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June 2015

 

This walk was from the Yankee Hat Walk carpark along Old Boboyan Road to to what is commonly referred to as Gallipoli Flat. It should be noted that the actual Gallipoli Flat is marked on topographical maps at the southern end of Corin Dam. This 'Gallipoli Flats' gets its nickname from the old Lone pine Homestead. A great ACT bushwalk.

 

Walk Rating: Medium level of fitness required. 24 kilometre round walk with numerous up-hill sections. An alternative shorter route is to come in from the intersection of Boboyan Road and Old Boboyan Road, which is around a 10km round walk.

 

Directions to the Yankee Hat Walk Carpark

To get to the hut, you drive to Tharwa and, once over the bridge, swing left onto Naas Road. From here it's around 32 kilometres, so enjoy the beautiful picturesque scenery and the wonderful mountains!

Continue on Naas Road until you pass the interesection with Apollo Road (leads to the old Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station - another beautiful spot!). From this point, Naas Road ends and Boboyan Road starts.

Follow  Boboyan Road and pass the turn-off to Orroral Valley, and a little further on you will pass the Glendale Depot. This is a National Parks depot and services the needs of the National Park personnel, enabling upkeep and maintenance of roads and infrastructure.

Continue past the depot and you will go past the carpark at Rendevous Creek. From here it is only a little further, and keep an eye out for the small sign (Old Boboyan Road) on the right side of the road. If the road changes from tar to dirt, you have gone too far!

Turn off to the right and the well-maintained dirt road will take you to the Yankee Hat carpark. I've attached a Google Map, so hopefully that helps.

 

The Walk

It was a chilly, frosty morning when we set off from the carpark, but the day was crystal clear with blue skies, so we had wonderful panoramic views. The Old Boboyan Road is a very picturesque walk with gradually changing landscapes, from the heavily forested parts to the odd natural clearing and eventually on to the cleared landscape of the old Gallipoli Flat farmlands (Images 1 and 4). You will see the remnants of the old fencelines as you get closer, with some fencing materials being relatively modern (1950s to 60s) and then, as you get further into the valley, some very old fencelines, possibly dating back to the 1800s (Images 2 and 3).

The Gallipoli Flat area is majestic and it feels like you can see forever! The area agrees with the local wildlife, with large mobs of eastern grey kangaroos gently grazing and sunning themselves in the winter sun (Image 5) as well as numerous birdlife including Galahs, Cockatoos, Magpies and Wedgetail Eagles.

When you first come into the clearing, you will need to cross over a stream - Hint: Take your shoes off until you get to the other side. I found out the stream was a little deeper than I thought!

Once over the stream, take the dirt track and veer to the right, which takes you in a westerly direction. You will come to a fork in the tracks and they are clearly signposted, with the right track being the Sams Creek Fire Trail and the left track being the Grassy Plains Fire Trail.

If you are walking to the Lone Pine Homstead, don't be fooled by a perception that there's a significant homestead site. There is really only an old chimney, which is relatively overgrown, and some old fenced yards. If you are using the map, the eight-figure grid reference for the homestead site is  is 74803245.  

Old Boboyan Road
Old Boboyan Road

Image 1 - The view from Gallipolli Flat looking west over the Bimberi Wilderness

Gallipolli Flat, Old Boboyan Road

Image 2 - The old fence line of the farmland can be seen as you approach Gallipolli Flats with one of the many resident Eastern Grey Kamgaroos looking on inthe background. 

Old Boboyan Road

Once in the area, take the time to sit and have a cuppa or some lunch as it is such a quiet and peaceful part of the world. It does take you back in time somewhat...and you wonder how they did it. In the 1800s, the area was so remote and, for those early settlers, it must have felt like the end of the world. The only company would have been themselves and other settlers in the area, which were sparse.

The Gallipolli Flats area clearly shows the efforts of the early settlers in having to clear native forrest from a significant area of land in order to survive. It must have been very tough.

We had lunch and then commenced our return journey. It was such a wonderful day and, although still a little chilly, the sky was blue and the sun was shining! We were lucky enough to have the company of so many kangaroos and wallabies, although they did eye us very suspiciously as we walked by.

Once back over the stream (Image 8), which I'm pleased to report that I managed with success this time. We started back up the Boboyan Road, leaving the Gallipolli Flat area (Image 6). Interestingingly, I found myself vowing to return and, next time I do, I'll spend more time exploring.

Along the Old Boboyan Road we were very fortunate to be greeted again by the wedgetail eagles (Image 4) and watched as they sorared up with the updrafts and off into the distance, having been disturbed by the 'human intruders'.  

Image 3 - A very old and weathered fence post very near to the old homestead site.

Old Boboyan Road

Image 4  - The view of Gallipolli Flats towards the old homestead valley (on left). The large mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos can be seen in the background.

We walked back the same way we came in. Some of the puddles on the track were still frozen from the previous night! As we got closer to the end of the walk, the sun began setting, providing an ambient but gentle glow to the natural features and landscape of the area.

It was a great day out and a great walk and I would recommend this to all. 

 

History

Like most areas in the Namadgi National Park which were settled many years ago, there is a lot of information from various websites. A particularly good article appeared in the magazine published by the National Parks Association of the Australian Capital Territory Inc, Volume 50, Number 3, September 2013.  The link to this magazine is through the following website address:

 

http://www.npaact.org.au/res/File/Bulletins7/Vol%2050%20No%203%20Sept%202013.pdf

 

The article describes the original settlers in the area and gives some insight into the lives and hardships they endured. Like many settler stories, these are not without their fair share of tragedy. 

 

Old Boboyan Road

Image  5  - Eastern Grey Kangaroos 

Old Boboyan Road

Image 6 - The walk back on Old Boboyan Road.

Old Boboyan Road

Image 7   - Red Backed Wallabies

One in particular caught my attention and it is a story I've heard from various sources previously. The following is taken from the abovementioned bulletin.

 

"It was on the cold winter’s day of 24 June 1850 that Thomas Westerman and his wife Mary [nee Garrigan] and their baby daughter, Mary Ann, were making their way along the rough dray track between Queanbeyan and the Monaro that followed the Naas River and Creek. They were on their way to [or from] Bolero Station where Thomas worked as a stockman. On the steep, winding section of the mountainous track that leads over the Boboyan Divide, the dray overturned, crushing both mother and baby. For some reason they weren’t buried next to the track where the accident occurred. Instead, Thomas went downhill and across Bulls Flat Creek to the Boboyan Homestead, about four kilometres away. Was he seeking help? Was one of them perhaps still alive? Or maybe he was unsure of what to do. He was in a very remote and mountainous part of what was then called Maneroo, with no local authorities within easy reach, yet the deaths would have had to be reported.

Unfortunately, descendants of the early local families no longer have available to them that level of detail about this story. Too many years have passed. It is known only that the bodies of the two Marys were laid to rest on the small hill west of Boboyan Homestead, above the old orchard there."

 

I had always been told that they were buried next to road where the accident occurred, so it was good to read the article and establish that the burial spot was near the Boboyan Homestead. I'll stop scanning for the unmarked graves everytime I walk along the road now!

Old Boboyan Road

Image 8  - The stream on Gallipolli Flat with ice from the previous night.

Old Boboyan Road

Image 4 - The magnificent Wedgetail Eagle (sorry, this photo was the best I could do).

 A selection of images from the walk.

bushwalking namadgi canberra act