Places Around Canberra Vol 1 – Wee Jasper

eyeLikeCarrots 16 December 2009 15

Hi Rioters (The website readers…. not the ones who smash shop windows and steal TVs…. although, hello to you too).

I’ve been in Canberra for 18 months now and mostly stayed in the city for the breaks. Most people tend to head towards the coast for long weekends and the like, I’ve been on the road at 6pm on a Friday night going towards Batemans’s Bay, it can be like a traffic jam.

Having recently gotten my trusted 2 wheeled transport registered, I’ve started to independently explore the surrounds of Canberra. I’d often heard of a place called Wee Jasper and 2 weeks ago finally rode up there on a whim (Actually I rode up there on a Suzuki, not a whim).

About 50kms from Yass, located in a great (I hate the work ‘quaint’ so I’ll avoid using it) valley is Wee Japser. Its’ not a lot but its’ got a pub and a school (3 students on the books currently). Other notable features of the township are some caves you can tour with a guide who apparently really likes rocks, and a series of fantastic camping grounds if you’re prepared to drive another few km (Can get busy for holidays. They’re cheap but have onsite showers and a stream with running water… please use the actual toilet facilities though).

Of particular note I’d like to recommend the pub, The Stables. Without being impolite, think ‘old horse stable that’s been whitewashed’ and repurposed for the serving of fermented vegetable juice. Many a local and a few unique visitors arrive in the heat of the late afternoon to knock back a beer and talk about sheep…. and stuff. The kitchen is open and the food is like good home cooking. The beer is cold and the stories and personalities make for an interesting evening. If books are your thing, there is a good selection of books and a nice comfy chair to spend a bit of time on. If you think a bit ahead you can nab one of the two cabins which are pretty cheap if you plan to drink a good measure of the previously mentioned beverage (Personally I slept in the paddock out under the stars).

Be warned – there is no fuel so make sure you have all you need along with food etc if you are camping. The roads vary from well sealed to unsealed but even the loose gravel roads are ok for a motorbike or family car if you slow down a bit. Its rather an enjoyable ride on a motorbike I can assure you.

As I explore other parts of Canberra and the surrounding parts of NSW, I’ll write them up. No pics at this stage, but



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15 Responses to Places Around Canberra Vol 1 – Wee Jasper
howaka howaka 1:57 pm 24 Sep 11

Wee Jasper Markets are on Sunday 2 October – promise no banjo plucking deliverance action – just a great day out ! Local produce, pasta, wine, olives, alpacas, craft, art, woodwork, books, trash and treasure, toys, hot dogs, hot chippies, terrific coffee, delicious Egyptian pastries, bacon and egg rolls, fresh farm eggs, locally made cakes and slices, jumping castle, fairy floss.

Take a drive, or come camping for the weekend.

We’re a nice bunch!

howaka howaka 8:16 am 11 Feb 10

Wee Jasper is waiting for you this weekend – there are heaps of activities 13 – 14 Feb as Wee Jasper Naturally gets underway.

They have a website

There’s a great art show, bat viewing (!) – 20,000+ bats fly over your head! There’s caving for beginners, plus the usual Carey’s Cave tours and Cooradigbee Fossil tours. You can also have a good old countrified cuppa in the Community Association Tea rooms at the Art Show. Pub’s open, shop’s not. So there’s beer…but no petrol!

Phone 62279626 for more info or see website.

sepi sepi 10:04 am 19 Dec 09

Can you still buy rugs made of feral dog skins at Wee Jasper. It’s all a bit deliverance out that way.
The river is nice though.

astrojax astrojax 8:49 am 19 Dec 09

wee jasper also has a beautiful grevillea native to the region that grows well in crappy canberra soils, too, is apparently endangered and is propagated and sold by the heritage nursery in y’lumla. s’noice. ; )

AussieRodney AussieRodney 6:32 pm 17 Dec 09

Nice work there, Carrots. Pleased to hear that you’re back on 2 wheels again. Canberra is a great place to blat from.

+1 for the tavern at Wee Jasper, now that the General Store has closed.

Two weeks ago, I made the “mistake” of coming home from Tumut via wee Jasper in the 30ft bus / motorhome. Definitely an experience, & one not to be repeated in a hurry. Took about 3 hours all up to get to Wee Jasper & another two to get home.

oddball508 oddball508 1:48 pm 17 Dec 09

We recently had an excellent day at Careys Caves. Best to phone before to findout the tour times (you can’t just roam by yourself).

OzPhoenix OzPhoenix 11:49 am 17 Dec 09

I often like to do a nice loop where I drive into Wee Jasper from the Uriarra Road turn off, then after Wee Jasper head on into Yass and then drive back to Canberra via Murrambateman. Obviously once at Murrambateman, you can then continue on to Canberra or cut across and head to Bungendore and back to Canberra after that.

And if you wanted to extend it further, you can go from Bungendore onto Braidwood, then come in the back way from Braidwood into Michelago (or Captains Flat) and back to Canberra.

Maybe some ideas in that for you.

eyeLikeCarrots eyeLikeCarrots 10:18 am 17 Dec 09

Thankyou for the comments.

arthwollipot makes a good point about calling ahead – they even do group bookings.

Fiona – yeah, they local story goes that one of the embassy groups made a booking and were a bit worried after 3 hours that they were going to get kidnapped (lol).

I’ll be going back to Wee Jasper from time to time, I hope to share a beer with some of you.

Buzz2600 Buzz2600 9:07 am 17 Dec 09

Great post Carrots! I’m looking forward to your reading about your future adventures. I used to live on a property half way between Canberra-Wee Jasper and work up in Bondo State Forest running horse riding trips for a while. Wee Jasper doesn’t have much going for it but its a great little town, the locals are certainly an interesting bunch.

The country around Wee Jasper is superb! I love the Brindabellas/Snowy mountain area. Camping and caving are great thing to do but it can get pretty busy over the Christmas period especially when the Goodradigbee river is flowing well. The (dirt) road to Tumut is fun to drive or the alternative route (Nottingham Road) is good too but keep an eye out for wallabies. You can do a good day trip through Tumut or Brindabella valley. Or go further afield, the back road will take you all the way to KNP through Long Plain, if you have a 4WD or a robust 2WD (dry only).

Anyway, I won’t go on … its a great little part of the world, I spent some great times up in the area and return whenever I can. Cheers!

Thumper Thumper 8:47 am 17 Dec 09

years ago I used to throw my swag on the bike and just cruise out to country and sleep wherever. fun thing to do now and then.

Ian Ian 1:59 am 17 Dec 09

I used to go caving there. WJ had nice campsites and the big advantage over other places that we could replenish the beer supplies at the local store – instead of a long drive to the nearest town like most of the places we went to.

TDMJ TDMJ 12:05 am 17 Dec 09

Great post Carrots. I’m always looking for interesting places close to Canberra to go for short weekends away…


arthwollipot arthwollipot 10:28 pm 16 Dec 09

I took my kids to Wee Jasper to see the cave a couple of months ago. Unfortunately it was closed because of the rain. I suggest checking first.

Fiona Fiona 9:18 pm 16 Dec 09

I did the cave thing with the rock guy – hour thing turned into an afternoon where the mum and kid with us started to wonder whether we’d be let out. Ever.

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 9:16 pm 16 Dec 09

i am loving that let me google that for you. thats hilarious.

as for wee jasper, i have never been. sounds nice. we are always looking for new camping places close to canberra.

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