National Parks and Nature Reserves

National Parks and Nature Reserves

Due to recent bushfire and flood activity, park and reserve openings may vary. Before you hit the road to these natural wonderlands, check the latest opening and safety information

With their spectacular scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and a landscape rich in history, Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve spoil you with their range of remote wilderness experiences.  

Talk to the animals

Whether it's southern brush-tailed rock wallabies, echidnas, platypus, wombats, or possums, you’re sure to see a range of Australian native animals at The Sanctuary in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Wander through wetlands, forests, grasslands and subalpine habitats in the reserve to spot more native animals. Keep an eye out for koalas and emus in Namadgi National Park.

A girl looking at a koala in a tree
Meet the locals at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Aboriginal history

Namadgi National Park has a rich Aboriginal history for the Ngunnawal people, with archaeological sites showing a presence for at least 21,000 years in the area. This was also an important gathering place to neighbouring clans from the Ngarigo, Wolgalu, Gundungurra, Yuin and Wiradjuri nations.

Take a hike

Hiking is a popular activity at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, where walkers are rewarded with sweeping views and seasonal flowering of Australian native plants. Choose from more than 20 marked trails ranging from easy 15-minute strolls to all-day bushwalks. Many of the popular trails are wheelchair-friendly and there is always a quiet place to sit, reconnect with nature and take wonderful photographs. Bring a picnic or take advantage of the free barbecues available.

Popular walks and features in Namadgi National Park for day visitors include Square Rock, Booroomba Rocks, Gibraltar Falls, Yerrabi Walking Track, Nursery Swamp and Mount Franklin.

A group of hikers on a rock at Gibraltar Peak at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Enjoy the views from Gibraltar Peak, one of the many walking trails at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Guided activities

Learn about the natural and cultural history of the area in the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre, or join in a ranger-guided activity, held every weekend and public holiday. Whether it’s feeding the pelicans, taking part in a twilight tour or playing 'spot' with a platypus, there are plenty of options to choose from.

A group of people chat to a ranger alongside a pond at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Learn about native birds and wildlife with the help of the knowledgeable rangers at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Namadgi adventure time

Whether you’re into mountain biking, horse-riding, snow-play, fishing or simply want to relax, there are plenty of options at Namadgi National Park.

There are more than 400 kilometres of formed vehicle trails available to cyclists within Namadgi National Park, Brindabella National Park and Bimberi Nature Reserve, and horse riding is also permitted along designated trails as part of the National Bicentennial Trail.

Centenary Trail bike ride
Take a ride through the Canberra region to appreciate the long, rolling hills.

In winter, snow can fall over any part of the park but is most common on the Bimberi and Brindabella Ranges. Tyre chains may be required to explore further, so best to contact the Namadgi Visitor Centre before you head out on any snow play adventure.

Fishing is permitted in some Namadgi mountain streams, but it’s important to note any seasonal closures. Dams within Namadgi, namely Corin and Bendora, are classified as prohibited waterways, which means they are closed to fishing. 

Camping is another popular option in Canberra, particularly next to the popular swimming hole at the Cotter. Fees apply and bookings are required - book online today.

But wait there’s more

Take the opportunity to explore the wider Tidbinbilla and Namadgi area. Voyage into space at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, buy an ice cream in the quaint village of Tharwa, visit Lanyon Homestead, ride the alpine bobsled at Corin Forest Mountain Resort in summer or toboggan downhill on snow in winter. Why not make a weekend of it?

Sound like fun but not sure how to get there? No worries – organise your hire car and you’ll soon be on your way.