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2022 03 03 Namarag & Butters Bridge Walk with MelbaShed

This was a 5.4Km walk around Namarag, a special nature reserve along the Molonglo River in Canberra Australia. It was relatively easy although with issues on access and safety.

Featured image – Nature Play Area at Namarag

Pictures in Google Photos

I led this walk with 5 of us walking. We all met at the Shed by 8AM & drove in two cars to the temporary Car Park just off John Gorton Drive on the edge of a newly developing suburb of Denman Prospect in the new town centre area of Molonglo.

From the car park at 8.27AM we walked down a dirt track to Butters Bridge crossing it to enter the Namarag Nature Reserve area, part of the overall Molonglo River Reserve. Butters Bridge is fairly unique. Its a concrete structure spanning the Molonglo River and can only be crossed on foot or a cycle. The bridge was designed to carry sewerage from Weston Creek area and some of the new area of Molonglo. The sewer pipe then flows down along and easement on the north side of the Molonglo to the Lower Molonglo Treatment Plant below the western side of Belconnen and close to the Murrumbidgee River. Its well treated before it goes into the Murrumbidgee River.

We walked around various areas in Namarag including the Nature Play area, a lookout, another small lookout commemorating bull ants, a large 24m sculptural wall to the Pink tailed Worm Lizard & the Bugang Events Terrace (its about the bogong moth and how aboriginals celebrated feasting on them).

Whilst we admired all the work undertaken there was a level of concern around the obvious huge amount of money spent on the area but a large degree of neglect had occurred since the area was opened. It needs some significant maintenance to kill weeds and restore some of the items to prime condition. There is also some improvements required to the overall drainage system as a significant amount of erosion has occurred especially on the lower area along the Molonglo River side.

The new reserve Namarag (whose name means “Wattle”) is described as a recreation space where Canberrans can walk, ride, and learn about Ngunnawal culture. It is also home to threatened species such as platypus and the pink-tailed worm lizard.

After walking around Namarag we had to walk back across the bridge but instead of returning the way we had come, we instead followed a dirt fire trail east for several hundred metres before it turned south to follow John Gorton Drive back to the cars. On the way we stopped to taste some of the blackberries we found.

We reached the cars around 10.46AM. After the walk we drove to the local shops at Denman Prospect to have a break at the Morning Dew Coffee Shop at the Denman Prospect Village Shops. Here we had a variety of drinks, i.e. pot of tea, coffees & a milk shake.

The total walk was 5.4Km. This was an Easy-Medium walk taking us 2hrs19m.

Walkers: Bob Salmond, David Leach, Drew McDonald, John Edge, Greg Hutchison

Drivers: Drew, David

Map of walk | Pictures in Google Photos | files including gps located in Google Drive  

Notes re Map:  GPS Map View provided using Garmin Basecamp on an Open Street Maps (OSM)  base | The area of the walk is covered by the NSW 1:25,000 topo map CANBERRA

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