Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Currockbilly Mountain, NSW, Australia

2015 June: One day climb to Currockbilly Mountain in the Budawang Range, NSW, Australia

Currockbilly Mountain

Currockbilly Mountain is an obscure mountain on the south-west side of Budawang Range. It is seldom climbed ... all the more reason for wanting to climb it !

There are 3 peaks clustered around the top of the mountain:
- The summit, the highest peak, is the south-west peak, at 1132 meters.
- The next highest peak, the north-east peak is around 1126 meters.
- The east peak is around 1123 meters.

Today, we'll climb the first 2 peaks. We could and should have climbed the east peak as well, but didn't. The next time I'm there again, I'll definitely want to climb it !  A glimpse of the east peak is in Photo #25.

Our group

8 of us from CBC (Canberra Bushwalking Club):
- Ian H,  leader
- Jan G
- Jenn H
- John E
- Philip G
- Trevor L
- Max S
- and me


•  8927  Ulladulla  1:100,000
•  8927-3S  Brooman  1:25,000

GPS tracklog files & Route

The KML tracklog file of the drive from Queanbeyan to where we park our cars for the climb can be downloaded from:

The GPX tracklog file of our climb can be downloaded from:

In the below map:
- Our route is in brown (in counter-clockwise direction).
- Small blue circle is where we park our cars.
- Small red circle is where we have lunch.
- Red arrow points to the east peak of Currockbilly Mountain that we could and should have climbed but didn't.

Timeline & Distance

08:47  0.0 km  Start walking
09:45  2.8 km  Stop for morning tea

Morning tea

10:02  2.9 km  Resume walking
10:57  3.7 km  At Currockbilly Mountain summit (south-west peak)

11:00  3.7 km  Leave summit
11:13  4.0 km  At north-east peak

Browse log book

11:33  4.1 km  Leave north-east peak
12:10  4.8 km  Stop for lunch


12:39  4.8 km  Resume walking - walk on the ridge towards the north
13:00  5.1 km  Leave ridge, turn west and go down hill
13:46  5.8 km  Stop for afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

13:55  5.8 km  Resume walking
14:31  7.6 km  Encounter wombat

Photograph wombat

14:40  7.6 km  Resume walking
15:02  8.6 km  Back at our cars


Total:  6 hrs 15 mins  - The pace is slower due to thick bush at some places
           8.6 km  Distance is from Google Earth
           10.2 km  Distance is from Garmin GPS


1)  Around 8:40am, we park our cars here (small blue circle of the previous map). It is foggy in the morning; but it will lift soon.
- Left to right: Max, John, Jan, Trevor, Philip, Ian
- John's car is on the left. Philip's car is on the right.

2)  At where the cars are parked, private properties are on both sides.

3)  There is this sign at the start of our walk. Ian assures us that we are walking on a public access trail and this sign is obsolete.

4)  There is an indistinct track at the start of the hike. It lasts for about 600 meters, then ...

5)  ... then it is bushbashing all the way.

6)  Morning tea time ~~~
Trevor with a lovely pair of pajama-type pants  :-)

7)  Currockbilly Mountain peak is in front, but ...

8)  ... but first, need to bushbash through thick scrubs down a gully.

9)  Then a steep climb up the slope.

10)  A tough steep climb, good exercise for the morning  :-)

11)  We reach the top of the ridge. The scrub is almost impenetrable here. We pause for a moment to figure out a way to bash forward ...

12)  ... and decide not to go via the top of the ridge to the summit. Instead, we drop down a little bit and go along the side of a cliff ... Trevor's hand is touching the moss-covered cliff face.

13)  There are a few peaks in the Currockbilly Mountain. Here, we've reached the summit of the highest peak, south-west peak at 1132 meters.

14)  From the summit - view towards the west
(There is no view towards the east - blocked by too many trees.)

15)  Then we head for the north-east peak; but first, retrace our steps ...
This scene is in the same area as photo #12 (because now we are going in the opposite direction, the cliff is on the left-hand side.)

16)  At Currockbilly Mountain north-east peak, around 1126 meters ~~~
There is a log book inside the silver metal box. (It is strange the log book is here and not at the highest peak in Photo #13.)

17)  Ian is sitting in the centre, browsing through the log book. The rest of us gather around him.
Clockwise from the left: John, Jan, Trevor, Philip, Max (mostly chopped off at the right edge), Jenny

18)  Hardly anyone comes up here. Browsing through the log book, we can see that in some years there was no entry. Some years, there was only one or two entries in the year.
- Ian's little finger is pointing to an entry by Trevor in 1971 when he was only 17 years old ... 44 years ago !!! (Trevor is the guy in rainbow coloured pants in Photo #6.)
- We write down our names (the pic on the right), but forget to put down the date - 2015-06-30.
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

19)  View from the peak toward east-north-east ~~~
In the far distance, is Pigeon House Mountain (red arrow). I climbed it ages ago, and would like to climb it again. Any one wants to join in ?
To the left of Pigeon House Mountain, also in the far distance, is The Castle - high on my list of places to go. Any one wants to join in ?

20)  Time for the return trip ~~~
We descend the north-east peak by walking along a ridge towards the north.

21)  Looking back at the south-west peak (the highest peak) of Currockbilly Mountain.

22)  Burnt out Banksias - Are they recovering or are they dead?

23)  Red grass ~~~ Does anyone know its name ?

24)  Looking back at Currockbilly Mountain peaks ~~~
- Left arrow points to north-east peak (where the log book is).
- Right arrow points to south-west peak (the highest peak).

25)  Further along on our way and looking back again at Currockbilly Mountain peaks ~~~
- The left blue arrow points to the east peak that we could and should have climbed but didn't (refer to the map near the top of this blog). It seems to be quite bare and should have a splendid 360 degree view from its top. Nevermind, next time.
- Middle red arrow points to north-east peak.
- Right red arrow points to south-west peak.

26)  The tea trees (are they tea trees?) along our way are very thick. Bashing through them is tough going.

27)  Finally we reach a clearing where we have a good view of:
- Wirritin Basin (surrounded by mountains)
- Pigeon House Mountain in the background (red arrow)

28)  At where the previous photo was taken, we have lunch.
- Back row: John, Jenny, Max
- Middle row: Ian, Trevor with his rainbow coloured pants
- Front row: Philip, Jan

29)  At where we have lunch is this view towards the west.

30)  After lunch, we keep going along the ridge towards the north. The vertical stems in the foreground belong to grass trees.

31)  A nice view of the Budawang Range ~~~
The original plan was to keep going north to the next knoll, then turn west (ie left) to bushbash down hill back to our cars. But we decide to turn left earlier and go down hill from here instead.

32)  The next 3 photos show the changes in vegetation as we go down the mountain.
In this pic, the grass trees are abundant.

33)  Further down the slope are these small saplings. (The forest was burnt not too long ago.)

34)  And further down are these small ferns.

35)  These young plants maybe Geebung, but which species ?

36)  When crossing Nettletons Creek, we encounter this wombat. In Tasmania, the wombats in the wild are quite tame. You can approach very close to them to take photos. But in NSW, it is difficult ... they scamper away too quickly for you to compose a picture. Hence I'm glad to have taken this shot even though it is not sharp.

Then it is back to our cars - an enjoyable day with a bunch of friendly Canberrans.

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