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Want to stay at Nil Desperandum?

By 19 December 2012 13

nil desperandum

Territory and Municipal Services are letting everyone know the historic Nil Desperandum homestead is available for overnight hire at a very reasonable $130 per night per group.

The rammed earth homestead, which was built in the 1890s by George Green and George Hatcliff, was destroyed in the 2003 bushfires and has been rebuilt to its former state.

“Overnight stays at Nil Desperandum provide visitors with an outstanding heritage homestead experience in one of the ACT’s most beautiful bush settings,” said Brett McNamara, Manager of Operations, National Parks and Catchments.

“Nestled in a tranquil, natural bush setting beneath the mountains of Tidbinbilla, Nil Desperandum, provides a perfect base from which to engage in bushwalking, bird watching, stargazing, reading or just relaxation.”

The homestead comprises three rooms, a kitchen with wood stove, covered veranda, outside BBQ, a pit toilet and lighting via solar powered battery. It is available for hire for a maximum of six people per group per night for stays up to seven nights. Quality camp stretcher beds are provided. The hire fee is $130 per group per night.

To get there you will need a 4WD however. Bookings can be made on the Bookings ACT website.

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13 Responses to Want to stay at Nil Desperandum?
#1
cmdwedge10:54 am, 19 Dec 12

Is it.. normal for a government to act as innkeepers? This seems odd.

#2
Deref11:35 am, 19 Dec 12

Wow! That’s gorgeous. I’m tempted.

#3
p112:05 pm, 19 Dec 12

Very tempting. Only six people though? What about swags?

#4
Madam Cholet12:23 pm, 19 Dec 12

cmdwedge said :

Is it.. normal for a government to act as innkeepers? This seems odd.

NSW has a lot of properties for rent as well, except theirs are quite a bit more expensive.

#5
poetix1:16 pm, 19 Dec 12

Such a beautiful little building.

#6
Conan of Cooma3:21 pm, 19 Dec 12

Madam Cholet said :

cmdwedge said :

Is it.. normal for a government to act as innkeepers? This seems odd.

NSW has a lot of properties for rent as well, except theirs are quite a bit more expensive.

I think that goes with have more properties and higher admin costs – The ACT is tiny and has an inrcedible budget. That said you can get into a lot of the huts in Kiandra for much less than this.

I can’t wait to visit. Provided it’s not trashed by the Hitler Canberra Youth.

#7
Masquara4:17 pm, 19 Dec 12

You absolutely don’t need a 4WD to get in there. We used to drive in in a Barina. Sad, so sad. Nil Desperandum used to be twenty bucks weekend before the bushfires, and you had to pick up the key somewhere in Woden and unlock the gate. I simply can’t bear to go there and see the renewed one: the old Nil had a visitor’s book dating back decades, and there had been (before my time) a whole bunch of O’Connorites who used to go out and do working bees on the place. The floorboards were ancient hardwood and 25 cm wide. The furniture was old and saggy, especially on the back verandah, and people would take their own stuff out to replace chairs that had actually fallen apart so old kapok cushions weren’t enough. You had to get the hot water system going with trickery advised on bits of paper stuck to the wall. Everyone left spices and supplemented the kitchen for the next stayer. Clearly the garden has all gone, along with the outhouses. It was one of those gardens with old feral crabapples and firs all the way down to the little swimming hole nearby (where you could swim in the nuddy). The guy who had Nil Desperandum built was some kind of remittance man in disgrace, clearly not allowed home to the UK or Ireland, and paid a stipend to stay away.

#8
Pork Hunt4:32 pm, 19 Dec 12

Conan of Cooma said :

Madam Cholet said :

cmdwedge said :

Is it.. normal for a government to act as innkeepers? This seems odd.

NSW has a lot of properties for rent as well, except theirs are quite a bit more expensive.

I think that goes with have more properties and higher admin costs – The ACT is tiny and has an inrcedible budget. That said you can get into a lot of the huts in Kiandra for much less than this.

I can’t wait to visit. Provided it’s not trashed by the Hitler Canberra Youth.

There are not a lot of huts in Kiandra.

#9
Snarky4:47 pm, 19 Dec 12

Never knew it existed. It seems pretty close to the parking lot at the visitors centre – only an 8km return trip, so a an appetite-building afternoon walk up the track then out the next day with a pack sounds marvellous. Have to keep this one in mind! Could you take a tent in to pitch in the back yard to add a few more people (I’m aware that water is likely the limiting factor for capacity, so we’d take what we need)?

#10
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:55 pm, 19 Dec 12

Never even knew. Sounds great.

#11
GardeningGirl7:48 pm, 19 Dec 12

Masquara said :

You absolutely don’t need a 4WD to get in there. We used to drive in in a Barina. Sad, so sad. Nil Desperandum used to be twenty bucks weekend before the bushfires, and you had to pick up the key somewhere in Woden and unlock the gate. I simply can’t bear to go there and see the renewed one: the old Nil had a visitor’s book dating back decades, and there had been (before my time) a whole bunch of O’Connorites who used to go out and do working bees on the place. The floorboards were ancient hardwood and 25 cm wide. The furniture was old and saggy, especially on the back verandah, and people would take their own stuff out to replace chairs that had actually fallen apart so old kapok cushions weren’t enough. You had to get the hot water system going with trickery advised on bits of paper stuck to the wall. Everyone left spices and supplemented the kitchen for the next stayer. Clearly the garden has all gone, along with the outhouses. It was one of those gardens with old feral crabapples and firs all the way down to the little swimming hole nearby (where you could swim in the nuddy). The guy who had Nil Desperandum built was some kind of remittance man in disgrace, clearly not allowed home to the UK or Ireland, and paid a stipend to stay away.

It looks very appealing in the photo. Sad to think what has been lost though. Thank you for sharing your memories.

#12
Zan8:48 pm, 19 Dec 12

It’s a little bit expensive for me. I would prefer to be somewhere alone with my man and not a whole group of friends. Birragai is a lot cheaper for a crowd. It’s on the Tidbinbilla web too.

#13
LSWCHP11:38 pm, 19 Dec 12

I think I’ll be heading out there with the boys over summer Looks beautiful, and not an X-box in sight. :-)

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