This is an easy 2.1km wetlands walk (a half loop can be completed) which according to the guide takes 1.5hrs. It can be done in much less than this though do spend a bit of time to enjoy the walk and the sights along the way. You could spend a few hours here. The walk (apart from a couple of very short side detours) is fully sealed, has a number of seats, and is wheel chair accessible. It is a great (must-do) introduction the the Reserve.
This and the Koala Path/ Peppermint Trail are easily the most popular walks at Tidbinbilla. While you won’t be alone on the walk numbers are such that it generally remains a tranquil experience especially if you do it during the week.
While you can start this walk at a few spots, I recommend you start at the Sanctuary car-park at the southern end of the loop. Toilet facilities can be found at this entrance should your require them.
The walk skirts and crosses, via boardwalks, a series of five ponds which afford you the opportunity to view an abundance of wildlife, birds in particular (ducks of numerous varieties, pelicans, black swans and other water birds).
If you are lucky you may even see a platypus. Outside the water you can find rock wallabies, wallaroos, echidnas, reptiles and insects of all types. I came across a red belly black snake. Although its venom is capable of causing death, a bite is not generally fatal – I have no plans to test this assertion! It goes without saying, I hope, that should you come across a snake you leave it alone, recalling that Australia has more of the worlds most deadly snakes than any other country.
Lift your eyes as you walk and admire the mountains circling this valley walk. They make for great views (and photos) across the ponds.
As I mentioned earlier there are two short diversions off the walk. Both are to granite outcrops with the first being to the west side (left) as your enter from the Sanctuary car-park. I failed to see the advertised views – spare yourself the albeit relatively small effort and continue on the main track. The other outcrop, on the east side of the walk and again not far from the Sanctuary car-park is certainly worth the 10 minute diversion for the rocks themselves and the views back over a couple of the ponds.
Being the main walk of the park there are lots of informative plaques here and there throughout. Towards the northern end of the walk there is a vet centre with a small reptile display. I wasn’t open when I visited at the weekend – I suspect it’s only open on weekdays.
While you are at the northern end of the walk it is worth leaving this walk and making a short detour to your right to Black Flats Dam (even if you are not planning to do the woodland walk adjacent to the Dam (read pond)). This is again a popular place to spot a platypus but I was unlucky here too. this diversion will take around 20-30 minutes.
While I find this walk a little too artificial and ordered for my liking it’s still a decent walk if not a serious bush-walk. It is certainly worth doing for everyone and the best way to get a good feel for the Reserve if you are not up to some of the more more strenuous paths. Most of the paths and a lot of the vegetation were set out in 2008 so everything still has that new and underdeveloped feel about it. Like a good red, I am sure it will improve with age.
This is walk 9 on the Discover Tidbinbilla guide which you can download or pic up from the visitors centre as you enter the Reserve. Black Flats Dam walk, which I refer to above, is number 8.
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.