Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Canberra

During Ethan’s investigation into things to do, he stumbled on a koala walk listed at Tidbinbilla nature reserve. When he first mentioned it, we presumed it would be a zoo or wildlife park . But actually it’s slightly different and much cheaper! The national park houses a sanctuary for a number of native animals.

As well as this, there are some beautiful hikes for all abilities. Just make sure you pencil out a whole day for this activity as there’s lots to see and do!

Getting there

You need your own vehicle to access this reserve. It’s a 40 minute drive from the city (another good reason to hire a car for exploring this region!)

Once you reach the reserve gate you then need to drive much deeper into the reserve to access the main areas.

Opening times

Visitor Centre
Opens 9:00 am and closes 5:00 pm all year

Reserve Gates
Winter: Opens 7.30 am; closes 6 pm
Summer: Opens 7.30 am; closes 8 pm in summer

In order that we got some early morning photographs, we got up early and arrived at the gate for 7.30am when no one else was arrived. The barrier was open and we just drove through.  

We went for a short walk, and then drove back to the main gate to pay and gather more information on the koala walk and reserve maps.


Costs are applied per vehicle.  A vehicle with under 8 passengers cost $13, making it a very reasonable cost.


Tourist centre

The staff in the tourist centre we very friendly and provided oodles of information. They are very passionate about their job. They gave us to tips on how to find the animals too. 

We also saw them doing a health check on a rock wallaby while there. The lady popped out when she saw us and explained what they were doing. The boys thought it was very cool! 

For more information about the park, check out https://www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au


Walking options

We opted to take a number of smaller routes with the aim to see as much native wildlife as possible!

Koala walk

You are guaranteed to see a koala here as there is a dedicated koala sanctuary. Within the reserve there is a closed area – there were 4 koalas while we were there. It’s only a short walk from the car park and they are easy to see.

Elsewhere within the larger nature reserve there are koala’s which you can go in search of.

Peppermint walk

Right next to the koala walk is the peppermint walk. It’s 1.7km and takes around 1½ hours and is where the released koalas lived so you should find them sleeping in the trees!  The area is in a very natural setting. (Look very closely in the photograph!)

He’s a close up… No idea how they sleep like this!!

Sanctuary walk

This area is a gated enclosure which houses a number of native animals, such as grey kangaroos, rock wallabies, a musk duck, pelican and platypus.

It was amazing to spot them all in a very sensitive environment. It’s a well trodden and easy path with an abundance of wildlife to spot. Just fabulous and a nice walk too.

It’s 2.1km loop and takes around 90 minutes.

If you are feeling energetic then there are lots of options on the website for much longer and more challenging time walks.  Plus there are play parks and picnic areas.

What a fantastic reserve!  

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