Stockyard Spur to Mt Gingera
Image 1 - The majestic view from the peak of Mt Gingera
Parking at Corin Dam , the track takes you up and up, until finally you reach the peak of Mt Gingera and the reward of majestic views (Image 1) makes the hard work worthwhile. One of the real ACT bushwalks!
Hard to Medium. The first section of the walk is extremely steep, and there are many steps (Image 2 and 3). You need to have a reasonable level of fitness for this one! If you're not up to tackling Stockyard Spur, but really want to go to Mt Gingera, it is easier to park at the locked gate on Mt Franklin Road and walk in from there (refer to Mt Gingera, Pryors Hut walk). I have done this walk a number of times now, and despite the advisory sign indicating 2km to the top of Stockyard Sour, I have measured it with electronic navigational aids, which consistently provide a distance of just under 2.5km. The total walk distance to Gingera and back is around 19 kilometres.
Directions To Corin Dam
The start of the walk is next to the carpark on the western side of Corin Dam. Drive to Point Hut Crossing (near Gordon) and continue along that road until you reach the intersecting road, which is Tidbinbilla Road. Turn right here and continue along Tidbinbilla Road until you reach the intersection with Corin Road (about 5 km). Turn left onto Corin Road and continue for around 23 kilometres until you come to Corin Dam. Continue across the dam for another 300 to 400 metres and you will come to the carpark, which coincides with the end of Corin Road.
The Corin Road can get busy, has a number of sharp curves and is susceptible to ice on the road, so take care if travelling in the cooler months.
Image 2 above - some of the many steps on the ascent to Stockyard Spur and Image 3 below - photo's never really do justice to the steepness!
Image 4 - The sign at the Stockyard Spur Track says it all!
After arriving at Corin Dam carpark, we got our gear together, slung our packs and headed off. After signing the bushwalking register, the walk started with a steep up-hill section, before the track started weaving its way up and up. There were many stairs on the trail (Images 1 and 2), and on this particular day, it was very warm and muggy. It wasn't long before we started to struggle a little!
The initial 2.2 kilometres that takes you to the actual Stockyard Spur at the top, is a pretty tough walk (Image 4). But if you take regular breaks, the area is so picturesque, so don't forget to look back over your shoulder as you get higher, and you will get some great views of Corin Dam.
After around 50 minutes, we were relieved to arrive at the top and we began our journey from Stockyard Spur to the intersection with Mt Franklin Road. This part of the walk is on a fire trail, which undulates for about 4 kilometres. Just when you think the steep stuff is mostly over, this section throws some good gradients at you just to keep the heart rate up! The track is also fairly well wooded, so even on a warm day you get some shady relief from the sun (Image 5 and 6).
Apart from the steepness of certain sections, there was a wonderful array of native plants and flowers in full bloom (Images below). Be sure to keep a look out for the rocky outcrop on the eastern side of the ridge line (after reaching Stockyard Spur, about 3km along the track ), which offers some marvelous views to the east and south east.
After we reached Mt Franklin Road, we turned left and after a kilometre, reached Pryor's Hut where we stopped for a cuppa.
Image 5 (above) - Most of the ridge line section takes through shaded wooded areas and Image 6 (below) - The woodland has an abundance of forrest floor native flower plants.
Above Left - Diuris sulphurea (Tiger Orchid). Above Right - Ranunculus scapiger (Mountain Buttercup)
Above Left - Brachyscome scapigera (Tufted Daisy). Above Right - Caladenia alpine (Mountain Caldenia)
Above Left - On of the many daisy species. Above Right - Craspedia variabilis (Variable Billy Buttons)
Above Left - Senecio pinnatifolius (Variable Groundsel). Above Right - Unidentified
After our break, we continued south along Mt Franklin Road for about a kilometre where you come to a sharp left hand bend in the road. On the right, you will see a post that has a painted blue rock sitting on top, and this signifies the start of the walking track that takes you to the peak of Mt Gingera.
The walk to the peak takes you through a wonderful sub-alpine landscape and as with Stockyard Spur, there was an abundance of native flowers in full bloom. After about a kilometre or so, you reach the peak and are met with truly majestic views. This is my favourite place to walk to in Namadgi, and no matter how many times I do this walk, I never get tired of what awaits me at the peak of Mt Gingera. You can't help but sit and stare in wonderment. It is a truly peaceful place to visit and time passes you by without even noticing. It's hard to imaging that the blue skies and clear views are replaced in the winter months by fierce alpine weather and snow covered landscape. Those pictures coming this winter!
After spending what seemed like only a short time at Mt Gingera, but in actual fact was several hours, we reluctantly commenced our journey back from the peak. We stopped briefly at Pryor's Hut again, chatting to a group who were having a late lunch. They turned out to be from Butan, a truly mountainous region of the world! It's always amazing the people you come across in Namadgi, and always worth stopping for a chat.
Making our way back across Stockyard Spur, we again stopped at the rocky outcrop and took in the view to the east and south/east once more (Image 7 and 8). The mountains really do seem to go on forever, but it was getting late in the day and we had to get back to the car and civilisation. We took one last glance, and with some reluctance, commenced our trek back to the Corin Dam carpark. There was one last surprise for the day. A black Cockcatoo flew over the top of us and landed in a tree directly in front of me. I always find them so challenging to photograph, as they don't tend to stay in the one spot for long. But this fellow, sat and seemed to pose for my shot (Images 9 and 10)!
We arrived back at our car a little tired in the legs, but well satisfied with having completed one of Namadgi's best walks.
If you're up to the hill climb of Stockyard Spur, I would really encourage you to do this walk as you will not be disappointed.
Image 9 above and 10 below - Black Cockatoo who stayed still for long enough to photograph!
Image 7 above and 8 below - The beautiful views from the rocky outcrop on Stockyard Spur