26 April 2009

Snow in the brindies?

| Demosthenes
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In case anyone has not noticed, it’s been damn cold this weekend.

BoM is reporting snow down to 1000 meters, and plenty of precipitation, so my wife and I are driving up to the brindies to look around around tomorrow (never been up there during winter).

I presume we just pop in to the Namadgi visitor centre and get the latest info and go from there. Can we just drive up somewhere or is anywhere worth visiting a 5 hour return walk along un marked tracks the visitors centre haven’t a clue about?

We don’t mind long trecks but we are short on time tomorrow and don’t want to muck around getting lost. Any suggestions?

All we want to do is go for a wander around some nice alpine areas, with a little snow about would be terrific so then we can belt each other with snow balls..

I called the Namadgi Visitors Centre and like last year when I called they were not able to offer to much useful information.

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Yeah well the BOM says it’s a bit warm up at Ginini and ‘rain’ predicted down to 1700 metres next week – damn it.

Selwyn on the Namadgi Road is easy. There’s a fair bit of dirt, but it’s just dirt. I did it in my Charade years ago, to test some ski boots. Easy trip. BTW, Selwyn is even flatter than perisher or thredbo. But very pretty, and without the w@nk factor.

If you want to get out in it, just head up the Brindabella Road, it’s heaps closer.

I always carry chains in snow country in winter, my 4WD only needed them once (nose down in a giant snow hole) but if you hit serious ice, you’ll be pleased. Chains are insurance. Get stuck, put em on.

it would be a 4WD – I suppose the road is pretty boring too – unless one takes the longer back road.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:17 pm 16 Jul 09

This seems to be a better link. 2.5 hrs, 207km from Canberra. If you have a 2WD vehicle, you must have chains (you can hire them on the way) or it’s a $200 fine.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:13 pm 16 Jul 09

(Hey, if Google says it, it must be true, right?)

how far is Selywn – how long to drive?

we’re thinking of just going for a drive up Mount Franklin Road on the weekend – but many people keep suggesting Selwyn would take just as long and be more fun?

I used to enjoy the one from the Ginini carpark, along the road past Pryor’s Hut, and up Gingera. Nice easy walk, incredible views… looking east you could see the MLC building at Woden, and looking West you could see Mt Jagungal, at the northern end of the Snowies. They often have it, although prolly not in winter! There’d be snow.

There’s another nice summer one they do in the Brindies, to Corree Creek Falls, you see some stunning things, it’s a real adventure.

I keep meaning to sign up again…

Cheers – I contacted them and they have heaps of walks coming up! http://program.canberrabushwalkingclub.org.au/cbc0907.html

I’m basically just over hiking through stinking hot bush and semi arid coastlines – winter snowy hiking and bush walking will be SUCH a pleasant change. That’s why I’m desperately searching every year.

For the Canberra Bushwalkers, the instructions are, to read the site, choose a walk you like, ring the organiser who will check you’re up to it, take the membership form with you, do the walk, and get two of the participants to sign your form at the end, send in form with money, and you’re a member.

It’s all on teh site. Tehy used to have a contact to get onto when joining, and they’d send you the monthly walks programme/newsletter, and you’d follow the same process. Now they have a website.

Got some responses from the ANU hiking group – they seem quite active..

Still no response from any bushwalking group and this weekend is predicted to be fine weather after a week of snow… any suggestions? We have a 4WD just no bloody directions or info to be found anywhere – it’s like a secret society. I have heard the ANU hiking group is good?

There is a mob called Family Bushwalkers, or something similar. Teh Canberra Bushwalkers are fairly serious. Even their “easy” walks are substantial. I used to love the “long” walks, you’d be going hard all day and even then get back to the cars in the dark. But the Canberra Bushwalkers are an old established club, well-run and to my knowledge, have never got themselves into difficulty on a walk.

Never mind – just checked their site and over 18s only. Anybody know of a family bushwalking club in the ACT?

ant said :

The Canberra Bushwalking Club is the one for you, Demosthenes. It’s an excellent club, I did the carpark to Gingera walk with them years ago. Taht was an “easy” walk. Google them, and have a look at their walks on their website. They have a good rating system so you can choose a good one. Winter’s my favourite time to walk (fewer bloody snakes), and doing it with a group with a competent leader makes it safe. I don’t think that Club has ever needed rescuing, but they have joined in a few SES rescue operations.

Ant – is this club ‘hard core’ bushwalking, and/or are families with kids welcome on the appropriately rated walks? Our kids are smallish, but extremely fit and love hiking.

I would love to know if there is snow in the Brindies as Mt Ginini hasn’t gone above 1 degree for a few days & in Kambah we have had the really light rain showers (such as snow that has melted on its way down).

I have contacted the club and await a response… We did find out later that the Uriarra Road is the way to go from our place in Belconnen – show’s how navigationally illiterate we are 🙂 Was a great drive around the hills today – we are just shocked that such beautiful scenery and adventure is a stone’s throw away!! I love this city!!

The Canberra Bushwalking Club is the one for you, Demosthenes. It’s an excellent club, I did the carpark to Gingera walk with them years ago. Taht was an “easy” walk. Google them, and have a look at their walks on their website. They have a good rating system so you can choose a good one. Winter’s my favourite time to walk (fewer bloody snakes), and doing it with a group with a competent leader makes it safe. I don’t think that Club has ever needed rescuing, but they have joined in a few SES rescue operations.

Please let us know what you see… thanks for all the info people. Seems we should get a friend who has a 4WD and beg him to take us up for a day – we have a city runabout so I heed the warnings about being too adventurous. We’re happy to go hiking though – if we can get as far as we can and then spend a day up there. Sounds pretty amazing, I’m surprised this is not more widely known or popular? I’m busting for the snow to fall this winter and go hiking up there to enjoy the amazing scenery and clear air that is Australian bush in winter snow :-))))))))))))))))))))) Kkeep the tips coming including hiking clubs or otherwise my wife and I could join if that’s a better option.

Gungahlin Al6:38 pm 27 Apr 09

I’ll be going to work tomorrow via the Federal Hwy/Horse Park Drive way if the skies are clear – views of the Brindies with snow on them are great from up there.

Ditto on views of Mt Franklin Rd – especially after all this rain.

Last November we had a snap like this. A Brisbane friend and I went up to just past Corin Forest and parked and walked up the hill on the Square Rock track. There was snow just a few hundred metres up the hill in the trees, plenty of fun.

….and the gates at Mt Franklin gets closed in winter or even at Bulls Head if the snow is heavy enough. The police spend all afternoon towing people out otherwise. Not a place to go if you dont have a 4WD really.
Best place is Corin Dam road, especially if you turn off and head up to Smokers Gap carpark (dirt though). Another spot worth checking is the old Honeysuckle Creek tracking station site (sealed) – but only if the falls have been heavy.

TP 3000 (Post #8)
That be Mount Bimberi – Highest peak in ACT.

Rawhide Kid No 21:25 pm 27 Apr 09

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

Pommy bastard said :

Nothing much up there, didn’t get any decent snaps.

A lot of snow squalls but not much settling on the eastern side of Mt Coree could have been more on the western side, but didn’t go that far.


Rawhide Kid No 21:25 pm 27 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

Nothing much up there, didn’t get any decent snaps.

A lot of snow squalls but not much settling on the eastern side of Mt Coree could have been more on the western side, but didn’t go that far.

Pommy bastard11:05 am 27 Apr 09

Nothing much up there, didn’t get any decent snaps.

captainwhorebags10:56 am 27 Apr 09

Definitely snow on the Brindabellas today – clearly visible from Tuggeranong.

And I second comments earlier in this thread about having the right vehicle. If you’re planning to go on Brindabella Road, make sure you have something that will handle the very muddy, slippery conditions up there.

Namadgi is not really the best place to go. Head up to Mt franklin… teh route through the brindies to Tumut. You should be able to get to the Bulls Head carpark, and you can then wander along the road toward Gingera. The road is gated, but it’s a road. So you won’t get lost (provided you stick to it). Or go the other way, to Mt Franklin. We used to ahve a lodge there (fires got it). You’re pretty high at that point and there should be snow.

A useful map:


There’s not a short, quick, straight line way up into the hills, because they’re hills. So, its always quite a drive.

There’s a guide here:


It says there “Namadgi Map and Guide:
There is a colour map and guide on sale at the Namadgi
Visitor Centre. It includes a high quality 1:100,000 map
showing roads, walking tracks, fire trails, campgrounds
and picnic grounds.”

There’s also this, which I’ve found good to give visitors:


AFAIK all these are just dodgy online versions of pretty good paper things, which are obviously much more useful in the car.

Hope that helps!

GardeningGirl9:56 am 27 Apr 09

Hubby and I went up to Mount Franklin many years ago and unless the road has been improved you should do the tap on the horn approaching each bend just in case there’s anyone coming the other way.

ChrisinTurner9:51 am 27 Apr 09

If you don’t have the right gear or vehicle for the snow please don’t go. If you do go, tell someone (preferably the Namadgi rangers) where you are going and when you get back call them to cancel out. Inexperienced bushwalkers should avoid these conditions, one twisted ankle and you could die.

And for the future, get this book: “30 Family Bushwalks in and Around Canberra”


or “Exploring Namadgi & Tidbinbilla” but that’s a bit more bushwalkerish.

Demosthenes said :

According to this Uriarra Road goes away from the mountains? http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Uriarra&sll=-35.28204,149.12858&sspn=0.009757,0.022745&ie=UTF8&ll=-35.289908,148.967743&spn=0.312181,0.727844&z=11&iwloc=A

Zoom in a little closer… little closer… bit more… there ya go, now you can see how Uriarra Road hooks to the left after you cross the river and takes you up toward the mountains.

We’ve settled on Mount Franklin Road 🙂 Maybe nothing has settled but should b ea nice drive either way – hope it’s not too long though.

I find that 9 times out of ten Corin forest has snow if you can see snow on the Brindies. It’s an easy drive and it’s a sealed road. However, sometimes they close the road if there is a lot of snow. You should ring the visitors centre and ask if the Corin Forest road is Open. Or better still ring the Corin Forest recreation place up there (the place with the bobsled and the flying fox) 6235 7333. They can look out the window and tell you if it’s snowing up there.

Uriarra Road – thanks!!! That’s all we needed was a tip, we’ll got that way this morning.

Pommy bastard8:24 am 27 Apr 09

I’ll try and get out with my picture box today then.

The best spot to check if there is any snow is just drive down the Tuggeranong Parkway into Kambah. As you come around Mount Taylor you can usually see snow on the long flat mountain (forget the name). Then if there is snow, the best way out to the mountains is via Uriarra Road.

you summed up my thoughts exactly – it’s been damn near frustrating to get through to any centre that may have a clue, I get through and they say ‘nup no snow here’ and I say ‘well what about up there’ and they say ‘oh you mean up there, oh I have no idea but we have some nice displays for you to see’. All I want to do is drive up a road, enjoy a view and go for a wander with my wife and enjoy our day off. I’m sure we’ll survive and we will carefully restore all of our footprints to pristine wilderness on the way out. Thanks for the link to the pamphlet 🙂

Driving up to Mount Franklin sounds like the way to go.

I’m not sure the Namadgi Visitor Centre is the best place to start. It’s a great facility with some interesting displays, but it really doesn’t provide a lot of useful and easily accessible information about how to get around and get close to the action in the Brindabellas. I suppose it’s part of the national park ethos, which insists that nature is for the cognoscenti only, and the wilderness must be protected from the desecration that would be visited upon it by the great unwashed. So they’ll tell you all about the many beautiful natural features the ACT has on offer, but they won’t provide you with simple information that just says “to see this, drive here, park there, walk up that.”

Of course, it’s not the fault of the park authorities. There’s scope, I’m sure, for books providing that sort of information to be published by local bushwalkers. However, such books are hard to find (and certainly don’t feature at the visitors centre gift shop), and are invariably written with a bushwalking audience in mind, rather than the average suburban 4WD-owner who just wants to show his kids what a mountain is and what it’s like to walk through. The websites are even worse, full of references to maps you don’t have and equipment you don’t know how to use.

I recognize that there are safety issues with recommending to the inexperienced that they wander about in the wilderness, where mobile phone towers won’t reach you and Maccas is ages away. But I’m not sure making information hard to find is a good safety measure.

Perhaps it’s just me who’s found information about the Brindabellas rather too obscure. Your mileage may vary.

Anyway, the Government’s Get Out There! pamphlet is a decent starting guide: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/111377/Get_Out_ThereApril2008.pdf

Site #6 talks about “snow play” in the Brindabella Ranges. Might be a goer.

Visited Orroral Valley today (noon). Goddamit, was hit by what felt like sleet and had to head back with my tail between my legs. Thermo on car said 5c, but I bet the wind chill factor was close to zero.

Let us welcome winter to Canberra, though it feels like she just barged in at the most unexpected time (for me anyway while I was trying to enjoy a nice stroll through Orroral Valley).

You could try Mt Franklin if the road is open. Found this from a few years ago.


Yep 1200 meters – Mount Ginini and so on are up 1700 to 1800 meters to the view would be spectacular and better snow up there I would presume – but can one actually drive anywhere up there or is Corin Forest it?

Corin is a bit low isn’t it? Thought I would have to go higher to get anything decent..

grunge_hippy9:48 pm 26 Apr 09

i’d try tidbinbilla info centre. or perhaps just drive to corin forrest, there should be some snow there. be quick though, cos if its warmer tomorrow, it wont last long.

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