Cascades Trail, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

16 Jan

It’s a hot day when we enter Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve; the Cascades Trail has been described as a walk to escape from the heat. We sure hope so!

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has a huge amount of walks – but it costs $30 for an annual pass (ie, a vehicle) to get to them. For the access to high quality tracks and a nature reserve which puts in a lot of effort to extras (platypus walks, pelican feedings), it’s a small price.

Cascades Trail starts at the Mountain Creek car park, a long way from the Visitors Centre, and also the access to Camels Hump.

The path follows the same path that Camels Hump begins on, with a steady steepness for 200 metres. At the management trail, we essentially cross it to meet the entrance to the Lyrebird and Cascade Trails.

This is the way!

This is the way!

It’s instantly cool when we begin following the path. The trees provide a great cover, but it’s very dry, and I feel for the trees that are suffering in the heat.

Lovely coverage

Lovely coverage

Keep an ear and eye out for lyrebirds whether you're on the Cascade Trail or Lyrebird Trail

Keep an ear and eye out for lyrebirds whether you’re on the Cascade Trail or Lyrebird Trail


Sad trees :(

Sad trees 😦

There are a number of bridges over small streams. The trail diverges into the Cascade and Lyrebird trails, and while it is cooler in the constant shade of the trees, it doesn’t mean we don’t sweat with the effort. This trail is steep! Fortunately, the path is well designed and a pleasure to walk on… apart from its toughness on a hot day.

Seed pods litter the path

Seed pods litter the path

It is a particularly pretty walk

It is a particularly pretty walk

We hear and see plenty of birds, even though it’s 11am, but don’t see a lyrebird.

Bridge across a stream

Bridge across a stream

Beginning our descent

Beginning our descent


It’s only 25 minutes, but it seems like we’ve been walking up the steep path and stairs for an age. As we make our descent, As we start to make our descent, we hear the waterfall before we meet it.

When we come across it, it’s hidden behind a boulder. I have to lean right around and risk getting my feet wet (horror!) to capture it.

The Cascades cascading

The Cascades cascading

It’s – thankfully – all downhill from here, and really quite pleasant with the stream to keep us company. (But we’re both dripping with sweat!)

Very pretty indeed

Very pretty indeed



Time required: 40 minutes round trip

Height: There’s a climb, but there’s only so much you can climb in a 40 minute walk

Distance: 1.8 kilometres

Views: None really, but you get up close to a small cascade waterfall

Flora and fauna excitement level: High – this is a wet forest, with some great flora and while we don’t see many animals, we hear plenty of different bird calls (and could probably see them if we had the patience to look)

Effort expended: Low-medium – I complain about the steepness but again, how bad can be it be in 40 minutes?

Quality of track: High

Value for effort: Medium

Date: Sunday, 12 January 2014

Where: Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – a 40 minute drive from Canberra on Paddys River Road

Cost: Walks are free once you’re in, but it’s $10 per vehicle on entry or $30 annual pass

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile for the walk alone, and plenty to explore in the park

Want more? Check out the Tidbinbilla map and guide here, their homepage here, and some truly stunning photos of the walk from July 2013 here


4 Responses to “Cascades Trail, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve”

  1. John Evans January 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Hey Tara it’s a lovely area isn’t it (even in the heat). Congratulations on your fabulous blog which unlocks so many areas of Canberra’s nearby bush and encourages folk to get out and have a look. TNR is a great place with fabulous staff and volunteers. Cheers. john

    • inthetaratory January 16, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

      I am so lucky to have such inspiration from you with your unfailing and comprehensive accounts of your walks – it is me who should be congratulating you (every day) on your blog! Can’t wait to explore and revisit more of TNR throughout the year.

  2. Alison (from Chifley) January 22, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    I love these walks. Now regenerating after the devastation of 2003. Really amazing in winter. (Cold!!!). Lyrebirds more likely the and early spring I think. I love the mossy rocks too.

  3. criatividade e inovação no empreendedorismo February 15, 2018 at 4:10 am #

    Encontre princípios e possibilidades de negócio.

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