Wednesday, 15 February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017 : CANBERRA : Tallaganda State Forest : Lowden Tower and Trig : 12kms - 5 1/2 hours

This was one of the Brindabella Bushwalking Club Wednesday walks. 
We drove 35mins from Queanbeyan to the Tallaganda State Forest via Hoskingtown and Rossi.
Leaving the cars near the junction of Lowden Road and Coxes Creek Road we walked along the Lowden Trig Fire Trail, climbing up to the Bald Hill Fire Trail and then down the valley before climbing again towards Lowden Trig. It is mostly on fire trails and foot tracks through very attractive forests.
Total climb : 330m over 12kms.

We parked off Lowden Road.

Some attractive native flowers on the edge of the track.

Black cockatoos screeching overhead. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

The trail is well marked.

The top of 27o C today so we appreciated the shady sections.

Evidence of some aboriginal community life here with the removal of back for a shield or bark container.

An echidna spotted on the path. It quickly disappeared as it burrowed into the sand. 
(Photo courtesy of the Internet)

This is the berry of the Dianella Caerulea or the blue flax lily.

A native pepper plant. Both the leaves and berries taste peppery. Accessible bush tucker.

The lucky sighting of a Rufous (Rhipidura rufifrons) Fantail. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

Much excitement when an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria Australis) was spotted in the same area.
(Photo courtesy of the Internet)

Morning tea near discarded logs. The main industry in the forest is still logging.

Some unusually shaped trees, left as they didn't conform to requirements.

Everlastings lined the path.

Perfect walking conditions 

From here an hour's bush bashing to the Trig.

Lunch overlooking the valley and towards the coast to the east.

Crimson rosellas throughout the forest. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

Heading back down the track.

An unexpected visitor slithered across the path. Still to be identified.

We then veered off track to walk a loop towards Serenity Rocks. 

Suddenly we entered into a rainforest, crossing a stream. Some unfortunate walkers scored several leeches in the process.

Some huge ferns.

David Wardle, our leader, explaining some of the logging history.

As we entered the return track we passed through a heavily de-forested area with only thin foliage.

Arriving at the car park.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017 : CANBERRA : National Zoo and Aquarium - Barrer Track along the Molonglo River Reserve and return - 2 hours - 18,772 steps

An early start this morning with a predicted 40+ degree C. We set off from the National Zoo on the western tip of Lake Burley Griffin. We explored the new Barrer Track which skirts the National Arboretum towards the new subdivision of Molonglo along the Molonglo River.

Leaving the National Zoo below the National Arboretum.

We went under the Tuggeranong Parkway.

On a hot and dry day we left the National Arboretum behind and headed toward the Molonglo River Reserve.

Much of this forest area was devastated in the 2003 bushfires.

Hazy views of the Brindabella Range.

Into the regenerated pine forest.

Immediately, on entering the pine forest, we noticed relocated (dead) gums from the new housing subdivision due west. These are to be used to support displaced wildlife.

An easy well-marked walk.

Barrer Track. Now a dry flat trail but with a wet season and the growth of the newly planted trees, it will be a totally different scenario.

The signature yellow box relocated from Coombs. Nesting boxes added for threatened wildlife.

A sculpture, totem pole?

On closer inspection, more nesting boxes.

The Molonglo River continues on from Scrivener Dam and meanders towards Uriarra Crossing.

Cooler walk along the river.

No colour today except some weeds and a swarm of grasshoppers.

We passed under the Cotter Road.

We returned along the eastern side of the National Zoo.

Brunch in Yarralumla before returning home to shelter from the heat.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017 : CANBERRA : Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve to Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve and the Royal Military College, Duntroon - 2 hour round trip walk

A 2 hour stroll on a bush track on the edge of the Canberra suburbs, with a historical bonus of Mt Pleasant and Duntroon Military College, the first settlement in the area in the 1830s, and spectacular view of the west basin of Lake Burley Griffin.

We set off from the War Memorial.

We headed into the Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve. A very popular walking spot for Canberrans.

The site of an old quarry, which I hadn't discovered before.

Attempts to protect vulnerable wildlife from feral predators in natural habitats.

We skirted around the suburb of Campbell and headed up a bush track to Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant is a vantage point overlooking the limestone plains to the east and the picturesque Lake Burley Griffin and Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle.

Views of Lake Burley Griffin. It is also a memorial to all the ranks of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. 

On the eastern side of Mount Pleasant is the Royal Military College, Duntroon, established in 1911.
The first commandant, General Bridges, killed in 1915 in World War 1 conflict, is buried here.

Much of the land was cleared for the dairy and farming land in the 1830s but some native trees survive.
This Brittle Gum sheds its outer layer to reveal a yellow or pink exterior, which glows in the sunshine.

We walked down the path into the Military College. Many of the buildings are original, built around 1911. The gardens are beautifully maintained.

The main parade ground.

The parade ground in the early years, backing on to Mt Pleasant, and the track we descended.

Duntroon House, built by Robert Campbell in the 1830s. It is now the Officers' Mess. Robert Campbell was a ship's captain who brought supplies to the early colony. When his ship sank he was compensated by the colonial authorities with a land grant and developed a large cattle property and dairy.

Well-established gardens.

One of the residences.

Training equipment in the bush setting.

More challenging apparatus.

We crossed Fairbairn Avenue to link up with the Mount Ainslie track.

Coffee and brunch at Poppy's cafe at the War Memorial.

Poppy's cafe with war memorabilia incorporated into their decor.

Pleasant (!) walk on warm morning with lots of local Canberra history to enjoy.