Saturday 4 February: Ride and cache the west side of the Murrumbidgee River downstream from Point Hut Crossing – M. Using the OSM track put up by Jeremy H, ride the west side of the Murrumbidgee River corridor for 5 additional geocaches.
Distance: 19.2km | Climb: 300m | Time: 8.40am – 12.05pm (3hrs 25mins) | Grading: M (ride)
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.
After Marmaduke Rothschild told me there was a track along the west side of the Murrumbidgee, going downstream from Point Hut Crossing, I walked it on 11 Sep 16 and picked up GC4KRPR Centrelink Cliffs. I’d also been playing with Internet Maps, available via OziExplorer (see my notes) and seen the track. All came into alignment when noikmeister read my post and kindly opened my eyes to the delights of OSM (Open Street Maps); it was he who had posted the track to OSM!
Armed with all the required info, I left my old folks home on my trusty steed and pedaled down to the start of the track. It’s a bit quicker to ride – the 2.4km walk on 11 Sep 16 from the gate at the start of the track took 28mins and today the same distance took 19mins. It’s a bone-shaking ride though.
Today’s first cache logged was GC66KH3 The Old Man of the Brook, just on the side of the track. The second was GC67EW2 Pine Panorama and it provided a lovely view north down the river after a short walk in off the track. A further short ride and an even shorter walk yielded GC66KKB The View from the West Bank. The view was to the same river reach as previous, but south back up the river to it.
The track continued north and entered the Bullen Range Nature Reserve. I bumped along opposite Tuggeranong. Near the last two caches it was time to drop the bike for the last time. Approaching GC62XD4 The Farther Bank I disturbed a mob of 4 or 5 euros (wallaroos) – stockier and darker than the common eastern grey kangaroos. I approached the cache dropping down a slight incline from the south-west and spent some time poking about. No joy, except for a blood blister on a finger.
I turned my attention to the next cache and headed down towards the river and the band of prickly scrub described in previous logs. It wasn’t too bad, only a few metres wide, before I emerged into the open and then onto the rock slabs near the river. This is a lovely spot, the gorge littered with potholes scoured out by the raging water. It wasn’t raging much today, but noikmeister notes in his log:
Apparently these are grade IV rapids and there have been two deaths on this section of the river. Even the professional white water rafting mobs portage around it.
An easy scramble up to the required location and before I began to search, I popped my head over to see the main channel with water running far below. A good move, as there was GC5BFG6 Rocky Raceway right at hand. Logged. This is a marvellous spot – I’m sure I saw it from the other side 20 or 30 years ago. Check out the video.
Returning toward the previous cache, I was, of course, approaching from slightly below. This time the slightly unnaturally placed natural feature was easily spotted and GC62XD4 The Farther Bank logged.
A bumpy ride back, covering the 6.9km on the track back to the gate in 1hr 32mins.
Thanks to all the cache owners and information givers for a pleasant morning.
I inquired of Rob H and he reported:
At that point the Murrumbidgee narrows and drops down an incline with a large boulder blocking the bottom. With a good flow of water it is spectacular. We started our trip down Red Rock gorge on lilos immediately below the boulder. I first visited the place around late 1977; there was a neatly painted sign calling the feature “Toad’s Folley” (which I assumed was Toad as per ‘Wind in the Willows’). I sighted the sign in deteriorating condition several times subsequently and it was gone perhaps by the mid ‘80s.