Enjoying a chilly view from Enchanted Hill

Wednesday 29 May: Enchanted Hill – E-M. ENCHANTED HILL The walk starts at the entrance to Tuggeranong Homestead on Johnson Drive in Calwell. We follow Tuggeranong Creek to the Monaro Highway where there is a short diversion to the axe grinding grooves site in Theodore. We then cross the Highway and follow Rocky Gully Creek to the closed railway line, passing a memorial plaque to workers killed on its construction in the 1870’s. We follow the railway through a cutting and via a steep ridge and an access road to the summit for lunch and great views in all directions. On return we cross the Highway about 1.5 km. south of the earlier crossing and visit two hilltops in the Tuggeranong Hills Nature Reserve. Leader: Mike M. Distance: 12 km, Climb: 750m. Map: Tuggeranong 1:25000.  Weather forecast: Showers, cold ( max 8 deg).

Further Information

I have been hankering to get to Enchanted Hill since I first heard of it in maybe 2005.


Distance: 13.8km | Climb: 600m | Time: 8.50am – 2.00pm (5hrs 10mins), including 25 mins of breaks | Grading: M/M; M(10)


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

I met the main party at the start point, along with 3 others. Sp we were 11 in total.

We followed the concrete channel of Tuggeranong Creek up to Lienhop St. Here it comes down as a free running creek. Turned up Christmas St and into the Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve to visit the Theodore Axe Grinding Grooves.

Theodore Axe Grinding Grooves

Across the Monaro Highway, we entered the Melrose Nature Reserve (who knows how long this link will work – the ACT Government takes great delight in constantly rearranging their websites. If no joy, Google ‘Melrose Nature Reserve’). The first thing of interest was a little commemorative planting, along the lines of the National Landcare Forest at Palmerville.

Memorial tree planting

We now began the climb to the railway line, crossing the lower part of Rocky Gully.

Climbing through Rocky Gully at around 700m contour on the way to the railway line

A pad took us up above a more severe part of Rocky Gully, then out into more open country.

Mike had another surprise location for us, one I certainly knew nothing about. It was the Melrose Valley Railway Camp site, where around 200 men lived in the 1880s whilst building the line, including the nearby Rocky Gully crossing.

Melrose Valley Railway Camp site

It was then onto the railway line. I had a look for a geocache at the Crossing, hurrying as it’s not good to hold up someone else’s walk. I was right on 0m but couldn’t find a thing. Lost a glove in my hurry. Later I realised I was at the cache – except it was probably 10m below me in the Rocky Gully tunnel under the embankment!

Morning tea by the line, then SE up a spur to the top. Some lovely trees on the way.

Now that’s a tree

Great views from Enchanted Hill, but chilly in the considerable wind.

Communications tower on Enchanted Hill

Descended to the west, down far enough to get in the trees and out of the wind for lunch.

Down across the railway line.

Back down on the railway line

If one wanted a quick climb of Enchanted Hill, the way to go would be via our descent route – far more open.

Brear Rabbit tunnels in the blackberries

Mike gave us options and it was  decided to head for the two knolls in the eastern part of the Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve.

All open going in this area, again chilly on the first knoll.

Theodore houses and Tuggeranong Hill from knoll 1

Another nice tree on the second knoll.

Yellow Box on knoll 2

Down to the fire trail at the back of houses and so returned to our cars.

Avery nice paced little walk. Excellent leader, great company. Thanks all.

Track Map




11 walkers – Peter C, Dave D, Janet D, Jan G, Philip G, Linda G, Leigh H, Mike M (leader), Mark P, Max S, me.