More huge granite tors after lunch, just before rounding back up to the crest

Tuesday 6 January: Orroral Hill Outcrops, Namadgi National Park – L/R. A walk to look at some of the enormous granite slabs and tors in the vicinity of Orroral Hill. Starting at the Orroral Tracking Station site we follow the Granite Tops Walking track for 3 km before heading off track for the day. The scrub is thick. The route and distance will be determined by how hot the day is. Distance: up to 14 km with 800 m of ascent. Map: Rendezvous Creek. Leader: Ian W. Limit: 8. Transport: 97 km return.

7 of us drove in 2 cars to the Orroral Tracking Station car park.


Distance: 11.6km | Climb: 690m | Time: 7.55am-2.45pm (6hrs 50mins), with 45 mins of breaks | Grading: M/R; H(12)

Track Map




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gpx File

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kml File

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Track Notes

Away just before 8am and a quick 3.1km in 55mins wander up the Granite Tors Walking Track (you’ll find a brochure for this walk here) to the back of the ridge on which the geodetic observatory is situated. A bash up through the scrub to the back of the granite block feature which can be seen from the car park. I think some call it Orroral Tor; Ian calls it Balanced Boulder; I was interested in locating the geocache GC1H4D6 Teddy Bear Picnic. Great views down to the Orroral Valley and the Tracking Station site and, after a bit of faffing around, I scored a find.

Back down on the Walking Track we began the more strenuous part of the day, heading south down across James Creek and arcing around to climb to the saddle in the ridge running NW from Mt Orroral (Orroral Hill). A 1.6km leg taking 1hr 30mins (including 15mins morning tea) and climbing 240m. Some slow going through the regrowth and scrub.

Gaining the watershed of the ridge in the saddle, we then climbed the knoll NW of Orroral Hill to come out onto some lovely runs of granite slabs. A quick find of cache GC2042N Wonderland #2 – On Top of the World. Fabulous views – the video was taken from here.

On a previous trip we’d come off the north side of the crest from here, so Ian’s plan for the day was to further examine the SW side of the ridge. Based on a recce he did last year, he led us to a cute tunnel/passage/slot that took us from the NE side of the crest to the SW side. Dropping down onto granite slabs, then beginning to pass under huge tors and cliffs, I knew my third cache would be inaccessible from down where we were. But I was well satisfied with 2 and there’s always a reason to come back.

We lunched at the foot of a wall, only 35m across the ground from the third cache, but probably also 35m below it. Again, huge views across Rendezvous Creek to the Mavis Ridge, with Bimberi Peak at the back.

My hearing is deteriorating, but I could certainly hear the rumbling of distant thunder during lunch. After munchies, we continued along the base of the granite tors. Amazing views above us.

Eventually we rounded the end of the severe part of the ridge and headed over to Zen Terraces. Nice to be going down. However, the rolling thunder and thickening clouds were certainly chasing us now.

From Zen it was a 1.3km leg in 50mins back to meet the Walking Track. We prepared for a sprinkle.

A quick 2.9km in 25mins back to the car, because Meredith had me running as much as I could for some of the way. Wish I was as fit as she is!

A great day on the ridge north-west of Orroral Hill.


7 walkers – Peter C, Cynthia C, Chris F, Meredith H, Natalia S, Ian W (leader), me.

Next Tuesday Walk

Tuesday 13 January: Source of the Murrumbidgee – S/M. A 10 km return walk mostly on Peppercorn Firetrail to the source of the Murrumbidgee River. A small bit of scrub bashing near the source so bring your gaiters. A short walk but a long drive to Long Plain north of Kiandra. Map: Peppercorn 1:25000 Leader: Mike B. Transport: $175 per car. Book: by 3 pm Sun 11 Jan. Limit: 8