Canberra & Surrounds - October 2015 - Page 7

Photowords - where photos meet words

Heysen Range from Walkandi Peak, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

©2013-15 Grant Da Costa

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 Calthorpes’ House, Mugga Mugga Cottage, Duntroon Homestead and Red Hill Lookout…continued

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Above left: male King Parrot, Red Hill Lookout. Main picture: view over Canberra from Red Hill Lookout. Parliament House dominates the middle ground. To the right, across Lake Burley Griffin and at the head of Anzac Parade, lies the Australian War Memorial. Behind that is Mt Ainslie. Further to the right is a dominating, pale blocky building - the High Court of Australia (see later). In the foreground are the expensive homes and embassies of the suburb of Red Hill, many with superb gardens.

Namadgi National Park

Due to our swimming commitments there wasn’t much time to get out of Canberra and into the surrounding mountains but we did manage to squeeze in one walk, in Namadgi National Park. It started in the Orroral Valley (left) and followed the Granite Tors track to a lookout at 1320 metres above sea level.

There we found the remains of the Orroral Geodetic Observatory (right). It was built in 1974 as part of the USA-Australia Treaty for Co-operation in Science. It started off life being used for lunar laser ranging, in which laser pulses were bounced off mirrors placed on the moon’s surface by Apollo astronauts. Measurements of the time delay yielded information about the motion of the moon, the rotational wobbles of the earth, continental drift, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

In the 1980s its primary function became the tracking of artificial satellites, as part of the large Orroral Tracking Station that had been built in the valley below (far right).

The entire facility was closed in 1997 and moved to a newly-built facility at Mt Stromlo (see later in this photo-essay). Nothing remains (right) except for the Geodetic Observatory building up in the granite ranges.