This is a modest 2km walk which is graded easy with the suggestion that it can be completed in an hour.
While there is a bit of a pull up to the Church Rock the loop walk is, overall, easy and I took around 50mins to complete it.
Both this walk and the Birrigai Time Trail are “sold” as heritage walks – the Birrigai Time Trail covering both Aboriginal and European settlement in the area while this walk focuses on European settlement. While there certainly is a story to be told about 19th and early 20th century European settlement in the area there is actually nothing to see in relation to this settlement bar a 21st century recreated homestead entrance gate and post box and another 21st century gate.
That said, the brochure accompanying this walk (pick it up from the stand at the start of the walk) relates the harsh realities of life here in pre-reserve days. Life was hard but people got on with it and made the best of it. As Phylis Morton (nee Flint) from the area noted:
“Life at Tidbinbilla in the early days was very isolated and quite hard but worry free.
…. A good dance would finish at dawn; it was a real night out, then we would go home and milk the cows”
I recall my grandfather making similar comments about country life in Ireland.
Self-sufficiency was the order of the day. The local community, indeed, had to build its own school though the government provided a part time teacher.
Notwithstanding the lack of historical sites the walk itself is a pleasant way to spend an hour or so. Having plodded your way though quite an area of kangaroo and emu dung (you will see Kangaroos and emus so that is some consolation for walking through their faeces!) you start ascending towards Church Rock on the other side of the Old Tidbinbilla Road.
This relatively easy ascent affords some nice views back to the valley and the mountains behind the valley.
Church Rock is so called because of the tall spire like rock (Picture 1) which could be seen from the valley below in the 1800s which perhaps gave the area its religious significance. Catholic mass was said here and the priest would take children to the rock for religious instruction.
Returning back to the car-park you will pass a couple of small ponds with a limited amount of birdlife – so worth a close look as you pass by.
All in all not a bad way to spend an hour or so, a good walk with good views.
This is walk 6 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.