddle Dam

Then through the monstrous piles of gravel to Barra Point and its plaque.

Barra Point

Here we did out calculations to work out the final GZ of GC6WB5R Barra Borer and walked the short distance to the location. Again, the track has been doctored.

Back to the cars and drove to the Cotter Camping Ground to park.

Walk 3

3 emus and several kangaroos completed the supports of the Australian Coat of Arms as we walked to the western end of the Murrumbidgee River bridge.

Emu at Cotter Camp Ground

Signage here (amended in texta) informed us we were on the Stoney Creek Track. A find of GC5P2KD Cotter Centenary where the water pipe dives under the river, a gentle climb to find GC5P2KM Blackberry Bridge and a steep climb to Grasstree Lookout. Grass trees there indeed were, as well as GC18HHB Casuarina Climb. The track zigs and zags a lot and we cut several corners. Great views!

Murrumbidgee River from Grass Tree Lookout

We returned to the cars and drove back to Weston Creek.

This was a blatant geocaching trip, dressed up as viewing the Cotter Dam. Participant knew what they were getting and were very helpful in finding several caches for me. I do hope you did enjoy the views. Thank all!

Track Maps

Track Walk 1

Track W2 and W3


6 walkers – Jenny A, Margo C, Braham H, Tom M, Parissa P, me.