Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 27-01-2015 Contents Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 4
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Tidbinbilla a special spot in many hearts
A kangaroo warms itself in the morning sun at Tidbinbilla after a cold night.
Photo: Darrel Kolsky
Our bush capital
Nestled in a majestic valley to our west
is a very special part of our bush
First set aside for nature
appreciation in 1939, the Tidbinbilla
Nature Reserve offers an opportunity
to encounter wildlife in a natural
If you are anything like me,
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will hold a
special place in your heart. I, like
many Canberrans, have many great
memories of the reserve.
I hope one day my children will also
look back fondly on their time spent at
But Tidbinbilla also weaves a
fascinating narrative around the many
chapters that is our collective history,
with significant Aboriginal sites and
European homesteads dotted across
the valley landscape.
All of which tells an engaging story
about the rich tapestry of human
occupation and use of the area; a vital
reminder and insight into the heritage
of our bush capital.
The name Tidbinbilla is derived
from the Ngunnawal word
"Jedbinbilla" which translates into "a
place where boys were made men".
It is thought that the area around
Tidbinbilla was highly prized for the
delicious bogon moth, which were
collected from under rocky overhangs,
There is evidence Aboriginal people
lived in the Canberra region for at least
21,000 years, including the Birrigai
rock shelter, considered one of the
oldest rock shelters in the region, and
the magnificent granite tors at
Hanging Rock, which were used as a
shelter by Aboriginal people.
Also of note are xanthorrhoea,
which grows in the area.
These ancient looking plants were
used to make glue and a vast array of
other products by Aboriginal people
passing through the area.
Tidbinbilla also reflects European
history of the area. Century-old
rammed earth cottages and evidence
of farming and eucalyptus oil
distillation provide reminders of the
pioneers who tried to make a life here
from the mid 1800s.
Tidbinbilla occupies what were the
former Hatcliff and Blewitt family
properties in the Tidbinbilla Valley.
You can still visit the restored ruins
of historic Rock Valley Homestead
built by George Green and George
Hatcliff in 1895.
Those looking to really experience
the European heritage can stay
overnight at the Nil Desperandum
It is available for short-term stays as
the perfect base from which to engage
in bushwalking, bird watching,
stargazing, reading or relaxation.
Trails take shape
in Majura Pines
Trail construction in the Majura Pines
recreation area is under way.
Territory and Municipal Services
Minister Shane Rattenbury said
$270,000 was allocated for the
construction of downhill mountain
bike trails, a bubbler, signs, rest areas
and cavalettis for horse riders.
He said the ACT government
received feedback from more than 680
people during community
"Further work and ongoing
maintenance of the trails will be
undertaken by members of the newly
formed Majura Pines Trail Alliance
who will work with ACT Parks and
Conservation Service, Mr Rattenbury
said. "The improvements to this
popular recreation area are one of
many projects and activities the ACT
government is doing as part of the
healthy weight initiative to encourage
people to get outside and maintain a
For more information, visit
www.tams.act.gov.au or call 13 22 81.
SURVIVORS INVITED TO
DRAGON BOAT DAY OUT
Breast cancer survivors are invited to
participate in a come-and-try day with
Dragons Abreast dragon boating club.
The introductory day will be held on
Saturday, February 7, on the shores of
Lake Burley Griffin, near the Canberra
Yacht Club in Yarralumla. Meet at
9am and finish at 10.30am.
Morning tea will be provided.
For more information or to register,
phone 0419 611 167, 0402 110 086 or
0407 255 094.
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