As you may have guessed there is, in fact, no walk in the Reserve with the name Sore Neck though for a country with places like Mount Buggery, Titwobble Lane and many more in a similar vain (see my Australia introduction review for many more) it would not be a surprise if there was. What I refer to as Sore Neck walk is in fact two walks – Koala Path, a very easy 700m loop walk which can easily be done in 15-20 minutes and Peppermint Trail an equally easy 1.8 kms loop walk which can be done in 30-45 mins. Koala Path is actually wheelchair accessible.
I have included both these walks in the same review as they are of similar scenery and intent and are indeed within the same fence enclosed area. Essentially Koala Path is a sealed surface sub-part of the gravel Peppermint Trail.
The walks take you through a wet eucalyptus forest and crisscrosses the beautiful bubbling Mountain Creek. You will readily notice a marked variation between the pre 2003 bushfire and post 2003 bushfire vegetation – compare my second and third pictures attached. Even in springtime the smell of the eucalypts pervade and add to the experience – in the dry heat of summer it gets very strong but never overbearing.
As suggested by the name “Koala Path” the primary focus of these walks is to spot a koala in the trees. For the information of visitors koalas are not bears! They are not easy to spot as typically they sit fairly high up in the eucalyptus trees. I have done the walk numerous times now and have an approx 50% success rate in spotting one along the walk.
Just inside the enclosure there is now a smaller enclosure where typically a koala or two are kept lest, I imagine, you don’t see one along the main walk. On my most recent visit I did spot one outside the enclosure but it only wished to share its posterior with visitors – not the best advertisement for the walk.
By now you may have worked out why I entitled this review Sore Neck Walk… simple, you spend most of an hour and a half walking round head in the air trying to spot a koala in the tree-tops such that you are likely to have a sore neck by the end of it. Yes, if you are determined to see a koala you will spend longer than the time it would normally take to do the walk without such a distraction.
While on koalas, you will come across (within 200m of the enclosure entrance) a brass plaque affixed to a large rock, a memorial to a koala called Lucky who died in 2008. Lucky was the only koala known to have survived when a fire ravaged the Reserve in January 2003. Very sad and a harsh reminder that this reserve and many parts of Australia are tinderboxes during our long hot summers. Be careful with fire any time of year here.
Please do not spend all your time on this walk looking into the tree tops – keep an eye out for wombats, wallabies, echidnas and many species of birds and reptiles and enjoy the scenery generally. Well worth the effort even if you miss out on seeing a koala.
Koala Path and Peppermint Trail are walks 11 and 12 respectively on the Discover Tidbinbilla guide which you can download or pick up from the visitors centre as you enter the Reserve. Park at the Eucalypt Forest car-park.
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.