Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a 54.5 square kilometres protected area, on the fringe of Namadgi National Park in Canberra, Australia. Tidbinbilla is home to a wide range of wildlife including koalas, emus, kangaroos, platypus, wombats, potoroos, wallaroos, possums, water birds, echidnas, snakes and much more.
Located around 35km or 40 minutes drive from the Canberra CBD, Tidbinbilla is a fantastic spot to escape the city and enjoy wildlife and nature.
The first stop is the Visitor Centre, where you can pick up a map, shop for a unique gift or grab a coffee or light snack in the kiosk. There are many picnic and barbecue areas throughout Tidbinbilla however no proper cafes, so either grab a snack such as ice cream, hot pies and sausage rolls, cold drinks (vegetarian options available) or BYO food.
Pick up a map of the reserve and a kids nature trail. It has a list of animals to tick off and makes for a fun activity to encourage kids to keep their eyes peeled.
Tidbinbilla manages breeding programs for the critically endangered Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, the Tasmanian Bettong and the Northern Corroboree Frog, the last of which you can see at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre. The Rock-wallaby is shy but may be glimpsed in the Rock-wallaby habitat.
To enter the reserve requires passing through a gate and paying an entry fee. There are numerous walking trails throughout the reserve. The park rangers can advise on which is best for your individual needs and desires.
We wanted to see wildlife and a not-too-long walk so were recommended parking at the Ribbon Gum car park to access two walks, the Koala Path and Sanctuary Loop.
The Koala Path is a 700m return walk that takes around 20 minutes and is graded easy. There are plenty of koalas to be spotted here, as well as wombats, potoroos and wallabies.
The Sanctuary Loop is a 2.1 km return circular track that takes around 90 minutes and is graded easy. It consists of a series of interconnected habitat zones which are linked by a wheelchair-friendly walking trail. The Sanctuary is surrounded by a predator-proof fence, providing a safe refuge for the wildlife within.
The trail takes winding turns through various habitats including wetlands and bush. Animals such as Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies, platypus, echidnas, birds, and other animals can be seen here. We were lucky enough to spot platypus swimming and other visitors we ran into saw a large snake. We also saw beautiful swans and pelicans.
Nature Discovery Playground
A last stop on the way out, the Nature Discovery Playground is perfect for kids. I would suggest this area for a picnic after seeing the animals on the other walks.
The playground is sprawling and features various zones with a nature theme. There are play areas for different ages including slides, a flying fox and climbing equipment.
Know before you go
There are no bins at Tidbinbilla so take your rubbish with you.
No pets allowed.
No camping in the reserve.
Fires only permitted in authorised places.
Drive carefully and observe the 35 km speed limit for the safety of the wildlife.
A vehicle is required to access Tidbinbilla with a 15km ring road taking you through the Reserve.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Paddy’s River Road,
Paddys River ACT
Access is off Paddy’s River Road, via Cotter Road (Weston Creek). An alternative route via Drakeford Drive, Woodcock Ave and Point Hut Crossing (Gordon) allows access via Tidbinbilla Road. Drive time is less than 20 minutes.
Hours: Visitors Centre daily 9am-5pm. reserve gates daily, winter 7:30am-6pm, summer 7:30am-8pm.
Parking: Entry fees are required to enter the park. A day pass is $13 for a vehicle with seats for up to 8 people.
Download the guide here.
Find more things to to in Canberra here.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!