Last updated 29Oct23

Fishlock (Fishloch) Yards

Fishlock Yards are located in the Orroral Valley north-west of the Orroral Tracking Station in the Namadgi National Park.

Location: GR 55H FA 74764-58414 (MGA94), Corin Dam 8626-1N 1:25000

New Fishlock yards, December 2011

Visits: 29 Oct 23, 23 Sep 23, 19 Aug 23, 28 Jun 23, 17 Jun 23, 30 Jul 16, 8 May 12, 14 Dec 11, 23 Jun 09, 7 Apr 07, 7 Nov 06, 5 Jun 05

Photographs are available. There are heaps of supporting documents to view, if you’re interested.


• ‘New’ Fishlock Yards are marked as ‘Yards’ on the 1st edition Corin Dam 1:25000 topographic map, at UTM 55H 674651-6058230 (AMG66). By the time the Corin Dam map was updated to the 2nd edition (copyright 2003), the location marking had gone. But it’s back on the latest SIX e-topo map, copyright 2017).

• KHA Namadgi database (private source). Site 731, 732. Yards as shown on CMA Tidbinbilla [?] 1:25 000; probably associated with use of portion 55 & Rowleys Orroral Hut.

Gudgenby: A register of archaeological sites in the proposed Gudgenby National Park, J H Winston-Gregson MA thesis, ANU, 1978. Site OR15, description and photo. Recent construction of post and rail, nailed together. Machine sawn timber.

• Some trawling of the NPA ACT publicly available magazines revealed that Reg Alder, Babette Scougall  (and others) had been on a search for the original ‘old’ yards at other locations. See NPA ACT Bulletin September 2011 page 10 and page 11, NPA ACT Bulletin June 1994 page 12 and page 13, NPA ACT Bulletin December 1994 page 22.

• In July 2023, my interest in ‘old’ Fishlock Yards was rekindled after talking with Mike Smith and emailing Babette Scougall.

‘Old’ Fishlock Yards site 1
On 23 Jun 09 I searched a location (6 figure GR, AMG66) given in JH Winston-Gregson’s 1978 MA thesis, item OR16, description and photo. There was nothing there as I’d plotted the wrong location.
‘Old’ Fishlock Yards site 2
On 8 May 12 I searched a location given in Graham Scully’s KHA data, item KHA325. There was nothing there. This location corresponds to the location in Reg Alder’s NPA article of June 1994, pp 1213, ‘Fishlock Yards 1929 Map‘. Mike Smith and Brian Slee searched this location “many years ago” and found nothing.
‘Old’ Fishlock Yards sites 3a, 3b
I have recently reexamined the information in Winston-Gregson’s OR16 site and plotted back bearings. This gives me another location(s) for me to search. I did so on 19 Aug 23, but found nothing. Searched again on 29 Oct 23. Nothing found.
There must have been a stockyard there, as Winston-Gregson’s OR16 description and photo in 1977 are clear. But it’s doubtful that these were ‘old’ Fishlock Yards. Why? Historical research by Babette Scougall is very clear that ‘old’ Fishlock Yards lay on the route from the Orroral Valley over Cotter Gap to the Cotter Valley.
‘Old’ Fishlock Yards site 4
I’ve always had a feeling that the yards could be near a huge rock at the current intersection of the Australian Alps Walking Track and Cotter Hut Road. It’s the only monolith that I’m aware of that could match the sketch in Reg’s article of June 1994. This rock is an indigenous site identified by Winston-Gregson as OR18, description and photo. But I have never found any evidence. I always have a look going past, the latest on 29 Oct 23.
‘Old’ Fishlock Yards site 5
A Google Earth visual search for large rock formations along Cotter Hut Road reveals another location to search, at UTM 55HFA7282457637. This has some potential, being near the old junction of the AAWT. Visited on 29 Oct 23, nothing found.
• On 23 August 2023 I visited the Canberra and District Historical Society. Nick Swain showed me the original ‘Around Australia’s Capital Volume III Three Hundred Miles with Note-book and Camera’ by G G Jefferis and J A Whelan 1931. This is an ACT Heritage listed item. However, a reproduction was made and I was permitted to photograph relevant pages. The cover, the ‘fish rock’ painting, part of page 20 and a list of place names.

‘Old’ Fishlock Yards site 6
A Google Earth visual search for large rock formations in the vicinity of the old AAWT junction with Cotter Hut Road reveals another location to search, at UTM 55HFA7242557290. This turns out to be right beside the current alignment of the AAWT. Again, some potential. Visited 23 Sep 23. No joy.

Old Fishlock Yards possible sites as at 30Oct23