Visitors to the Australian Capital Territory are spoilt for choice as far national parks, gardens and wild nature reserves go. In fact approximately 45% of the ACT is made up of one - the Namadgi National Park. This park and the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve are the big-ticket natural attractions to include on any visit to the ACT, but if you have time there are plenty more beautiful areas for nature lovers who like to go a bit wild.
Namadgi National Park
A 45-minute drive from Canberra’s CBD gets you up close and personal to tiny wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, wombats, emus, and a big range of reptiles in the Namadgi National Park.
Be sure to look upwards and witness the Park’s wonderful birdlife, and while at the park, take advantage of the beautiful picnic and fishing spots that are scattered throughout. Why not enhance the experience and take a ranger with you for a guided walk to get a really informed lowdown on this incredible area of wilderness. Take a walk on the Bendora Arboretum heritage track where you can see some of the best examples of mature conifer trees found anywhere in the world.
Tired of walking? Try horse riding or mountain biking on one of the designated fire trails that meander through the lightly wooded areas.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
The Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla also offers fabulous nature based experiences where visitors get to see first-hand, a large wetland ecosystem that is surrounded by bushland for a range of native animals, protected in their natural environment. The Sanctuary lends itself to lingering at the various lookouts, or strolling along the boardwalks to see the resident wildlife, birds and reptiles.
Or get a bit more active with the walking trails with 22 marked trails, ranging from an easy 15-minute stroll to an all day bushwalk, no matter what your fitness level, there will be just the right track for you to get the best out of the Park.
One place you should definitely visit is the spectacular Ginnindera Falls, just north west of Canberra. There are some beautiful gorges as well as some walking trails. Further southwest is the Corin Forest within the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges where you can enjoy the excitement of a have a Bobsled Alpine Slide where you can watch the native forest blur past you.
Canberra Nature Park
The Canberra Nature Park makes a great place for walking offering several walking trails, including trails around Mt. Ainslie and Mt. Majura. If you feel like a challenging bush walk then head to the mountainous landscape of the Namadgi National Park. The National Park is home to 8 mountain peaks at a height of over 1700m - great for abseiling.
For more national park inspiration:
A different sort of wildlife can be found at Canberra’s Floriade is a celebration of spring right here in Australia's capital city, Canberra. This annual flower festival showcases more than a million beautiful flowers for four weeks in September and October, and the Canberra's Floriade is now the largest event celebrating flowers in the Southern Hemisphere. The bulbs are all planted in autumn, with a huge mix of flowers including tulips, English daisies, daffodils and many more. Floriade has a different design every year, with a unique theme determining everything from the layout, type and colour of the flowers to the entertainment for the four-week duration.
Started in 1988, the festival name 'Floriade' is derived from the Latin word Floriat, meaning 'to design with flowers'. Held from mid September to mid October every year in the beautiful Commonwealth Park, Canberra – this is THE place for showcasing the best in horticulture, gardening, creative landscaping, innovation and design.
Feature image courtesy of Getty.