This week’s road trip suggestion is only an hour from Civic (and of course closer for southside residents), which means you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy the surroundings or suggested activities.
Driving through the southern suburbs of Canberra, and out into the national parks, you’ll find the Corin Forest Mountain Retreat, located at 1268 Corin Road in the Tidbinbilla Range.
This is a great place for all ages with seasonal activities.
The 1.2km alpine slide at Corin Forest is a fun activity for the kid in all of us. You board the bobsled at the bottom of the track, and are pulled up by a lift to the top to start the descent. The brake is a simple long handle in the middle of the bobsled and it’s easy to use.
The Corin Forest Mountain Retreat is open on weekends, public holidays and ACT school holidays from 10am to 4pm. There are good amenities and a café on site, plus a fireplace for the winter months.
Cost is $7 for a single ride on the alpine slide, or you can buy multiple rides and split between your family and friends. Six rides are $30 or 10 rides are $40. Enclosed shoes are recommended.
My friend and I did three rides each. It’s was definitely the right idea to do more than one ride – the first ride gets you used to how fast you can go and if you’re game, by the third ride you’ll hardly use the brake. My friend used his phone to test how fast he was going and he managed to get some speed up. If you’re after a fast ride, ask the staff as apparently there are a few toboggans that are faster than others.
If your children are younger than eight years old, you can ride with them.
In winter, tobogganing and snow play is on offer in a hillside area of the retreat. The snow is generated through a combination of natural snowfall and a snow making machine. It seems to be a quite popular spot to enjoy the snow without heading too far out of Canberra.
Next you can take a drive up to Corin Dam, there’s a nice view over the lake a short walk from the car park (just watch out for snakes in the warmer months, I saw the biggest red belly black snake I’ve ever seen here). I’m not sure where it takes you but judging by the bushwalking register near the dam, there’s also a walk from the carpark.
For a picnic spot, my friend and I chose Gibraltar Falls, which is also off Corin Road. There are picnic shelters, gas barbecue and general amenities near the car park or you can choose a shady spot and put a picnic blanket down. It’s only a short walk from the car park to look at the falls.
Nearby Woods Reserve also has picnic tables, barbecues and a camping area. I’ll have to try this next summer but after doing some research, apparently you can rock hop near Woods Reserve and find a swimming hole running off from the base of Gibraltar Falls.
On the way back to Canberra, why not take a different route to the way you came and visit the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex or take a dip at the Casuarina Sands Reserve if the weather is warm enough. As the cooler months approach, this is also a great spot to just chill out under the trees by the water before you head back into Canberra.