In my ongoing quest to get them away from their computer games, I recently took the boys (FMJ and LRN) on the walk to Nil Desperandum cottage in the Tidbinbilla reserve.
The cottage was built in the 1890’s and has a long and interesting history. It was badly damaged in the 2003 fires but has been restored, and is actually available for overnight accommodation if you’d like to stay in a beautiful and secluded spot for a while. Some friends of ours did this a few months ago and really enjoyed themselves. There are three bedrooms, a kitchen and potable water in a tank. I believe our friends drove in via 4WD rather than legging it, and they had a great time on the fire trails with their mountain bikes while they were there.
The walk is about 9km return, and is rated as “Hard” by the folks at the reserve, which means that some climbing is involved. Most of the walk is along very gently sloping ground, but there is one huge hill (or spurline actually) that must be ascended and descended on the way in, and then again on the way out. If you’re not physically fit, you don’t want to attempt this walk. Good boots with effective tread are also a good idea, as there are some loose and slippery bits on the steep parts of the slope.
The scenic image was taken towards Canberra from near the top of the big hill. Black Mountain is in the centre, and the Tracking station is below the ridgeline at centre right. The other two pictures show the cottage from the rear with the Tidbinbilla range towering overhead, and the view from the front with my sons doing their best to look like urban hoodie wearing villains rather than peaceful nature lovers.
If anybody is looking for a reasonably challenging bush walk that features beautiful scenery with a lovely sheltered picnic spot on the way then this would be a good choice.