12 October 2016

A week in the ACT - Gibraltar Peak

Every Wednesday three of the ACT walking clubs have a combined walk; this week two Hobart Walking Club members went along as well.

The walk co-ordinator signs the book at Dalsetta car park in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve before we set out on a walk up the fire trail to Gibraltar Peak.

A bike path leads some of the way upward before we reach a steep fire trail. That's Gibraltar Peak there, right in the middle of the photo.

A feature of this walk is an extensive area of  Xanthorrhoea or grasstree. Lots of them flowering after a fire
We made a detour to Wallaby Rocks. There is no signpost, so you have to know where you're going. These rocks were used as shelters by the Ngunnawal people, and have special significance. A discreet notice by the first overhang welcomes visitors, and asks that we respect the site.

Suitably impressed, we trudged up to the top of the hill. There we rested for morning tea, with a nice view of the Brindabellas, before picking our way down a steep gravelly slope to the foot of the path up to Gibraltar Rocks.

At the beginning of the path a sign informs us that
Gibraltar Rocks is revered by Ngunnawal people as a sacred men's site – a place of teaching for the initiated and a site of cultural lore  . . .  Campfires would have been lit at Gibraltar Rocks to send a message to people entering Ngunnawal Country that the senior men were in residence and the teaching or lore was taking place.

 In 2012 a new track to Gibraltar Peak was opened. It includes these nice granite steps that lead you all the way up.

Brindabellas from the path up Gibraltar Peak
 There appears to have been some burning-off done in patches here and there. We encountered several burnt areas

This is the spot for a view

and this is the view.

Off there in the distance we could just make out the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station

There are still these rocks towering above us, waiting to be explored.

A narrow passage between them

– and this is what we just walked under!

the view from the other side is well worth it.
 Rocks explored and views admired, we descended by the new walking track. First we encountered this neat viewing platform.

A very nice, well-built track zig-zags downhill between boulders and rocky outcrops.

charred logs make a stark contrast with the light-coloured granite gravel

After a lunch-stop at the Mt Eliza saddle, where there is a nice circular picnic table, we had a short downhill walk into cleared land and back to our cars.

Another very pleasant walk - great scenery, easy (if slightly steep) walking, fine cool weather and congenial company. What more could a girl want?

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