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In all honestly, I had never heard of Umbagong District Park and consequentially had no desire whatsoever to visit it – just like you, I suspect! I only became aware of the park’s existence when I was trying to identify the whereabouts of some Aboriginal axe grinding grooves.

Whereabouts identified, I only visited the park (in which they are located) with the intent of looking at the grinding grooves. The axe grinding grooves are groves cut into rocks by continual use of the rock to sharpen axes and other weapons in olden times – up to 20,000 years ago. They are similar to grinding grooves, though this time used for grinding seeds and the like, at the other end of the City upon which I have written a separate review – Aboriginal “grinding grooves”. Do have a look at the pictures there.

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Umbagong District Park is located along the banks of the Ginninderra Creek between the suburbs of Latham and Macgregor and bounded at either end by Southern Cross Drive and Ginninderra Drive.

I entered the park at the intersection of Want Place and Macrossan Crescent, where the grooves are supposed to be. While the park can be entered at numerous points there are official car parks on Florey Drive and Neville Place so I suggest you use one of those entry points.

Having spent over half an hour laboriously inspecting every rock I could find within a hundred metres of the supposed location of the grinding grooves I had found nothing so gave up and decided to go for a walk, along the creek, instead. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk, a couple of kilometres, and recommend you visit the park and do likewise whether you are interested in grinding grooves or not.

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There is a path along both sides of the creek so, perhaps naturally, I walked up one side of the creek and back down the other – crossing over via some stepping stones less than a kilometre or so short of where the park formally ends at the Southern Cross Drive end. As it happens, when I later read up more on the park, I had followed the ‘Creek and Catchment Trail’ – one of three themed walks within the park.

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The trail was a lovely flat walk (as the other two also are) with great views of the creek for most of the way, particularly from the path on the northern side of the creek.

Being an urban park there are bbqs, toilet facilities, lots of seats and a couple of kids playgrounds for those seeking those amenities. Dogs are permitted if on a leash.

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Next time I visit this part of the city I will take my bicycle (the paths are shared walking and cycling paths) which will let me cover more ground including further along the creek beyond the park limits at both ends.

Going back to the grinding grooves, further research suggests that they are actually on the creek bed in an area which is generally dry. Just prior to my visit there had been extraordinarily high rainfall and the creek was running very high so I suspect the grooves were under water. I shall have to take up the challenge again on another day.

Address: Main Entry on Florey Drive , Canberra


For my next CANBERRA – BELCONNEN review click HERE.
For other Canberra reviews click HERE.


 

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