Yerrabi Walking Track / Boboyan Trig

28 Jan

The Yerrabi Walking Track is within the ACT, but, like some of the best walks, far from Canberra. It’s past Tuggeranong, past Tharwa, past Naas Road, and halfway down Boboyan Road (not to be confused with Old Boboyan Road). Oh, and Boboyan Road is a dirt road. It’s probably shorter to say that the Track is on the way to Adaminaby. It is also advisable to tell your walking companion – and the person in the driver’s seat – how far the car ride will be before you set off so you don’t have to have any awkward conversations along the lines of ‘so just how far is this?’ an hour into the journey…

That said, Yerrabi Walking Track is well worth it. After an admittedly long car trip, there’s a sign pointing to Boboyan Trig and we pull off to the right.

Not particularly good photo (taken in 2011)

The roads all have fairly decent inclines, so the walk starts at about 1350 metres. There’s a sign pointing the way into the bushland – 2 hours and 4km. (The GPS Heart Rate Monitor tells me it’s actually 3.6km and about 2 hours with a long rest at the top to enjoy the view.)

Perhaps the one downside of the walk is that it starts off heading downhill – so this means when you’re exhausted and nearing the end you have to head back uphill! Nevertheless, it’s a nice way to ease into a walk, as we head down the valley which is full of the peppermint trees (not smelling too much of peppermint at the moment, unfortunately), and emerge into the swampy grassland. We’re there on a hot, dry January Sunday and there’s not a lot of shade even when we’re surrounded by the trees.

It's a hot, hot day

It’s a hot, hot day

Swampy part of the valley

Swampy part of the valley

About half a kilometre and 10 minutes in (yes, slow I know!), the incline begins, and it’s rather steep. I stop quite a bit to catch my breath. There’s a slippery combination of a floor of gum leaves and shale-type rock, and when I’m not catching my breath I do lose my footing a few times! No falls though, so we soldier on.

This type of bush floor (which is also steep) is a bit slippery!

This type of bush floor (which is also steep) is a bit slippery!

The types of plants change as we near the top, which is the best sign that we’re almost there! The next sign of course is also the trig. The last time I was up there in June 2011 it was on a funny angle, but this time it’s back standing upright.

Boboyan Trig on an angle 2011

Boboyan Trig

Boboyan Trig 2013

But you don’t do this Track for the trig. While there are great views from the trig at 1450 metres, the real delight is the granite tor.

The path from this point is a little less clear, but there are plenty of cairns which help the guide the way.

Cairns guide the way to the granite tor

Cairns guide the way to the granite tor

From this height it’s a slight trek down the mountain, and then a bit of a climb down between a few boulders before the view opens up in front of us.

Down through the boulders (taken in 2011)

Just a bit old (2011 photo)

This view is pretty spectacular. It’s a careful walk across the granite and then we stop to have a big drink of water and a snack before we explore the tor a bit more. The granite stretches out and down and while Boyfriend is sure-footed, I drop into a very elegant crab crawl to get closer to the edge.

On the steep granite tor past Boboyan trig. Yankee Hat and many other mountains lay out before us.

On the steep granite tor past Boboyan trig. Yankee Hat and many other mountains lay out before us.

Big big granite tor (another 2011 pic)

With the beating sun above us we make our way back up the granite, climb up through the boulders and again use the many cairns to guide us. There’s something about Boboyan which disorientates me a little, so the cairns and then the clearish path from the trig are very welcome.

It’s a much easier (though still slippery) trek back down and takes us about 40 minutes. While the final incline is a bit disheartening, we speed up a little after we spot the tail end of a snake moving off the path into the scrub (potentially a black copperhead – apparently venomous but not aggressive, which sounds accurate).

Heading back down the dirt road in the car we notice the lookout for Hospital Hill – given we’re here, why not stop? The sign at the lookout explains that the area used to be populated with Boboyan Pines, which have since been entirely removed after a recommendation that they were inappropriate and should be replaced with native trees.

Hospital Hill lookout

Hospital Hill lookout

Date: Sunday, 20 January 2013

Attendees: T1 and Boyfriend

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? See the GPS Heart Rate Monitor or this fabulous brochure from the ACT Government (which is also available in hardcopy in a little box at the beginning of the walk – it’s got a map, and it’s a must for taking with you on the walk)


3 Responses to “Yerrabi Walking Track / Boboyan Trig”

  1. Cluan October 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    What do I reckon?

    I like it!!

    I like that you comment on stuff regular humans care about… Is it slippery?, is it steep?, is it pretty?, is the mountain a ‘surly bastard’?, is it worthwhile?…this is all important stuff, somehow lost in the clinical accuracy of maps, gradients and coordinates that I seem to find when researching a hike.

    I like that you include lots of pictures.

    I like that you are standing in a bucket.

    I like it!

    • inthetaratory October 31, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      And I REALLY like your comment. Thanks very, very much – has made my day.


  1. Mt Clear | In The Taratory - November 24, 2013

    […] on the southern border of the ACT, and it’s accessed by driving down Boboyan Road, past the Yerrabi Track and Shanahans Mountain turn […]

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