This is an absolute gem of a walk and quite a contract to other walks in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
It starts from the Mountain Creek car-park (as do the Camel’s Hump and Lyrebird walks) and very quickly you are under a cool canopy of trees and bush as you make you way upwards along a bubbling stream towards the cascades though you don’t get to see much of the stream on the way up.
Based on the path and the stone steps of a type not seen elsewhere in the Reserve this must be one of the older walks in the Reserve. I wouldn’t surprise me (and I might be entirely wrong) if the walk was laid down in the late 1800s and was a popular escape and Sunday promenade for the ladies (and indeed gentlemen) who resided in the Tidbinbilla Valley at the time. The drop in temperature along this walk would have been a very welcome relief from the searing summer temperatures in days when people didn’t have air conditioning. Today it provides the same relief but for visitors who might just have completed other walks or indeed the rather more arduous Camel’s Hump walk, as I had.
It’s a short walk of only 1.8kms, though unless you are pressed for time, I cannot see why you wouldn’t combine it with the Lyrebird walk making the total walk just over 3kms.
The Cascades Trail while classified a moderate walk, is not difficult though the path does have steps and you need to mind your step as it does get wet and slippery.
About 300-400 metres in from the car-park will come across an intersection. If you are doing this and the Lyrebird walk proceed to the Cascade Trail first otherwise you loose all economies of the combination.
Having selected the Cascades branch you will quickly move into a cool, moist rainforest type environment which continues to the end of the walk (about 1.5kms).
The cascades themselves are small – maybe 4-5 metres, don’t be expecting Iguaçu Falls, and indeed unless you venture out slightly onto a rock away from the edge of the stream you won’t see them at all. Small they may be but beautiful they are set in lush rainforest filled with wonderful ferns and moss covered rocks. As you make your down from the cascade along the stream you will see lots of giant ferns which, themselves, create a canopy for the mountain stream.
This is a beautiful walk in perfect tranquillity where all you will hear is the sound of gurgling water and the birds. It is almost as if this little oasis in the Reserve were man made given how it contrasts with the remainder of the Reserve.
Once you leave the stream behind you will come across an intersection – one way takes you back to the car-park the other takes you along the Lyrebird Trail.
This is walk 13 on the Discover Tidbinbilla guide which you can download or pick up from the visitors centre as you enter the Reserve.
For details on park entrance fees and other general information about the Reserve and links to other walks see my introductory Tidbinbilla review.
Address: Paddy’s River Road, via Cotter Road (Weston Creek
Directions: Follow Tourist Route 5 from Canberra.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries on Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. To continue with my next entry chick HERE.
To start at the beginning of this loop click HERE.