Happy walkers on Callaghan Hill

Saturday 29 July: Callaghan Hill – M/M,ptX. A loop on management trails and off-track in the northern part of the Rob Roy Nature Reserve east of Conder. The walk begins with a 300m climb over 3km, passing through Big Monks with views to Mt Tennent, Booroomba Rocks and the Tidbinbilla Range. The track dips then climbs again for views over the solar farm beside the Monaro Highway. Around 12km and 700m climb. Map: Tuggeranong. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 john@johnevans.id.au . Transport: ∼$5 per person.

Further Information

We were in this area last Tuesday, but more in the creeks than on the fire trails.


Distance: 12.1km | Climb: 795m | Time: 8.45am – 2.25pm (5hrs 40mins), including 45 mins of breaks | Grading: M/M,ptX; M(11)


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

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

A 20ºC range forecast for the day, from -4 to +16. Still, with a late start, it was not so bad when we met opposite my old folks home and drove to the start in Orange Thorn Crescent Banks. Lovely to walk with 4 that I’d never met, so a proper walk briefing was the go. But this was an easy tib-min ramble.

We set off up the tarred road near the flood mitigation weir towards Big Monks. A good warm up. Grateful to have Phillip S in the team for his many suggestions. The first was to head off-track towards Big Monks, instead of tromping the fire trail. We made the trig, but the view was fogged in. Similar from the nearby knoll and Kurrajong tree I call ‘Little Monks’.

From here we headed back to the East and up the fire trail which eventually ends up near Mt Rob Roy. Taking Phillip’s lead, I took another off-track section, up through a stone ‘fortress’ no doubt constructed by kids. Morning tea was called at 10.10am.

Now, nearly hidden by the ‘Morning tea’ waypoint name on the Track map, is a little near circle of a my bad. Pay attention, Johnny Boy. But literally back on track, we would down the fire trail through a creek line, then up to a 930m knoll on the eastern border of the Rob Roy Nature Reserve. I logged geocache GC5DVWD Electrical Storm, aptly named because it gave us views over the Royalla solar farm. It looked like a giant lake on first glance.

Then down the spur to the north through open and easy going with, at last sunny views particularly to the west. We could see snow on the Mt Gingera ridge. Rejoining the fire trail, then veering off it, we reached Callaghan Hill. I’ve never been here before and there is no need to come back. Lunch on the NE side, out of the breeze. A call home to my dear wife.

After munchies, we continued on the fire trail west then north, cut the corner and headed for towards the electricity sub station in the middle of the arms of the Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve.

We then contoured off-track to the location of the geocache GC5F74E Birds of ACT: Willy Wagtail. My bad – when I downloaded it, I didn’t read (until we were approaching it today) that the cache has been archived 😥 .

We continued to contour south, then down to cross the top of the creek that runs down along the back of my home. Here we had a little test – knowing that Black Mountain is 200 vertical metres above Lake Burley Griffin, I ask party members to estimate the height of the hill in front of us. The correct answer of ½ Black Mountain was given, so we just had to walk up it! By now the day was warm and you can see from the walk profile why there were a few muttered complaints. Of course we had to go there for the nearby geocache GC69CKZ There is no place like home. The top of the knoll was also fairly central in our walk, so it gave us a good summary of the day’s trip.

After that, it was all down hill to the cars.

Thanks folks for joining this little ramble. Trust you enjoyed it. I did, with new and old friends.

Track Maps



Google Earth snip


12 walkers – James A, Emily F, Megan C, Chris F, Ming L, Stephen M, Rebecca McI, Samantha P, Phillip S, Jenny S, Steven S, me.

Next significant event

For my sins, I am preaching at Eternity Church on Sunday 13 August at 10am. It could be the biggest reveal of JohnnyBoy, on a par with the last episode of The Block. You are very welcome to attend, to come and meet my friend. If the message is no good, I can assure you we have the best (barista) coffee and cakes in town. We are a Pentecostal church, so come and enjoy toe tapping, hand clapping praise and worship. 490 Sulwood Drive Kambah, just off the Parkway.