A Monaghan Monga Adventure

A Monga adventure by a Monaghan


I don’t really believe in “luck”, however I was certainly fortunate today.

As is my wont, I set off to explore a previously unexplored area for me, Monga National Park, about 20 km south west of Braidwood, itself about 80 km east of Canberra.

After taking Araluen Road from Braidwood and turning left off Reidsdale Road, I headed down the gravel road into the Park. After a while it became quite muddy and heavily rutted. The AWD Territory was responding to advice that I was too conservative in where I took it. It did well, although getting somewhat scratched, until I got within spitting distance of the more mainstream River Forest Road. Big puddle was too big and unknown in depth and mud for the risk. Luckily (well, fortunately) there was just enough room for a 10 point turn.

This huge Wedge-Tailed Eagle dominated the pasture:


So headed back into Braidwood and down the King’s Highway, dreading the building returning coast traffic.

Some 35 km later I got back to the aforementioned spitting distance from the big puddle. Glorious forest, and road was narrow but well graded. Wandered around the very picturesque Penance Grove, named by justified apologists for all the fern tops stolen over the years. Fortunately, was just a short exploratory walk through wet sclerophyll forest.


Got back to the car to find what all bush walkers fear, a very low right side back tyre.


So I figured I had better increase the prospect of being fortunate, and jumped in and scedaddled the 30 km back to Braidwood. I could tell from the steering, just as I got back in to Braidwood, that it was seriously flat. The first garage man was sympathetic, but there was no chance to attend to it before tomorrow: “I’m here all on me own.”  But he did indicate there was a tyre place about 150 metres away around the corner; so I put some air in and whipped around to a motley lot of corrugated iron sheds well reminiscent of my grand-father’s multi-shed premises. Not surprisingly, no EFTPOS – no cash, no car!

Very helpful chap, Joe, got the wheel off, and found the culprit – a 1cm triangle of road flint.

I mean how could something so small do so much damage.

Joe drilled a hole in the tyre, got a piece of glued rubber and screwed it into the hole. “I ain’t never seen that before” I says. No, you wouldn’t: latest NASA technology.

IMG_0279 (2)

Then a helpful lesson on the ridiculousness of having Nitrogen in the tyres – I must say I have remained somewhat sceptical on that measure – and, since all tyres were made in the same Chinese factory, just buy tyres with water repelling tread, and no brand name.

So it all worked out. As I said: “Fortunate.”

So here is what we learned today:

  1. The likely limits of my car in 4WD terrain;
  2. Monga is worth visiting, but via the River Forest Road, 20km south of Braidwood;
  3. Get the nitrogen out of the tyres;
  4. Don’t waste money on branded tyres – I will research this one first;
  5. Don’t go to the specialist tyre places – this might pay some research too;
  6. Always tell someone where you are going – I did, and do; and
  7. Always have some cash on you.

Michael Monaghan

May 28, 2018


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