A perfectly gender balanced party at the Camels Hump cairn

Saturday 8 September: Camels Hump and Tidbinbilla Peak – L/R. The crest of the Tidbinbilla Range provides great walking, with views west to the Cotter River and Brindabella Range and east down to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. We walk up the Camel Back Fire Trail from the Mountain Creek car park, culminating in a short, sharp climb to Camels Hump. Descending, we follow the crest on a developing footpad up through Johns Peak to Tidbinbilla Peak. (The climb up through Johns Peak involves a little mild exposure.) The exit from the Peak is steeply off-track through dense wattle regrowth, down to join the Camel Back Fire Trail. Around 14km and 900m climb. With only 2km of off-track rough, downhill walking (the remaining terrain is graded easy and medium), this is an ideal walk to extend your experience if you are a competent track walker. Map: Tidbinbilla. Leader: John Evans 0417 436 877 john@johnevans.id.au . Limit: 8. Transport: ∼$7 per person. Book by 2pm Thursday 6 September.


Distance: 12.7km | Climb: 920m | Time: 8.00am – 2.20pm (6hrs 20mins), including 50 mins of breaks | Grading: L/R; H(12)


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

A meet at 7.30am opposite my old folks home – sorry Gungahlin residents.

A day with a low cloud base, the top of the Tidbinbilla Range shrouded as we drove out through the TNR gates and up to the Mountain Creek car park. We shook out and were walking at 8.00am.

A simple walk up the Camel Back Fire Trail to the base of Camels Hump at the sign, 5.9km in 1hr 20mins. Is the bush getting a little thinner? Then the climb up to the cairn, the wet rocks a little slippery. Morning tea at the top. No views, although one’s focus under misty conditions is drawn to the plants and other features closer at hand.

Back down on the fire trail, we retreated a couple of hundred metres then turned in on the cleared old vehicle track leading to the burnt out radio transmitter tower. The developing route from here is a delight to walk. Nicely cleared and heavily cairned, even I was able to follow it without a fault.

Somewhere along the crest we met another pair of walkers who joined us. Gender balance maintained. The climb up Johns Peak was easy for me today – with no view, I didn’t see the exposure down into the north arm of Burkes Creek. But a pity to miss that huge scenery; we’ll have to go back, maybe across to The Pimple the next time.

As short pause for water at Johns Peak, then west to SH1491 and south-west up to Tidbinbilla Peak. 2.5km in 1hr 25mins for the leg from the fire trail to an early lunch at Tidbinbilla Peak. Nothing like a trip with social media connection and the opportunity to call my dear wife.

We were ready to leave at 12.10pm when blue sky appeared above. So we waited a couple of minutes to see what would happen. Unfortunately the cloud closed in again.

The footpad continues for 200m to the south, to a cairn near SH1556. From here the descent to the SE begins.

We were first lulled into a false sense of security by quite easy going, but the wattle regrowth soon began and we battled down through it. At around the waypoint ‘Boulders’, the vegetation thins and changes and the descent levels. I usually stay on the crest of the spur and walk down into the U-shape of the fire trail, but today with Roger out front, we decided to drop down to the right. A shorter last part of the descent, just a little steeper. We finished through a nice damp band of blanket bush. The descent from Tidbinbilla Peak to the fire trail was 1.8km in 1hr 40mins.

A final 1.5km stroll down the fire trail in 25mins to the cars.

Pity about no views. A great party of old and new friends. Thanks all.

Track Maps

Track overview

Track overview

Track 1

Track 1

Track 2

Track 2



Google Earth snip

GE snip


8 walkers – Jenny A, Luisa Dal M, Monica F, Roger H, Trevor L, Dan S, Monique S, me.