At the boulder | photo Wahyu S

Saturday 6 July 2024: Exploring the Orroral Valley * – M/M,ptW. The former Orroral Valley Tracking Station site in Namadgi National Park is a track head for many different hikes. Let’s explore the mid valley area. Walk to indigenous and European sites, crossing the Orroral River at least twice. You must be prepared to get wet feet. Grand views to granite tors on both sides of the valley. Around 12km and 200vm climb. Bring a torch for a tor explore. To make a day of it, the Granite Tors Walking Track has been added as an optional extra.


From Garmin Connect (recorded on Epix Gen 2) – Distance: 20.48km | Climb: 580vm | Time: 4:55 moving +1:46 of stops =6:41 | Grading: L/E-M; M(11).


View photographs here.

gpx file

Download the gpx file here.

Track Maps

Here’s where we went.

Track Orroral Valley Explore and Granite Tors Walking Track

Trip Report

This trip was originally advertised for new members and guests who had not explored the Orroral Valley before. I didn’t get the desired participants booking – all those who booked were great walkers. Then, two days before the trip, I realised that the advertised 12km and 200vm would not entertain the party from 8.00am-3.30pm, so the optional Granite Tors Walking Track was added. I was last in this part of the Orroral Valley on 28 Jun 23 and the Granite Tors Walking Track on 28 Mar 24.

The temperature had dropped to -2°C by the time we got out of warm cars. The sky was overcast with cloud down over both the valley’s ridges. But by around 10am the sky was blue and cloudless and the temperature had risen a bit.

Walk 1 – Orroral Valley Explore

We headed Grid N up the old sealed road from the car park, through the Mini track, Laser sites, Space Cameras area. Then generally NW up the valley. A stop at the ‘Concrete thing’ – no advance on a sheep feeding trough. At Rowleys Orroral Hut site we took a detour to the SW on the AAWT to the Stockyard site. Cans (of sheep drench?) and beer bottle a plenty.

Old cans and a1957 beer bottle at the stockyard site

Next stop, just off the Orroral Valley Circuit Track we were now following, was Fishloch Yards.

New Fishloch yards with SH1339 at rear

That was our NW extent. We went down to view the Orroral River. No crossing here.

Can’t cross the Orroral River here

We wandered down the true right side of the river. Roos a plenty.

Young bucks play fighting with Orroral Tor at rear

With the cloud clearing from the Orroral Ridge of Stone, a view up to The Belfry.

Cloud clearing from around The Belfry

Near the crossing point we pulled up for smoko (morning tea). 


Then followed a bit of faffing around by me to find the crossing point.

But I did find a boulder, netted at the bottom to keep wombats at bay. Great excitement for me – first saw this just after the turn of the century.

Happy Johnny Boy

Guest Oli, with one broken arm in a sling, found the crossing point, immediately below the cascade. Plenty of ice in the river.

Ice in the Orroral River at the crossing

Oli with a circle of ice from the Orroral River | photo Wahyu S

Now on the true left of the river we handrailed it down, through open grasslands and a little closer woodland as we neared our next objective.

Entrance to boulder squeezy slot

The boulder has a narrow slot through it. we turned on our torches and squeezed through.

At the boulder | photo Wahyu S

Down to join the Link Track, with views to an objective for the afternoon’s walk.

View across Orroral River to Lunar Laser Rocks

And so to the Orroral River bridge, a pleasant surprise.

Hooray – long puddle at Orroral River bridge has been stoned

Back to near the car park for a quick lunch. Walk 1 was 10.6km in 3:50.

Walk 2 – Granite Tors Walking Track

With time ticking away we made a quick foray up and around the GTWT. A couple of walkers had not visited before. The track is very well done, as many would know. A new alignment, with fire-proofed stone steps, twists and turns interestingly to replace the straight-ish old service road, at least till the ridge is reached at the bend in James Creek.

We had a glance in the Geodetic Observatory.

Geodetic Observatory signage

And a quick stop at the railed lookout at NMC106. We then set off along the return ridge on the GTWT. Lovely granite, including a little whoopsie explore.

At this point …

Turn off the GTWT when you see this hanging boulder

… we turned up to visit the lower level of Lunar Laser Rocks.

View from the lower terrace of Lunar Laser Rocks

No time to explore further. We completed the loop and bolted back down the GTWT. The afternoon hike was 8.6km in 2:40.

Nice day. Thanks all for your company!


7 walkers – Ceilidh A, Jo B, Cathrine S, Wahyu S, Jo T, Oli V, me.


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

Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog FaceBook Page

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