The small, picturesque village of Wee Jasper is located in a pretty valley at the foot of the Brindabella Ranges, on the backwaters of Burrinjuck Dam. It’s best known for the limestone cave systems that dot the area, less than an hour’s drive from Canberra.
When Maryann Mussared visited the area for The RiotACT in 2017, she wrote that the district boasted:
Beautiful Australian landscape, a Sunday drive in the country, old shearing sheds and farm buildings, a crossroad that demands a decision, and at the end of the road, a hidden valley, an old homestead, warm fireplaces, a really good home-cooked meal and a ‘rare’ wine.
Why you’ll love it
Want to see some of Australia’s most interesting limestone cave systems? Wee Jasper is the place to do it. This area has fantastic exploratory caves, abseiling caves and even a show cave with great limestone natural features. Check out Careys Cave for more information.
There are several beautiful reserves in the area, with barbecues and toilets. They are all excellent spots for walking, canoeing or kayaking, swimming and fishing.
There is some terrific bushwalking, and opportunities to get up close with the feathered and furry locals. The Hume and Hovell walking track winds its way through the Wee Jasper area following the route taken by explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824-1825. It’s too long for a day trip, but it’s worth taking a look at some of the points of historical interest nearby.
If you’re feeling peckish, drop into the licensed Duck ‘n’ Fishes café at Cooradigbee Homestead.
And if you fancy yourself as a cheesemaker, check out Cheesemaking Wee Jasper’s regular cheesemaking courses.
- From southern ACT the trip via Uriarra Crossing is your best bet, according to Wee Jasper Reserves, and from the northern suburbs come through Yass, or there are some back tracks for the adventurous.
- Fill up with petrol before you leave Canberra.
- Download all maps onto your smartphone as mobile coverage can be problematic outside Canberra and Yass.
When to go
Trout fishing is best from October to February. The temperature in the caves is kept at a moderate temperature year round. Otherwise, any time is suitable for a visit to Wee Jasper.
- Duration: it takes around 1 ½ hours to drive from Canberra to Wee Jasper.
- Distance from Canberra: under 100 kilometres via sealed road.
- Recommended for: lovers of the outdoors, bushwalkers, caving enthusiasts or those who prefer just to get away from it all and relax.
- More information: Wee Jasper Nature Reserve or Wee Jasper
Have you been to Wee Jasper? What is your favourite way to spend a day in the area?