Tidbinbilla Map and Guide

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Tidbinbilla

Tidbinbilla offers outstanding wildlife and natural experiences. Discover this beautiful valley and its natural landscape. Enjoy the range of walking trails, meander through the Sanctuary wetlands, find a koala in the eucalypt forest, or relax with friends and family with a picnic or barbecue amongst  the kangaroos and emus.

A unique history

Aboriginal people have had a continuous association with the Tidbinbilla area for at least 21,000 years. It is the traditional Country of the Ngunnawal people. Neighbouring clans travelled through or stayed in this region, trading artefacts and knowledge, celebrating marriages and undertaking important  ceremonies. The name 'Tidbinbilla' comes from 'Jedbinbilla', meaning 'where boys become men', referring to initiation ceremonies on the mountain tops.

The Tidbinbilla Valley also reflects the European history of the area. Century old rammed earth cottages and evidence of farming and eucalyptus oil distillation provide graphic reminders of the pioneers who tried to make a life here from the mid 1800s.

Natural places

Discover Tidbinbilla's outstanding wildlife, natural beauty and diverse habitats. The beautiful and serene Tidbinbilla Valley protects wetlands, grasslands, woodlands and eucalypt forest habitats. Higher up, wet fern gullies, mountain streams and sub-alpine forests occur. Tidbinbilla is part of the  Australian Alps national parks, a series of parks and reserves that span Australia's south-eastern high country. The Australian Alps are National Heritage listed, recognising that its natural and cultural values are of outstanding national significance.

Recreation

Recognised as Canberra's leading ecotourism attraction, Tidbinbilla offers outstanding wildlife and nature-based experiences in a natural setting as well as opportunities to find out about the conservation initiatives at Tidbinbilla. At the Visitor Centre you can explore the interpretation gallery,  then have a coffee or light meal at the Tidbinbilla kiosk. In the Tidbinbilla shop you can search for a unique momento of your visit. In the reserve itself you can enjoy a picnic or barbecue with family and friends at one of the many picnic areas while the children enjoy the Nature Discovery Playground.

Ranger-guided activities are popular with visitors and can be booked online at www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au. Experience wonderful wetland wildlife in the Sanctuary, find a koala in the eucalypt forest or watch for platypus at Black Flats Dam or in the Sanctuary. For the more energetic, there are the mountain bike trails around Jedbinbilla  and Gibraltar Peak. If walking is more your style, then there are over 20 marked walking trails ranging from an easy short stroll to an all day bushwalk. Overnight accommodation is available at Nil Desperandum, an historic rammed earth cottage and can be booked through: booking website.

Conservation

Successful breeding programs for the critically endangered Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, the Tasmanian Bettong and the Northern Corroboree Frog are managed at Tidbinbilla. You can see Northern Corroboree Frogs at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre. At the Rock-wallaby habitat you may glimpse this  shy wallaby basking on a rock.

Tidbinbilla also protects a wide range of other wildlife including koalas, emus, kangaroos, platypus, wombats, potoroos, wallaroos, possums, water birds and much more.

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla offers fabulous opportunities to experience nature. A wetlands ecosystem, surrounded by bushland and protected by a predator-proof fence, provides a safe refuge for a range of native animals. Stroll along a wheelchair accessible pathway past a series of interconnected ponds.  Search for platypus from the boardwalks, observe the resident and migratory bird life, explore granite outcrops or get up close to our reptiles. Volunteer interpreters will share their knowledge and passion for the bush with you on weekends, public and school holidays.

A place for learning

Birrigai at Tidbinbilla offers environmental and outdoor educational overnight camps and day programs (linked to the Australian curriculum) for schools, corporate and community groups using purpose-built accommodation and catering facilities. Ranger-guided talks at Tidbinbilla can also be booked. For  more information go to www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au

A place for volunteering

If you have a passion for the natural environment and enjoy sharing it with others, then why not join the Friends of Tidbinbilla ParkCare group, the Tidbinbilla Pioneers Association or the team of volunteer interpreters managed by CVA. Full training is provided.Further information

vip@conservationvolunteers.com.au

Website: www.conservationvolunteers.com.au

Tidbinbilla website: www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au

Discover our wild side and venture on an exclusive, behind the scenes endangered wildlife experience. Participants will see first hand the role Tidbinbilla plays in breeding the critically endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and the Northern Corroboree Frog. Personally contribute to this important  research as you assist Tidbinbilla staff with the breeding and monitoring program. Stay overnight at Nil Desperandum, a pioneer homestead hidden away in a tranquil valley. The tour is run in partnership between Tidbinbilla and CVA. For more information call 1800 032 501 or go to www.naturewise.com.au

Please remember

  • Respect the natural environment and other visitors.
  • Cycling is allowed on formed roads and trails only.
  • There are no bins at Tidbinbilla.
  • Leave your pets at home.
  • Only light fires in authorised fireplaces.
  • No camping in the reserve.
  • Drive carefully. For both your safety and our wildlife.
  • Please observe the 35 kilometres speed limit.

Opening times

The Visitor Information Centre and kiosk are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm all year.

The reserve gates open daily in summer from 7.30 am to 8. pm and daily in winter from 7.30 am to 6 pm.

Entry fees apply. The reserve may be closed on days of total fire ban, high winds or for management requirements. Closed Christmas Day.

Located approximately 40 minute's drive from the city centre. (from the city/northside, use Cotter Road and Paddys River Road. From Tuggeranong, use Point Hut Road and Tidbinbilla Road.Further information

Please visit "Contact Us" page.

Short walks and places of interest

1. CONGWARRA TRAIL

3 - 4 kilometres one hour Easy

An easy stroll from the Visitor Centre through open grassland that takes you to the Nature Discovery Playground (1.5kilometres, 30 minutes). From here, trails meander down to the Tidbinbilla River and connect to Dalsetta via Webbs, Greens and Sheedys picnic areas.

2. BIRRIGAI TIME TRAIL

3 kilometres return one hour Easy

From the Visitor Centre explore the Aboriginal and European heritage trail as it meanders up to the Birrigai Rock Shelter.

3. TURKEY HILL TRAIL

500 metres return 15 minutes Easy

From Dalsetta, take a short walk among the granite tors of Turkey Hill.

4. XANTHORRHOEA LOOP

2.5 kilometres return 45 minutes Moderate

From Dalsetta, this walk climbs to a magnificent stand of grass trees.

5. ROCK VALLEY HERITAGE SITE

Park at site

Learn about early European settlement in the Tidbinbilla Valley by visiting the restored ruins of Rock Valley Homestead, built in 1895.

6. CHURCH ROCK HERITAGE LOOP

2.5 kilometres return one hour Easy

Follow the footsteps of Aboriginal people and the early pioneers on this heritage walk to Church Rock. Great views and stories. Starts at Flints.

7. BUSHLAND MEANDER

1.6 kilometres return one hour Easy

A lovely stroll through open woodland. Look for wallaroos, kangaroos and wallabies. Starts from Black Flats car park.

8. BLACK FLATS DAM

300 metres return 15 minutes Easy

A short walk to enjoy the tranquility of Black Flats Dam and its water birds, platypus and other wildlife.

9. SANCTUARY LOOP

2.1 kilometres return 90 minutes Easy

A series of interconnected habitat zones, linked by a wheelchair-friendly walking trail. See Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies, platypus, echidnas, birds, and other animals in their natural habitats.

10. HANGING ROCK

500 m return 25 minutes Easy

A short walk near Ashbrook Creek through the tall eucalypts brings you to granite tors once used by local Aboriginal people.

11. KOALA PATH

700m return 20 minutes Easy

Look up for koalas, wombats, potoroos and wallabies.

12. PEPPERMINT TRAIL

1.8 kilometres return 45 minutes Easy

From the Koala Path, follow the gravel track through the tall eucalypt trees and across Mountain Creek. Great for viewing koalas and forest birds.

13. CASCADES TRAIL

1.8 kilometres return one hour Moderate

This walk climbs through the wet forest and meets a cascading mountain stream. Starts from the Mountain Creek car park.

14. LYREBIRD TRAIL

2 kilometres return one hour Moderate

This trail passes in and out of moist fern-filled gullies and open forest. Look and listen for signs of the Superb Lyrebird, particularly during winter.

Longer, harder walks

15. ASHBROOK FIRE TRAIL

6.5 kilometres return two hours Moderate

From Hanging Rock car park, explore tall forests and wet gullies before crossing Ashbrook Creek. Continue up to the locked gate on Mountain Creek Road then return the same way.

16. FISHING GAP

7.7 kilometres return three hours Hard

Tall Mountain Gums and fern gullies frame this meandering walk along the fire trail. The walk ends at the saddle and returns the same way.

17. DEVILS GAP

6 kilometres return two hours Moderate

A short but steep walk up the fire trail through dry mountain eucalypt forest. The walk ends at the boundary gate and returns on the same trail.

18. GIBRALTAR PEAK

8.2 kilometres return 3-4 hours Moderate-Hard

The most direct route to Gibraltar Peak starts from Dalsetta, passing grasslands before the climb to Eliza Saddle. The trail then traverses for a short distance. After a steep climb, Gibraltar Peak is reached. Return via the same route or take the longer route via Eliza Saddle, Birrigai Time Trail,  the Visitor Centre and Congwarra Trail. You can also return on the Gibraltar Fire Trail.

19. NIL DESPERANDUM

13.8 kilometres return 4 hours Moderate

From the Visitor Centre, take the Congwarra Trail to Webbs, then follow the signs through Jedbinbilla to Nil Desperandum, a restored homestead built around 1895. You can also walk from Greens (8.6 kilometres return three hours).

20. CAMELS HUMP (Option 1)

19 kilometres return 8 hours Hard

Starting at the Visitor Centre, take the Congwarra Trail to Webbs then follow the signs through Jedbinbilla to Camels Hump fire trail. This walk lets you experience a little bit of everything that Tidbinbilla has to offer including great views.

21. CAMELS HUMP (Option 2)

11.6 kilometres return 6 hours Hard

From Mountain Creek, climb to one of the highest ridges in the ACT. Enjoy stunning views. The walk ends at Camels Hump and returns on the same path.