Space, the Final Frontier   Leave a comment

Sunday, 17 May, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve been out on a decent hike, so with fantastic looking weather forecast for this weekend, I planned to return to one of my favourite places in the ACT, the Orroral Valley in the Namadgi National Park located to the south of Canberra. Apart from the spectacular scenery in the valley and the wonderful mobs of kangaroos that populate the area, the main reason I love it so much is that it’s the site of the former Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station run by NASA in the 60’s and 70’s in support of the Apollo, Soyuz and Shuttle space programmes.

I mentioned this to Glenn during the week and he asked me if his wife, Ja and he could come along for the ride, as neither of them had been down that way before. So at 9:00am this morning we set off in two cars to drive the 45 minutes down to the Orroral Camping Ground, where we planned to leave one of the cars, before driving on to the old Tracking Station site itself. Sadly, all of the original buildings that were on the site have long been demolished, but the footprints of the various building and the foundations of the sites where the satellites were once located can still clearly been seen. Additionally, there are a number of panels dotted around the site which explain what exactly happening there all those years ago.

After a good look around , we set off out of the back of the site toward the old Orroral Homestead a little further down the valley. On the way we started to notice the large groups (mobs) of Roos grazing on the plains next to the path. Most of the time they just ignored us, but sometimes one or two of them took fright and this set off a chain reaction amongst the others resulting in the incredible sight of hundreds of Roos bouncing across valley floor, bloody hell the speed of some of them is amazing. At the Homestead it looked as though the heritage people have been busy, with renovations and cleaning having being done both inside and outside the old house.

Again, we moved on towards the bridge that crosses the river (which I somehow managed to miss!) and into the woods where we saw plenty of Roos lazing about in the warm afternoon sun. It seems strange to me that kangaroos are equally as happy in the confines of a wood/forest as they are out in the open. At the back end of the woods we found my car and after taking lunch at one of the benches dotted around the campsite, we drove back up to the Tracking Station to collect Glenn and Ja’s car.

Not a long hike, but it was good to show Glenn and Ja what’s available within a relevantly short drive of the centre of Canberra.

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Posted May 18, 2015 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about

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yermandownunder

A Blog about Mario's life down under!

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