NSWT boardwalk reminds me of Tasmania

Saturday 9 September 2023: A search for Nursery Swamp rock art 1 * – M/M,ptX. There are three indigenous rock art sites near Nursery Creek/Swamp. Let’s have a search for one down south of Nursery Swamp. Around 16km and 400vm.


From Garmin Connect (Map66i) – Distance: 15.09km | Climb: 430vm (Elev Corrections Enabled) | Time: 4:00 moving + 1:31 of stops = 5:31 | Grading: M/E-M,ptX; M(9).


View photographs here.

All photos in the vicinity of NS1 and NS3 have location metadata stripped from them. This is to protect the sites from maybe being loved to death. In addition, I am unaware of the traditional owners’ attitude to visits.

(If you want to know how, in Windows, on locally stored photos, right click on the photo to access Properties, Details tab, Remove Properties and Personal Information link, Create a copy with all possible properties removed radio button is already selected, OK, OK.)

gpx file

Download the gpx file here.

The gpx file has been modified to exclude NS1 and NS3 waypoints, and our track near them. This is to protect the sites from maybe being loved to death. In addition, I am unaware of the traditional owners’ attitude to visits.

Track Map

Here’s where we went.

The track map has been modified to exclude NS1 and NS3 waypoints, and our track near them. This is to protect the sites from maybe being loved to death. In addition, I am unaware of the traditional owners’ attitude to visits.

Track (doctored) A Search for NS1

Track Notes

As an inveterate list ticker, the known Nursery Swamp rock art sites make a perfect list. Short, just 3 of them. One, NS2, is quite well known and many walkers would have visited this site. With the help of friends (and some research which didn’t help) we located NS3 on 26 Aug 23. So that left just one site, NS1.

Again, friends came forward with various research papers. My great friend, Lauren O, spent time at the ACT Heritage Library and came up with some gems. A number of possible locations for NS1 resulted.

We drove to the Nursery Swamp car park and were walking up the track by 8.40am. The ACT forecast was for a cool, overcast day with wind increasing. It turned out to be beautiful – blue sky, only a gentle breeze developed. At around 9.20am and the 1170m contour, we thought we were walking through frost – it turned out to be a very light dusting of snow which soon melted.

We walked up the Nursery Swamp Walking Track. Some work being done to insert occasional wooden risers.

At some stage we left the track and went to NS3. The recent visit had revealed possible markings and signs of excavation. I’d since (re)found a photo from an unreferenced page provided to me by Susan W and I wanted to get a photo from the same angle.


Here’s the article:

Unreferenced NS3 article

Here’s my photo from today:


What do you think?

“Sue Feary has tentatively identified red staining on the back wall of Nursery Swamp III as remnant ochre from painting. This site is one kilometre NE of Nursery Swamp II. Excavation in 1983 provided a radiocarbon date of around 1000 B.P. [Before Present], which is interpreted to indicate the beginning of the shelter’s occupation (Feary 1988: pers comm.).” – from Namadgi Pictures – The Aboriginal Rock Art Sites Within the Namadgi National Park, ACT, Kelvin LC Officer, 1989.

We continued on down the straight and narrow of the NSWT.

Boardwalk on the Nursery Swamp Walking Track

A couple of nostalgic spots for me (I must be getting old) from a 2003 trip with a good mate from church. One, a sign that could be read 20 years ago, provides useful information about Nursery Swamp.

2003 Nursery Swamp signage

Morning tea at the end of the NSWT, overlooking a dry looking swamp.

Nursery Swamp at the end of NSWT

This is what it looked like in January 2003.

Nursery Swamp in January 2003

We continued down the side of the swamp, crossing the creek line where you turn right to head on up to Nursery Hill.

What I had with me were 5 possible locations gleaned from the available research and the combined qualitative descriptions of “30m NW of a boulder filled creek bed at 1115m contour”.

The first spot to visit was determined by doing a resection of the bearings in Winston-Gregson’s MA thesis of site G11. The two bearings were determined around 1978. I had little confidence that we’d find anything, due to the inherent lack of accuracy in recording compass bearings and a 2 bearing resection, rather than a 3 bearing triangulation. The sketch turned out to be accurate.

Winston-Gregson G11

Nothing there.

The next site was gleaned from Lauren’s research. I was nearly going to bypass it, as I’d assumed better locations were further south. Fortunately, we went there and, bingo!

Remnant art at NS1

We spent some time examining it. Lying on the ground was required, as the remnant art was on the roof of the overhang. My record showed the NS1 site at 1125m ASL.

Examining NS1


Markings at NS1 from Officer’s Namadgi Pictures

NS1 from unidentified source

Note that “… eastern side of Nursery Creek …” is incorrect. It’s on the western side, under Nursery Hill.

Cole’s feet disappeared as he investigated a referenced wombat burrow.


The back of the site fitted old descriptions too, of buried into the hill side.

The back of NS1

Then site faced toward the ESE, which fitted with the description that the creek was to the NW.

The bouldery creek was around 30m away and we spent some time exploring it. Even found a bit of a look-alike site.

Look alike boulder

If you ever find the creek line, you could spend days there looking amongst the myriad of boulders.

All over bar the shouting for me (I’m a destination person, not a journey person). We wandered back to our morning tea spot, had lunch and walked out.

Returning up the side of Nursery Swamp

Thanks for humouring me folks. Trust you enjoyed the journey, hunt and destination.


11 walkers – Ryan B, Mike B, Michael C, Andrea C, Chris D, Stephen J, Stephen M, Cole N, Lauren O, Lam S, me.


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

Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog FaceBook Page

I’ve started up a FaceBook page. Each trip report posts to it. It’s another way to get some info to get out and breathe a bit of fresh air. Why not pop over and Follow the page, or give a post a Like.