European History

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.

Tidbinbilla and Birrigai occupy what were the former Hatcliff and Blewitt family properties in the Tidbinbilla Valley. Buildings on the site are named in their memory. In reliving this period of our history, Birrigai at Tidbinbilla offers a range of colonial education programs. Students are transported back in time to a world of slates in the school room, panning for gold, setting up a homestead and working the land.

Learn about early European settlement in the Tidbinbilla Valley through visiting the restored ruins of historic Rock Valley Homestead built by George Green and George Hatcliff in 1895. Nil Desperandum homestead can be accessed via walking tracks through Jedbinbilla.

Nil Desperandum is available for short-term stays as the perfect base from which to engage in bushwalking, bird watching, stargazing, reading or relaxation. For terms and conditions or to make a booking go to

The Tidbinbilla Pioneers Association provide important knowledge of pioneer life in the 1800s, and valuable support in protecting the heritage values of the homestead sites.

Images of cottages