Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla offers outstanding wildlife viewing, bushwalking, great BBQ spots and fun for kids on the Discovery Playground. The nature reserve borders Namadgi National Park and is nestled between the Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar Ranges to the south of Canberra. With fourteen protected habitats including wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, wet and dry forests and sub-alpine areas, the reserve supports a wide range of wildlife.

Tidbinbilla is considered a leader in wildlife reproductive biology through its work on the Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby program, other macropod species such as potoroos and wallabies and with the endangered Northern Corroboree Frog. State of the art facilities, including a fully equipped veterinary surgery and Animal Breeding Centre, support the success of the program.


Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is an ideal destination for families and school groups. Activities available at the reserve include:

  • Scenic driving through the reserve including car access to a lookout that provides panoramic views of the Tidbinbilla Valley
  • Picnicking at one of several picnic spots
  • Bushwalks on formed walking trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging day trips
  • Bike riding on sealed roads and fire trails
  • Ranger guided activities for groups.
  • School holiday program during ACT school holidays.

Tidbinbilla has the Nature Discovery Playground where children can pump water like a pioneer, ride a flying fox and become part of a large sun dial.

The Sanctuary is a wheelchair and stroller friendly precinct where pathways link a series of exhibits that encourage visitors to experience nature, encounter wildlife and explore how plants and animals and their habitats are interconnected.

Tidbinbilla’s Visitor Centre provides a great introduction to the reserve. Staff and volunteers are available to help you get the best experience while visiting the reserve.


The mountains that surround Tidbinbilla are a place of spiritual significance to Aboriginal people. The name Tidbinbilla is derived from the Aboriginal word Jedbinbilla – a place where boys become men.

Tidbinbilla is recognised as a highly significant Aboriginal place with the highest density of artefacts found in the ACT. Important sites in the Reserve include:

  • Birrigai Rock Shelter – the oldest known Aboriginal site in the ACT region which contains evidence of occupation dating back to the last ice-age 21,000 years ago
  • Bogong Rocks – a Bogong moth resting site, this shelter contains evidence that the moth was an important seasonal food source for Aboriginal people
  • Tidbinbilla Mountain – it is believed this site was used for initiation ceremonies and is sacred to the local Aboriginal people

Europeans settled the valley in the mid-1800s and the remains of early rural structures and equipment can be visited along several walking trails within the reserve. Two notable examples of European cultural heritage are the remnants of Nil Desperandum and Rock Valley Homesteads. These pise, or rammed earth, structures were built in the 1890s and remained intact until the January 2003 bushfires. Rock Valley has been partially restored and Nil Desperandum has been fully restored.


To plan your trip to Tidbinbilla, visit www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au/home

Download: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – A brief Guide and Map