Moira's top 5 "getting back to nature" reserves in Canberra:
Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is one of the most valuable wetland habitat areas in the ACT, and of national and international importance. A refuge for migrating birds from the northern hemisphere and inland Australia, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is part of Canberra Nature Park, and is located on the Molonglo River floodplain only four kilometres from Canberra's City centre. Keep an eye out for the sneaky platypus!
Take a stroll through the wetlands and discover a unique array of wetland and terrestrial habitats, remnants of the wetland’s agricultural origins, and learn about the ecology of this precious place. Pathways and bird hides will help you discover the delights of wildlife watching. They have some fabulous fun stuff for the little people this month including a bush and waterbugs detective program, a clay sculpting workshop and as well as a bush Treasures program, click on the following link to find out more:
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Tidbinbilla offers outstanding wildlife viewing, bushwalking, great BBQ spots and fun for kids on the Discovery Playground. The nature reserve borders Namadgi National Park and is nestled between the Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar Ranges to the south of Canberra. With fourteen protected habitats including wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, wet and dry forests and sub-alpine areas, the reserve supports a wide range of wildlife.
Tidbinbilla is considered a leader in wildlife reproductive biology through its work on the Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby program, other macropod species such as potoroos and wallabies and with the endangered Northern Corroboree Frog. State of the art facilities, including a fully equipped veterinary surgery and Animal Breeding Centre, support the success of the program.
Tiddbinbilla also has the Nature Discovery Playground where children can pump water like a pioneer, ride a flying fox and become part of a large sun dial.
In the wetlands you can get a ‘duck’s-eye-view’ or stroll along the boardwalk. In the bushland, spot the wallaroos, parrots and meat ants. See how humans have shaped nature with fire and introduced animals, peer into a functioning vet centre and take on an Aboriginal understanding of the land. Tidbinbilla’s Visitor Centre provides a great introduction to the reserve. There are live animal and other displays to explore and staff available to help you get the best experience while visiting the reserve.
Mulligans Flat has a lot to offer the nature enthusiast! Mulligans Flat Sanctuary is located north-east of Canberra adjacent to the suburb of Forde in Gungahlin. You can walk to the main gate of the fenced sanctuary from the main car park on Amy Ackman Street, Forde (allow 10-15min). There are also car parks along Justice Kelly Street, Forde (look for the rustic Mulligans Flat sign in the urban park) and Eric Wright Street, Forde where you can walk to the main gate after going through the step gate (5 minute walk). The Sanctuary is open to the public and is only closed during periods of extreme fire danger and when special management activities are required. Visit their website to see how your family can contribute and gain from working within and enjoying this beautiful sanctuary. Inspiring, Learning, Restoring, and Volunteering. Get your kids involved and visit as a family to see what you can offer: http://www.mulligansflat.org.au/visit-us.html
Gibraltar Falls is upstream from Woods Reserve, a few minutes drive south of Corin Road. Discover this secluded spot at the edge of Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest. Make use of the picnic shelter; gas BBQ, amenities block at the Gibraltar Falls car park. Take the short gravel track to a lookout over the Gibraltar Falls and Gibraltar Creek. Woods reserve has picnic tables, barbecues and a camping area. The falls have a 50-metre drop. There is not much drainage on Gibraltar Falls, though water will still fall from the falls during drought conditions. Three Glossy Black-Cockatoos have been spotted at the falls. These birds are not frequently found in the territory. It is a nice, safe spot to spend the day for a family picnic with a view.
This area is not a long drive and great for swimming, fishing, walking and family picnics. Facilities include: Children's playground Flushing toilets Tap water Wood fire pits (BYO firewood) Gas barbeques Picnic tables and Large stone shelter with fireplace. Pets are allowed. From the Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area, a walking trail follows the river to a small grassed picnic area called Blue Tiles. Drinking water is not available at Blue Tiles, so be sure to take sufficient water with you. Bins are not provided so it is expected that you will take your rubbish home for proper disposal. A 3km walking trail has been built along the Molonglo Gorge that links the Molonglo Gorge to the Blue Tiles Picnic Area. The trail starts at the Molonglo Picnic Area where you will find toilets, wood BBQs and a children's climbing frame. The track follows the gently flowing Molonglo River until it quickly ascends high above the river offering spectacular views. On the hillsides you'll see eucalypts, acacia and black cypress pines and ferns, and during the wet season, plenty of moss. After about an hour you'll reach a small grassy area with BBQs and picnic tables called the Blue Tile Picnic Area. This is a great place to rest and refresh before you begin the return journey. There is no drinking water at this picnic area. It's not advisable to drink the river water as it contains a high mineral content from when the river was a mining area. If you are feeling energetic you can extend the walk by continuing on to the historic ruins of ‘Glenburn' homestead in the adjacent Kowen Forest.