Published on July 6th, 2016 | by Daniel Boyle1
Canberra Walks – Rob Roy and Big Monks
Today’s walk took me behind the outskirts of Tuggeranong and into the Rob Roy area for the first time.
It seems I did not actually reach quite to the top of Mt Rob Roy, but I was almost there. You can see the track below, but I only turned it on midway through the walk.
Max elevation: 1104 m
Min elevation: 726 m
Total climbing: 365 m
Total descent: -631 m
Total Time: 00:52:34
I didn’t have such an expert plan for this journey, I had just read that Rob Roy was significantly higher than Mt Majura, and could be accessed through the outer suburbs. People always say Majura is the highest within Canberra, but it seems that’s not quite accurate.
I parked in Banks and made a start on the Banks Steep Track. This is, not surprisingly, quite steep. It is a sealed road though, so was reasonably easy going. There a few kangaroos hopping by the side of the track. At this stage, I had seen the sign at the entrance saying it was in the Rob Roy part of the reserve, but I wasn’t too sure if I was actually heading for Rob Roy. I knew the hill Big Monks was also in the area, and then it could have even been a smaller hill. I just followed the track and looked for where it would take me.
After the bitumen runs out, you pass a gate and things are not quite as steep. I came to an intersection, having seen the trig on top of the hill, I was thinking I was on track for either of those two mentioned targets. At the intersection, I had the choice of the Big Monks track, which would lead to that nearby trig, or the Rob Roy Link Trail. I headed on the Rob Roy and crossed another gate.
It came to another section and my first feeling was to go left, but a look at the map showed me that would take me out toward the Monaro Highway and a long way away from my starting point, so I turned back and headed up towards Rob Roy. There was big vistas out towards Namadgi, but it was generally glimpses of these, with a lot of tree cover often covering up the view.
Most of the way along the track, I could not see back to the tower on Black Mountain, which is often a marking point to see where you are in relation to the city. Tuggeranong Hill, which I also did recently, was blocking the view. Once the tower did come into sight, it looked a long way off in the distance.
I kept reaching what I thought must be close to the top, and even when I thought I may be there, it wasn’t quite the top. Looking on the map I must have been quite close, probably 20 metres of elevation, but I had a time where I needed to turn around and make my way back to the car.
I came to the place that had enough markings to suggest I may be at the end of the line, but I was a little disappointed. Turns out it wasn’t the high point though, so my mistake. The time limit was up so I actually ran some of the way back. There was an icy wind at some stages and it seemed a chance it my rain, but that managed to hold off.
On the way back down I managed to dash across to Big Monks (916m) and tick off that trig. Even by itself, it is still higher than Mt Majura, and even closer to the suburbs. I couldn’t spend long there, but it gives a good view over the Tuggeranong area and beyond.
I made my way back down the Banks Steep Track, having taken a bit of a shortcut from the top of Big Monks to meet the track, and got back just within the time I had to spare, so going to the top of Rob Roy would not have been feasible.