Crossing the Orroral River below cascades

Wednesday 28 June 2023: E-M Wednesday Walk – Orroral Valley * – M/M,ptW. How long since you’ve visited the Orroral Valley in the recently reopened Namadgi National Park? Take in the sights and some sites on this short circuit walk. We’ll use the Orroral Valley Circuit track to visit Fishloch Yards, then cross the Orroral River down from Rowleys Orroral Hut site. Wet feet. Return on the true left of the river through some light scrub, visiting the huge boulder near the Orroral River bridge. Expect grand views to the granite tors on the ridge lines on both sides of the valley. Around 12km and 150vm climb, with wet feet and some boggy patches. This trip would be graded BBC M(8), NPAACT 2/A/C, CBC M/M,W.


From Garmin Connect (Epix Gen 2) – Distance: 11.28km | Climb: 200vm | Time: 2:51 moving + 1:43 of stops = 4:34 | Grading: M/M,ptW; M(8).

Photographs Photographs are available here.
gpx File The gpx file is available here.
Track Notes

I was last in the Orroral Valley on 17 Jun 23, so I would not make a fool of myself today.

I prepared, laminated and took on the walk some information about the sites we visited. Check them out via the links:

  1. Rowleys Orroral Hut
  2. Stockyard
  3. Patrick McLaughlins Hut
  4. Fishloch Yards
  5. Footbridge over Orroral River
  6. Boulder, rock shelter.

Walking from the Orroral Tracking Station car park by 9.05am. Overcast, cool (make that cold) and showering. Still, views to the granite tors on each side of the valley’s ridges. Haggis Rocks prominent on the SW granite tors ridge. The Belfry prominent on the NE ‘Orroral Ridge of Stone’ (named by Graeme Barrow) and, as we walked up the valley, we identified Tower Rocks, Legoland, Trojan Wall and Sentinel Rocks.

We crossed the Link Track/AAWT, crossed James Creek via the boardwalk and stopped at Rowleys Orroral Hut site. From there we headed up an old vehicle track to a Stockyard site. 10 days ago I only saw old posts. Today, arriving via a slightly different route, I walked over what I was looking for. Thanks to my companions pointing them out. Old cans (sheep dip?) …

Old tins at W-G OR13 Stockyard site

… and bottles.

Dated beer bottle at W-G OR18 Stockyard site

We returned down the old track, did a left onto the Orroral Valley Circuit and next stopped at Patrick McLaughlin’s Hut site. Featuring in a 1884 survey, hut sites such as this in the Namadgi are now merely piles of granite from the hut’s fireplace. Getting hard to identify.

Vestigial remains at OR14 Patrick McLaughlin’s Hut site

Continuing up the OV Circuit, we detoured up to Fishloch (or is it Fishlock?) Yards for morning tea.

We then popped down to check out the Orroral River.

Checking out the Orroral River below Fishloch Yards

Checking out the Orroral River below Fishloch Yards

We wandered back down the valley, perhaps halfway between the river and OVC track. Damp underfoot.

Great views up to Sentinel Rocks and Trojan Wall. Have I bitten off too much to chew in planning a descent from there?

View up to Sentinel Rocks and Trojan Wall

We checked out the river again, retreating when we couldn’t cross a little anabranch.

Opposite Rowleys Hut site, we hit the river at the Footbridge site. This is where we crossed 10 days ago with wet feet.

A (deceased) stag in the grass.


Linda had a better plan and we walked another 100m downstream and crossed with dry feet via rocks at the bottom of the cascade.

Crossing the Orroral River below cascades

Cloud and showers threatened.

Cloud below Haggis Rocks

But the showers held off and we enjoyed lunch on some dry(er) rocks on a small spur between the drainage lines coming down off the Orroral Ridge of Stone.

Our route down the true left of the river popped us out at the huge boulder near the Orroral River bridge. We dropped out packs and squeezed through.

Squeezing through the exit from W-G OR10 Boulder, rock shelter

The final challenge was to negotiate the puddle at the western approach to the bridge. I dips me lid to Alan, who was the only one with the moral fortitude to not broaden the track!

Crossing the Orroral River bridge puddle

We stopped at the ‘Concrete thingy’. consensus was that it was an animal feeding trough. Oriented at 142°M, it misses anything of import at the tracking station, so I guess not associated with the NASA site.

Folk seemed to enjoy the trip, sights and sites, even though the showers started again as we neared the end. Car said 4°C as I left.

Track Map

Here’s where we went.

Track E-M Wednesday Walk Orroral Valley

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


15 walkers – Tony A, Robin C, Michael C, Peter C, Andrea C, Suzanne G, Linda G, Leigh H, Roger H, Alan L, Ian M, Leanne S, Mike S, Glenn S, me.

Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog FaceBook Page

I’ve started up a FaceBook page. Each trip report posts to it. So it’s another way to get some info to get out and breathe a bit of fresh air. Why not pop over and Follow the page, or give a post a Like.

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