Birrigai Time Trail

Today we made the most of the Easter long weekend and went back to Tidbinbilla to explore the Birrigai Time Trail and the Tidbinbilla nature sanctuary.

The Birrigai Time Trail is a a pleasant walk along some old tracks in quite open countryside, before meandering up a hill covered with spectacular granite boulders. Featured along the walk is some ruins from a settlers homestead and a rock shelter that has been used by Aboriginal people in the area for thousands of years.

Birrigai Time Trail

Birrigai Time Trail

Along the way we saw a big snake, about 1.5 metres.  I thought it was a black snake, Marty reckons it was a brown snake. Either not to be tangled with. It was on the side of the path and took off as we came along. I think I went “eek!!” We just kept going though, and I started stomping as I walked so as to make lots of noise, so any other snake friends will know we are coming and vanish.

Boulders near the rock shelter

Boulders near the rock shelter

As we walked through the clusters of boulders, a sign talked about the meaning of the word ‘birrigai’ (laughter in Ngunnawal language). It also mentioned the tradition of calling your presence as you approach the rock shelter. We called ‘cooee, cooee’, no answer, no one home 🙂

We had lunch at a lovely rock clearing, close to the rock shelter that has been a place to take refuge from the cold for over 20,000 years. It was amazing to sit there quietly eating lunch, contemplating the many people over 1000s of years who would have sat in the same place, possibly also eating.

One of the most encouraging things I have noticed over all the walks we have taken in the past months, is the regeneration of the landscape after the big bushfires in 2003. Pine forests are thriving, new shoots and branches emerging from old burnt tree stumps, and creeks are running.

Rocks and look out

Rocks and look out

After the walk, we headed into the Tidbinbilla nature reserve, as we were told at the Visitor’s Centre that a platypus was hanging out at the weir. We did see the platypus, hunting for dinner, swimming and mostly hiding under water, but occasionally surfacing for air. Unfortunately it was beyond my phone to capture the moment…

We did see this beautiful quote on the walkway by scientist and conservationist Rachel Carson:

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson quote

Rachel Carson quote

I am really glad we made the effort today. The family have all been suffering with head colds for over a week and mostly moping around the house.

Here is a link to the walk.

Birrigai Time Trail

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