|Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve|
Australian Capital Territory
|Area||54.5 km2 (21.0 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||Territory and Municipal Services|
|Website||Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve|
|See also|| Australian Capital Territory|
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a 54.5 square kilometres (21.0 sq mi) protected area, on the fringe of Namadgi National Park. Tidbinbilla is a short drive from the capital city of Australia, Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory. It is the traditional Country of the Ngunnawal people.
Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved.
Namadgi National Park is a protected area in the south-west of the Australian Capital Territory, bordering Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales. It lies approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Canberra, and makes up approximately 46% of the ACT's land area.
A capital city is the municipality exercising primary status in a country, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is often designated by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, the different branches of government are located in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the official (constitutional) capital and the seat of government, which is in another place.
The nature reserve consists of a large valley floor, the Tidbinbilla Mountain and the Gibraltar range. The sides of the valley are steep and relatively undisturbed. The lower slopes of the valley are partly cleared and have a significant history of Aboriginal and European use. Tidbinbilla Mountain is believed to have been used for Aboriginal initiation ceremonies. The word 'Tidbinbilla' is Aboriginal in origin and comes from the word Jedbinbilla – a place where boys become men.
Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Evidence of fires in South-West Australia suggest 'human presence in Australia 120,000 years ago', although more research is required. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.
Known sites of Aboriginal significance at Tidbinbilla include the Birriagi Rock Shelter, which is the oldest Aboriginal site within the Australian Capital Territory. Bogong Rocks is a shelter where the oldest evidence of Aboriginal occupation was found at a bogong moth resting site.
The nature reserve is classified as an IUCN Category II protected area.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".
Aborigines have inhabited the Tidbinbilla area since antiquity. Archaeological digs at Birrigai, over the hill from Tidbinbilla, found the earliest evidence of the use of fire, dated at 20,000 years old. This was at the time of the last ice age. Excavations at Hanging Rock has dated occupation of that site to some 16,000 years.
The name Tidbinbilla is derived from the Aboriginal word ‘Jedbinbilla' meaning a place where boys become men. The last corroboree, an Australian Aboriginal dance ceremony, held at Tidbinbilla was circa 1904. There are aboriginal rock paintings to be found at Gibraltar Peak in a small cave.
There are over 100 years of European tenancy within the nature reserve. Nil Desperandum and Rock Valley Homestead are both pise rammed earth buildings built in the 1890s. Both buildings were built by George Green and George Hatcliff. Nil Desperandum is a historic four-roomed residence alongside Hurdle Creek first occupied by Henry French Gillman. The remains of a commercial camellia plantation and the best preserved eucalyptus distillery in the ACT are also nearby.
Rammed earth, also known as taipa in Portuguese, tapial or tapia in Spanish, pisé in French, and hangtu, is a technique for constructing foundations, floors, and walls using natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime, or gravel. It is an ancient method that has been revived recently as a sustainable building material used in a technique of natural building.
The Rock Valley Homestead was occupied by the Green family. Nil Desperandum was later occupied by George Greens daughter Elsie Jane and her husband Eric Blewitt from the early 1930s to the early 1950s when Eric was killed drenching a horse.
Both Nil Desperandum and the Rock Valley Homestead buildings were severely damaged during the 2003 Canberra bushfires. Nil Desperandum has since been rebuilt in its original condition and design with the kitchen extension but not the enclosed side verandah that the two brothers John Douglas (Doug) & Cyril Leslie (Ned) both slept in.
In 1936 about 8.10 square kilometres (3.13 sq mi) were set aside as a public reserve. In 1939 a koala enclosure was built by the Institute of Anatomy. The government acquired additional land to establish a national park and fauna reserve in 1962, extending the national park to 36.29 square kilometres (14.01 sq mi). Tidbinbilla was later expanded again to its current size.
In 1966 the park saw the appointment of park ranger and later manager, David Kerr. He developed many of the bush walking tracks, enclosures, water fowl areas and roads throughout the park. Under his management the Cape Barren goose enclosure and conservation scheme was developed which has significantly contributed to the survival of the endangered species. In 1969 the first wildlife displays were created. David oversaw the importation of Victorian koalas to the park, the establishment of kangaroo enclosures and the creation of the water fowl areas. Many of the picnic areas enjoyed by generations of visitors were established under his management. David left Tidbinbilla in 1970 to oversee the foundation of Namadji National Park.
In 1971 the nature reserve was officially gazetted.
The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is located adjacent to the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, part of the NASA Deep Space Network.
1988 saw one of the world's first international TV satellite linkups "World Safari" be broadcast from Tidbinbilla's kangaroo enclosure. The ABC linked up with fellow broadcasters across the globe in a live natural history program, which was an idea from David's daughter, Fiona Kerr.
In 2003, bush fires devastated the nature reserve with many of the koala population being lost to the fires. The Manager's Residence was also lost and there was damage to the Heritage listed Rock Valley and Nil Desperandum homesteads.
On 7 November 2008, the nature reserve was added to the Australian National Heritage List as one of eleven areas constituting the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves.
Since 2011, Tidbinbilla has taken the charge of breeding of the critically endangered Northern Corroboree Frog, the Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and the Eastern Bettong on behalf of the ACT Government. It has been successful in the endeavour over the years.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has a wide variety of bushwalks - ranging from 30 minutes to over 6 hours. It is a native habitat for kangaroos, wallabies, platypus, koalas, lyrebirds, emus, and other wildlife. Ninety-nine percent of the park was burnt out in the Bendora bushfire of 18 January 2003, resulting in the loss of countless numbers of wildlife. Of the captive animals, only one koala, six rock wallabies, five potoroos, four freckled ducks, and nine black swans survived the bushfire.
There are a variety of walking trails which enable people to explore the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. There is a trail to suit all fitness levels and lengths of walks range from 30 minutes to 6 hours.
The Congwarra trail is ideal for families. It is a 3-4km walk that will take visitors approximately 1 hour to complete. This trail starts at the Visitor Centre and leads to the Nature Discovery Playground and picnic area. The playground design is inspired by the Tidbinbilla Valley and blends into the surrounding environment in an effort to preserve the park’s natural beauty .
The Birrigai Time Trail is an easy 3km walk that takes visitors back in time to explore the local Aboriginal and European heritage. Birrigai is the Ngunnawal word for laughter . This trail is a predominantly flat walk that starts at the Visitor Centre and ends at the Birrigai Rock Shelter . Birrigai is the Ngunnawal word for laughter.
The Birrigai Rock Shelter is the oldest Aboriginal rock shelter in the ACT. It is highly valued by the local Aboriginal community as it has a high level of cultural significance. Artefacts have been found at the shelter dating back 25,000 years .
This short trail is approximately 500m and will take visitors 15 minutes. Granite boulders and panoramic mountains surround this as visitors make their way up to Turkey Hill. Drive from the Visitor Centre to the Dalsetta carpark to access the start of this trail.
Start this walk at Dalsetta carpark and follow the small brown signs that line the trail. This trail overlaps with the longer Gibraltar Peak trail.
Xanthorrhoea Loop is named after the Xanthorrhoea group of 30 species of native Australian plants. This group of plants are commonly referred to as grass treesare seen along the trail.
This walk starts at the Flints BBQ area in Tidbinbilla and is 2.5km long. It is an easy walk designed for low intensity exercise.
The walk takes visitors past early European settler sites and remains which date back to the late 1800s. Explore the history of the Flints Homestead and Sheedy’s Home Site as the path slowly winds up the hillside and loops around the reserve.
The slowly winds up the hillside and crosses over the main road that loops around the reserve. On the walk visitors will come across a bench that they can rest on while they take in the spectacular mountain views.
After taking in the views of the Gibralter Ranges there will be a short walk to the Church Rock. Diaries dating back to the 1800s indicate the bass of the rock was the meeting point for children to receive religious lessons. There is also evidence the local Aboriginal people used this rock as meeting place.
The Sanctuary Loop allows visitors at Tidbinbilla to be up close and personal with a range of native animals in their natural habitat. The 2.5km loop is easy and flat walk with well signposted with information about the local history and the native flora and fauna. The wheelchair accessible and child friendly pathway winds through a series of interconnected habitats .
In the Sanctuary visitors will be able to get close to Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies, platypus, echidnas, birds, and other animals in their natural habitats. While they are interesting to look at it is important that visitors do not touch or disturb these wild animals.
This moderate to hard level walking trail is 8.2km long and will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. Starting at Dalsetta the trail passes through open grassland before it climbs to Eliza Saddle. After taking a short break at the picnic table here continue up the steep climb through rugged bushland to the Gibraltar Peak viewpoint.
As visitors ascend the boulders of the viewpoint they are able to take in 360 degree views of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra and Black Mountain Tower.
In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Bunjil is a creator deity, culture hero and ancestral being, often depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle. In the Kulin nation in central Victoria he was regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being Waa the crow. Bunjil has two wives and a son, Binbeal the rainbow. His brother is Palian the bat. He is assisted by six wirmums or shamans who represent the clans of the Eaglehawk moiety: Djart-djart the nankeen kestrel, Thara the quail hawk, Yukope the parakeet, Lar-guk the parrot, Walert the brushtail possum and Yurran the gliding possum.
The Garigal National Park is a protected national park that is located within the North Shore and Forest District regions of Sydney, New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 2,202-hectare (5,440-acre) national park is situated approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the Sydney central business district.
Flinders Chase National Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located at the west end of Kangaroo Island about 177 kilometres west-south west of the state capital of Adelaide and 110 kilometres west of the municipal seat of Kingscote. It is a sanctuary for endangered species and home to a few geological phenomena. It was the second national park to be declared in South Australia.
Yanchep is a national park in Western Australia, 42 kilometres (26 mi) north of Perth. The park is noted for its caves, native bush and koala colonies. It also offers cultural educational programmes offered in partnership with the local Nyoongar aboriginal people.
Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. It lies in the state of South Australia 112 km (70 mi) southwest of Adelaide. Its closest point to the mainland is Snapper Point in Backstairs Passage which is 13.5 km (8.4 mi) from the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Ngunnawal or Gundungurra is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language, the traditional language of the Ngunnawal and Gandangara peoples. There are contradictory claims as to whether they are one language or two. The name Burragorang is applied to either.
The Muogamarra Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in the Sydney region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 2,274-hectare (5,620-acre) reserve is situated in the northern edge of Sydney and lies between the suburb of Cowan to the south, and the Hawkesbury River to the north.
Rainforestation Nature Park is situated five minutes from Kuranda in Far North Queensland, Australia. Set on 100 acres (40 ha) in the midst of World Heritage rainforest, the park opened in 1976. The site had previously been used as a coffee and orange plantation.
The Alice Springs Desert Park is an environmental education facility and wildlife park in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Para Wirra Conservation Park is a 1,417-hectare (3,500-acre) protected area located in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges in the northern end of the Adelaide metropolitan area in South Australia. The conservation park is part of a larger, 2,573-hectare (6,360-acre) block of contiguous native vegetation, the remainder of which is owned by PIRSA Forestry, SA Water and private landholders.
Matilda Williams House was born in 1945 on the Erambie Aboriginal Reserve at Cowra, New South Wales (NSW), and raised in her grandfather’s house at Hollywood Aboriginal Reserve in Yass, NSW. When she was 12, House spent a year in Parramatta Girls' Home. House was one of ten children.
The Gibraltar Falls are a cascade waterfall on the Gibraltar Creek, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), approximately 50 kilometres from Canberra's city centre. The falls have a 50-metre (160-foot) drop.
Gibraltar Peak is a mountain with an elevation of 1,038 metres AHD that is located within the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, approximately 26.4 kilometres from Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory of Australia. Gibraltar Peak is the 45th highest mountain in the Australian Capital Territory. There are two tracks leading up to the summit of the mountain, the longer being 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) and the shorter being 8 kilometres (5.0 mi).
Gibraltar Creek, a perennial stream that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
Paddys River, a perennial stream that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
The Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves is a group of eleven protected areas consisting of national parks, nature reserves and one wilderness park located in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria and which was listed as a "place" on the Australian National Heritage List on 7 November 2008 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The listing which covers an area of 16,531.80 square kilometres (6,382.96 sq mi), contains the vast majority of alpine and sub-alpine environments in Australia. The listing includes the following protected areas - Alpine, Baw Baw, Brindabella, Kosciuszko, Mount Buffalo, Namadgi and Snowy River national parks; the Avon Wilderness Park, and the Bimberi, Scabby Range and Tidbinbilla nature reserves.
Corin Forest Mountain Resort is a commercial ski field and tourist destination located in the Tidbinbilla Range, south west of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Situated in a mountain ash forest near the Namadgi National Park, in winter, it offers Australia's most northerly lifted ski area, and the closest to the national capital of Canberra. A 1.2 km mountain slide operates in the warmer months.
The Humps is a granite rock formation known as a "stepped bornhardt inselberg". It is located within The Humps Nature Reserve approximately 295 kilometres (183 mi) east of Perth and 17 kilometres (11 mi) north east of Hyden in the eastern wheatbelt region of Western Australia.