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This week my husband and I parked at the Visitor’s Centre at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and set off on the longest and hardest walk offered (according to their leaflet), to Camel’s Hump and back. According to the website we were prepared for:
Camels Hump (Option 1) 19 km 8 hrs Hard: Starting at the Visitor Centre, this walk lets you experience a little bit of everything that Tidbinbilla has to offer. Be prepared for some of the best views in the ACT.
We knew that we could comfortably do the walk in the 5 1/2 hours available to us during school hours but I suppose that we took a detour somewhere along the way because we actually walked 23.5km instead. Previously we drove into the reserve and parked at the nearest parking area and then walked up the fire trail to the mountain and back (see my post here). That walk was only 11.9km so this time we wanted to challenge ourselves.
As promised by the website we passed through several different plant communities from grasslands near the visitor’s centre to riverside forest, to different types of forest as we climbed and climbed towards the top.
We followed the orange markers and were never in doubt because anywhere that we could have taken a wrong turning there was another orange marker pointing us in the right direction. On the way we walked through Jedbinbilla, which I just discovered contains rare plants but I didn’t know that yesterday when we were walking so I didn’t look for any. I’m curious to know what the suffix ‘binbilla’ means. Does anyone know? A quick Google search did not enlighten me.
As we neared the summit of Camel’s Hump we realised that half of our allocated time had elapsed and not wanting to risk being late to retrieve our children from school we reluctantly turned back without actually climbing to the summit.
As promised the view was splendid and there was excellent visibility. We had wonderful weather, unlike 6 months ago when we did the walk and were soaked through by rain. We saw abundant wildlife including many different types of birds (all of which we identified, keen birders that we are), kangaroos and a couple of wallabies.
It was a long walk with a steady climb that has left my calf muscles sore today but it was satisfying to be in motion again after a week off last week to attend the theatre.