One of the highlights of my last year’s visit to Australia was my trip to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Honestly, the journey to this amazing land was not part of my original tour plan in Australia, but when I searched about the wildlife attractions near Canberra, the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve comes out as a major attraction. The Reserve is no far from the Australia’s capital, Canberra. It took me just an hour to reach Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve from my hotel in Canberra on my car. At the start of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve that covers almost 55 square kilometers of an area, there is an information centre that can give you the detailed maps of the area and gives you some useful advice about your trip and wildlife in the area.
I had experience of seeing number of different animals in the year that includes Kangaroos that are abundant in this area, platypus, emus, koalas and cockatoos. The entrance is very cheap with just $10 for an entry pass for a car or $30 for a yearly pass. For those who live in Canberra and other neighboring cities and towns, getting a $30 annual pass is a very affordable option. Beside an opportunity to see lots of animals including hundreds of Kangaroos, the area has a lot to offer to families that includes kids parks and great BBQ areas.
The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is situated at the edge of Namadgi National Park. The area covered by Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve includes Gibraltar Range, Tidbinbilla Mountain and a large valley floor. The word “Tidbinbilla” has Aboriginal origins that refer to a place where boys become men. The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve was included in the list of Australian National Heritage on 7th November, 2008.
There are kangaroos and other animals everywhere in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The place offers you a large variety of bush walks from a small walk of 30 minutes to a long 6 hour walk that consists of steep slopes and challenging mountain range. Even though, the place is a native habitat of many animals including Kangaroos, but I was unable to find couple of animals like wallabies and lyrebirds that were included in leaflet I got from the information centre.
The Bendora bushfire in 2003 caused a tremendous blow to the wildlife in this area that almost burnt down the area covered in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve today. Though, the Australian government did best to make it a natural habitat of local wildlife again and it doesn’t feel like that the area was burned down completely 10 years ago. The number of animals is surely reduced after the bushfire in 2003, but you can still manage to see some live animals if you are planning to walk deep into the valley. I spent a whole day in the area and saw at least 7 to 8 kinds of animals.
There are number of facilities provided at the Reserve that includes a ring road, picnic tables, BBQ spots, boardwalk and bathrooms. You can park your car anywhere near the ring road if you want to go on bush-walks that leads from the ring road at some places. I saw many people who were using their cars for a short round around the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on a ring road, while others prefer to park their cars and go on a walking trip. There are different cafe available in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to give you good food so if you are not taking your lunch with you, the food is available for few dollars. If you have more time to explore, I recommend you to go on bush-walks but if you are only here for an hour, a quick drive on a ring road may find you some kangaroos and other wildlife.
At the centre, there is a large kids play area with a flying fox and many other kids interests. From toddlers to 12 years old, everyone can find something of interest in the adventure playground. There is a fun visitor’s centre with a display area with number of reptiles including some rare species like Corroboree Frog. Along different walks into the wilderness, there is a walk especially designed for people with wheelchair. If you want to see some other animals beside Kangaroos, like emus and platypus, you may have to go to a fantastic walk around wetlands. It is only there I was able to find these animals.
For those who are visiting Canberra cannot miss to add a visit to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in their Australia’s traveling adventure. It brings you near to nature, wildlife and you can see Kangaroos, the species only found in Australia. A good time to visit is in summer or dry season to avoid floods. During the rainy season, most of the walkways and areas are often sealed off in the Reserves due to flooding, so avoid rainy season.