Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Australian Capital Territory

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is situated on the border of Namadgi National Park in the south east of the Australian Capital Territory; about 40 minutes drive from Canberra. The reserve is approximately 5500 hectares consisting of a large valley, the Tidbinbilla mountain range and the Gibraltar range. The lower slopes are partially cleared but the steeper slopes are well forested and relatively undisturbed. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park adjoin Kosciusko National Park in New South Wales and form the northern part of the Australian Alps.

Tidbinbilla is popular for a range of activities from relaxing family picnic or barbecue, to rugged bushwalking. The Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre provides a good introduction to the Reserve, and staff can help you plan your activities for the day. The gift shop sells gifts and souvenirs, clothes, and coffee and light refreshments are available.

There are many ways to enjoy Tidbinbilla from a scenic drive through the reserve to the lookout, relaxing picnic or barbecue at one of the many pleasant picnic spots, bushwalks on the graded walking tracks, or cycling along the sealed roads and fire trails

Within Tidbinbilla there is a range of habitat types including wetlands, grasslands, dry forests, wet forests and sub-alpine regions. The sub-alpine is dominated by snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), with shrubs such as Acacia and Leptospermum, and grasses.

The varied habitat is home to a range of native fauna including 164 bird species, and numerous reptile, frog and mammal species. Visitors to the Reserve may see eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, koalas, lyrebirds, cockatoos and sometimes emu, which were introduced to the area. If you go spotlighting at night you might see brush-tail possums or ring-tail possums, and perhaps even a greater glider. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a platypus in one of the dams in the wetlands area.

Tidbinbilla is involved in captive wildlife management, of particular note is breeding program for the endangered Northern Corroboree Frog and the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby. Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies have not been seen in the wild at Tidbinbilla for 50 years and believed to be extinct in the wild in the Australian Capital Territory and are critically endangered in Victoria. Northern Corroboree Frogs live only in the subalpine areas of the Australian Capital Territory and neighbouring parts of New South Wales, and are under threat of extinction.

In 2008, the new Sanctuary opened at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The Sanctuary is a redevelopment of the Tidbinbilla wetlands area, and features free ranging wildlife with no fences between the animals and visitors. Animals on display include the endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, koalas, echidnas, platypus, reptiles, birds and insects. The upgraded wetlands now feature a boardwalk with hides for bird viewing, and visitors can feed water birds such as pelicans. A new Veterinary Centre has been built to replace the previous facilities destroyed in the January 2003 bushfires.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is located at Paddys River Rd, Tidbinbilla, ACT. Opening hours for the Reserve grounds are 9pm to 6pm (to 8pm during daylight saving). The Reserve is open every day except Christmas Day. You can buy a Day Pass for a private vehicle (up to 8 seats), or an annual pass for a private vehicle (up to 8 seats) at very reasonable cost.

Related posts:

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  2. Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle, New South Wales
  3. Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary, Kulnura, New South Wales
  4. Gluepot Reserve, Birds Australia Conservation Reserve, South Australia
  5. The Koala Hospital, Macquarie Nature Reserve, Port Macquarie

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