A nature lover’s day out
Have you ever encountered a wild emu? If the answer’s no, your state of deprivation can be quickly rectified with a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, an expansive, protected area on the fringe of the Namadgi National Park, at the northern end of the Australian Alps. Around 40 minutes drive southwest of Canberra, Tidbinbilla is home to a huge variety of birdlife, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, platypi and some very accessible koalas. There are 21 trails to walk throughout the park, including an Aboriginal Heritage Walk. These range in difficulty from very easy – the wheelchair accessible Koala Path – to long and challenging uphill hikes, including one that leads to the rocky outcrop of Gibraltar Peak, which, when you make it to the top, has remarkable views out across the valley below. Venture further into Namadgi National Park to learn more about the local Ngunnawal people, who have lived on this land for at least 21,000 years. Popular walks for day visitors include hikes up to the granite boulders at Square Rock, the Yankee Hat rock art site in Gudgenby Valley and Mount Franklin (yes, of bottled water fame).