Rendezvous Creek and Rowleys Hut Remains
Image 1 - After a pleasant walk through shaded woodland, you come out onto the open grassland of Rendezvous Creek
A very relaxing and easy Namadgi walk with beautiful surrounds. Such a peaceful location and great for families. Probably not ideal on a hot day as it's very exposed.
Walk Rating: Level 1 - Easy. Family Friendly. From the Rendezvous Creek carpark, the walk starts pleasantly through woodland and after about 500 metres, you come out of the woodland and onto the grass plains (Image 1). There is a defined access road that you walk along and it is mostly flat all the way to the hut ruins. Total walk distance is 8 kilometres.
Directions: To get to the Rendezvous carpark, drive to Tharwa. Once over the bridge, swing left onto Naas Road. From here it's around 30 kilometres, so enjoy the beautiful picturesque scenery and the wonderful mountains! Continue on Naas Road until you pass the intersection with Apollo Road (leads to the old Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station - another beautiful spot) and you go across the Naas River Bridge. 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 turnoff on your left. This is a National Parks depot and services the needs of the rangers and Parks personnel with upkeep and maintenance of roads and infrastructure. Continue past the depot and about to the Rendezvous Creek carpark on your right side (about 6 kilometres from the Glendale Depot turnoff).
The Walk: After arriving at the Rendezvous carpark, there is an information sign situated next to the start of the walking track (Image 2). It should be noted that there are two walk options here. The first is the Rendezvous Creek Track, which is a 2.3 kilometre loop track that stays mainly in the wooded area, and traverses alongside the stream (Rendezvous Creek). The second walk, is the longer section that takes you to the Rowley's Hut ruins(about an 8 kilometre round trip).
Image 2 - The information board at Rendezvous Creek carpark and the walking track to the right.
Image 3 - Rendezvous Creek gently flowing, creates a peaceful atmosphere at the start of the walk.
We set off along the walking track, which initially, passed through a beautiful woodland section for the first several hundred metres. This section of the track is a short uphill section (not too onerous), and there are a few stairs, which have been carved out of the natural granite in the area. Once over this, the track drops down and then flattens out, where it meanders alongside the stream for another hundred or so metres. On the day we went, the stream was flowing nicely and created a peaceful and relaxing backdrop to the walk.
After about 500 metres since leaving from the carpark, you will come to a fork in the track, with a Parks and Conservation wooden sign with a carved eagle (very nicely done). If you are only doing the loop walk, then you can take either one (left or right) as the track simply loops around and you end up back at that particular spot. We took the left walking track as it seemed the easiest way to navigate to our eventual goal, which was the Rendezvous Creek service road (dirt track). After heading left, the track drops down and you cross a bridge over Rendezvous Creek (Image 4).
After crossing the bridge, the track veers off to the right and takes you up a slight incline where you reach the next information sign. It's only about 100 or so metres from the bridge). There is also a picnic table, strategically nestled under a tree so that there is some shade on a hot day, a perfect spot if you just wanted to do the shorter walk and stop for a cuppa or lunch, or if you took the kids out and they (or you) needed a break (Image 5).
This spot also provides you with the first view of the Rendezvous Creek Valley. It is an inviting location, with gently flowing grasslands for as far as the eye can see, mountains enveloping the valley and giving you the impression that they are standing guard as well as providing protection for Rendezvous Creek which is nestled gently up against the base on the northern side (Image 1 above).
Also at this point, the information sign provides information about the wild dogs (and the baiting program) and the history of Dingoes in the area (Image 6). A timely piece of information on our walk as we came across a canine shortly after - Dingo or Wild Dog (Image 7)?
Image 4 - The bridge crossing Rendezvous Creek. This marks the start of the grassland section of the walk.
Image 5 - Picnic table and information sign on the loop track. This also marks the start of the walk to Rowley;s Hut ruins
From this point, you head to the south towards the Rendezvous Creek service road. It is not very well defined (in terms of a walking track), but there are signs with arrows pointing you in the right direction. Look out ahead and you will see each one, so just head for that (Image 8) and you will come across the dirt service road.
After you get to the dirt service road, you head north west, travelling over open grasslands. Being grasslands, the grass can be reasonably long, which means you need to be careful of snakes, especially on a warm day. Proper hiking boots, thick hiking socks and good quality gaiters will offer a good level of protection. We saw people in shorts and runners, and that is up to the individual. However, personally, I like to be prepared, which means having proper gear.
We continued along the dirt service road (Image 9) and after three kilometres, started to really keep an eye out for the ruins of Rowley's hut. It's worth noting that there is not much left in terms of the remaining hut so if you don't know what you're looking for, there are a couple of things to look out for.
Continue along the dirt service road - it feels as if you have gone too far and missed the hut remains - but you will come to a small pile of gravel (Image 10). Just beyond this (about 5 - 10 metres) there is an old fence line with a rusted old gate. Immediately behind the gate, there is a small clump of trees and you will see a pile of bricks and a charcoaled wooden post that was once part of the hut. This is all that remains of Rowley's Rendezvous Creek hut (Image 11).
The hut was burnt down in 2003 by unknown persons - although it should be pointed out that police investigations were inconclusive. According to the Kosciuszko Huts Association (KHA) website, ACT Parks and Conservation have refused 'point-blank ' (websites words, not mine) to allow KHA to re-build the hut at KHA expense. I'm sure ACT Parks and Conservation have their reasons. Image 12 shows the original hut before it was destroyed by fire - from the KHA website.
Image 7 - Shortly after reading about wild dogs and Dingoes, we came across this fellow
Image 6 - Information sign providing details of wild dogs and the history of Dingoes in the area
Image 8 - Look for the directional markers out ahead of you
Image 9 (above left) - The track can become heavily grassed so wear protective gear against potential snakebite (although extremely unlikely) and Image 10 (above right) - Looking back from the gate near the ruins, you can see the small pile of gravel (to the right of the gate wooden post) so look for this as the marker.
Image 11 (above left) - showing what very little remains of the Rowley's Rendezvous Creek Hut and Image 12 (above right) - the original hut before being destroyed by fire (Image taken from KHA website)
Image 13 - A Brown Falcon goes into hunting mode near Rowley's Rendezvous Creek hut remains
After spending a little time at what remained of the hut (very little), we went over to a rocky outcrop and sat under the shady trees for lunch. There is an abundance of native birds in the area, but they soon scattered as a Brown Falcon came onto the scene and started its hunting hover (Image 13)! There was an abundance of Brown Falcon's as well as Wedge Tail Eagles in the area, which is a reflection that the wildlife is thriving in the valley.
After we'd finished lunch, the day really started to heat up. Although beautiful blue skies and a gentle breeze, the sun was at its summer best, pushing the daytime temperatures over 30 degrees celsius. It was time for us to head back, and we were appreciative of making it back to the shaded woodlands that we experienced at the start of the track (Image 14 and 15). Crossing the bridge over Rendezvous Creek, it was tempting to strip off and take a plunge into the water! Arriving back at the carpark, we appreciated the picnic tables that had been placed there. It was great to sit in the shade and re-hydrate.
This is a lovely walk and the valley is a very peaceful place to visit. Watch out though on warm summer days, as once you get into the grasslands, there is no shade and you are very exposed. On a cooler day, this would be a great family walk.
Image 14 (above left) and Image 15 (above right) showing the shaded woodland, which we appreciated after walking across the hot grasslands of Rendezvous Creek Valley.