The Square Rock walk in Namadgi National Park is a 9kms return walk from the start at Square Rock car park on Corin Rd, just past the Corin Forest Mountain Retreat, or 10kms if you include a easy 500m side-trip to the Orroral Valley Lookout, as we did.
This popular walk is relatively easy (graded 2 on a scale of 5) along a steady upward incline, with some steps, from around 1150 to 1400 metres. The track is well formed and easy to find – my image 2 attached makes it look much rougher than it is, image 3 is more representative.
There is no outward view from the track as you make your way through a forest of Snow Gums and Alpine Ash. The lack of outward view fortuitously means you will be well shaded from the harsh sun, especially if you set out early in the morning before the sun penetrates the track from directly overhead, post noon.
In addition to being able to admire the alpine trees there is lots of other flora to admire, together with numerous large granite boulders, along the way, in addition to the prominent outcrop of massive boulders that is Square Rock at the end of the walk. From Square Rock you get with sweeping views both north (towards Canberra) and south west. Be extremely careful on the rocks especially if it is windy or the rocks are wet – it’s a long fall to the valley below.
While granite is a notoriously hard rock, constant exposure to the harsh Australian climate over a very long time has caused ‘onion-skin’ weathering where the outer layers have in many cases separated from the main bulk of the rock in thin layers. Watch out for this. Also look out for instances, such as at Square Rock itself, where boulders have been undercut to produce natural shelters. Rock shelters of this type were summer homes to Aboriginal people in this area for thousands of years when they harvested Bogong Moths and hunted animals in the forest.
In terms wildlife, we encountered kangaroos close to the start and dark bodied Swamp Wallabies (picture 3 attached) on a number of occasions further along the track. While we heard lots of birds and came across a couple of wombat burrows we actually saw neither bird nor wombat. Only the Rambling Wombat out and about that day!
About half way along the walk is Smokers Flat, a small flat grassy, indeed boggy, area though which you pass on a raised steel mesh walkway. Oddly trees don’t grow here, apparently due to localised cold air which restricts germination.
While this is a relatively short walk weather conditions can change quickly in this area so do “sign in” using the walk register located just as you leave the car park and bring water, sun protection and some food with you.
The walk is listed a requiring 4 hours. We did it in just over three and this gave us plenty of time to admire the views from the two lookouts. Also, as we set out from the car park at 9am we got back to Corin Forest Mountain Retreat – Café just after noon to enjoy a nice pizza prior to returning to Canberra, about 55kms and 50 minutes drive away.
The walk is easily combined with Gibraltar Falls and Corin Dam, though you wont have time to do a walk at the Dam as well on a day trip.
Address: Corin Road
Directions: A short distance past the Corin Forest Mountain Retreat
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries on Namadgi National Park. To continue with my next entry chick HERE.