Beautiful footpad at 1200m contour – even a Grevillea flower track marker

Wednesday 9 November 2022: Mt Domain ! – M/M. In and out via Fishing Gap.


From Garmin Connect – Distance: 12.65km | Climb: 745m | Time: 3:15 moving + 1:41 of stops = 4:56 | Grading: M/E-M; M(10).

Photographs Photographs are available here.
gpx File The gpx file is available here.
Track Notes

My 18th trip to Mt Domain today, the last on 11 Aug 18. But since I’ve not been out in the bush much after 2019, trips such as this have seemed a little beyond me. So I decided to tackle it by myself. Very glad when Rob said he’d enjoy the trip with me. My dear wife was even happier as, even though she sees my tracking points and I have an SOS service, she prefers I don’t walk alone.

We left the Fishing Gap car park in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve at 7.32am. Nothing much to say about the 3.7km in 58mins up to Fishing Gap, except for the lovely sound of water flowing strongly in the Tidbinbilla River and the creeks flowing into it. I didn’t have much to say either on the steeper sections of Fishing Gap Road as it wiggles up towards the gap. No pause.

Fishing Gap

A few photos of the footpad following and more in the album. Why? Trips such as this have built up in my mind over the last couple of years and I want to show to myself (and others) that they aren’t as fearsome as can be imagined. If one has a basic sense of direction, perhaps a phone with a downloaded track from something like AllTrails, an SOS device and some water, tucker and appropriate clothing, then go for it!

I’d heard that there is a developing footpad and indeed there is. (With the nod from the TNR head ranger, I taped this route in 2016.)

Footpad a few tens of metres in from Fishing Gap

The area of bracken fern is low and easily navigable at the moment.

Area of bracken fern 270m in from Fishing Gap

Thanks to geocaching friend StarsAlign, I had a waypoint at the start of the major climb.

Footpad at ‘Start of steep ascent – thanks to geocacher StarsAlign’ 500m in from Fishing Gap

From here, the footpad climbs from 1195m to 1380m over a distance of 570m. Because of all my gasping stops it took us 35mins.

Still climbing at 1250m contour

A geocache to be found here and whilst I was searching at the given location, Rob found it for me. Around 7m out, according to my device. Anyway, a log of GC9C2DP Loki’s Bone. 

There’s a bit of a reprieve as the footpad traverses the SH1402 ridge.

At last a short reprieve – just past the nose of the SH1402 ridge

Through an area of shrubs …

The flat SH1402 ridge

… more close regrowth …

The footpad near SH1402

… a cairn or two …

‘Cairn 1’

… and out onto an open area.

Mt Domain from near ‘Cairn in open’

From here, there is the final ascent to Mt Domain from the SE. Thankfully not as steep as the first climb. First there is a climb up the side of a delightful rocky spine.

Up the side of a delightful little rocky spur just before ‘Cairn 2’

66vm below our objective, the footpad traverses scenic woodland.

Getting closer – the footpad at 1440m contour

We reached the Mt Domain cairn at 10.17am. The top is SH1506, my MAP66i handheld measured 1508m.

Mt Domain cairn

The best spot for a break is 20 or 30m further on, where the vegetation opens up. A bit cloudy today, a few views W to the Brindabella Range but nothing to the E. A relaxed smoko.

I was looking forward to a tibmin descent behind Rob, and that it was. Our metrics up from Fishing Gap (including geocaching time) were 2.3km in 1:47. Down were 2.2km in 1:09.

Distant views to Ginini Falls.

Most grateful for Rob’s company and conversation.

Just to prove that Rob was with me

Met a mother and son coming up a few hundred metres out from Fishing Gap and encouraged them to keep going up.

An uneventful return down to the car.

Relive the Trip

Relive ‘2022 11 09 Mt Domain’

Track Map

Here’s where we went. On Topoview2006 map © DEPARTMENT OF LANDS PANORAMA AVENUE BATHURST 2795 Used with permission.

Track Mt Domain

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


2 walkers – Rob McL, me.

Information Bit(e)s

I’ve had a lot of assistance from walking friends recently. By way of paying a bit back, I’ll publish a few bites of information that may help someone. Today’s is ‘7 Orienting a Map‘.