• Distance 7.7km
  • Altitude max 1131m
  • Altitude min 827m
  • Duration 1.75 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Fishing Gap ACT (7.7 km)


Nearest Town


Starting Location

Fishing Gap car park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Entry to the Fishing gap car park is well signposted. There is limited parking for about 10 cars


Finish Location

Fishing Gap car park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Best Time to Travel

Year round

Fishing Gap Trail Review

The Fishing Gap  trail is another fire trail walk and one of the better ones. This trail is on the shady side of the range so the bushland has that denser lusher feel to it unlike nearby Devils Gap which is on the sunnier side of the range.

Park at the car park on the lower side of the road and walk across the pedestrian crossing to the fire trail. The trail register and gate is around 25 metres up the road. This trail has no signposting and you really don’t need it. In fact the only signage on the trail is at the summit when you reach Fishing Gap which is a ‘saddle’ between two peaks. The first half of the trail follows Tidbinbilla River and you can usually hear the water particularly after heavy rains. This is a good walk and one that has good shade so even in the hottest months you are protected form most of the elements. The steepest section of the trail is the last 1km which is where you gain most of the altitude  so while this is not a difficult trail you will feel the exertion towards the end of the climb. The saddle is a good place to take a break.

If you want to extend this walk once you reach the saddle which is your turn around point  you can continue down a gully (no formal trail) and you will reach the Cotter River.

Return back the way you came for a relatively easy walk down.

There is plenty of warning to enter the car park particularly if you have driven the Tidbinbilla loop anti-clockwise

Fishing Gap Car park

Cross the road and walk a little way up the fire trail to the trail register and walk start. Follow the fire trail. The only sign you will come to on the trail is to say that you are at Fishing Gap at the summit

Well worn trail register. Don’t forget to sign in, and out

Typical view of the fire trail

Hibbertia in flower on the trail

Pea flower

This is where the real ascent starts, and its noticeable

Approaching the summit. Fishing Gap is a saddle between two peaks

Fishing Gap

There are lots of wallabies on this trail and as usual they hop out of the way anytime you get a camera out

Trail Head gate on the way back

Getting There

Image from Google Maps

The trip from the centre of Canberra is approximately 47 minutes and 46 km. Once you enter the nature reserve itself travel to the Dalsetta car park (stop here for a toilet break if you need to) then continue on the loop road taking the right branch each time you have the option. The Fishing Gap car park is well signposted so as long as you are reading the signs you won’t have any problems.

Upon entry to the the Reserve follow the loop road and stay to the right if this is your first visit as that is the way the signage works. Once you’ve been there keep to the left on the loop road for a much shorter trip.

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve contains a series of walks that are closer to Canberra than those at nearby Namadgi National Park. Many of the Namadgi walks, particularly those that go into the Bimberi Wilderness Zone, are more remote requiring a higher level of skill but with it a higher degree of seclusion whereas the Tibinbilla walks are easier  to access but you are unlikely to be alone on the trail.

Vehicle access into the reserve requires a permit which ranges from a single visit at $11.50 per vehicle with up to eight people or $33.00 per year. If you are a keen walker it’s worth buying the annual pass as it only takes three visits over the year to make it economical.

If you have an annual pass you can enter the park via the boom gate and scan you pass from as early 7:30 am in the morning and you will need to be out by 6:00 pm at the latest (8:00 pm in summer). If you are buying a single entry into the park you will need to wait until the visitor centre opens at 10:00 am (9:00 am in the summer).

Entrance to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre and boom gate. If you have an annual pass you can just swipe your card for access without having to enter the visitor centre

Things to Know

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve requires a pass to enter with your car (with up to 8 passengers)

  • The annual pass is $33 and if you plan on doing at least three visits over the year is the cheapest option
  • A day pass is $11.50
  • The reserve is accessible before the visitor centre opens so long as you walk in or have an annual pass
  • The visitor centre sells snacks if you need
  • The closet toilet is at the Dalsetta car park which you pass on the way to the Fishing Gap car park
  • There is occasional phone signal on the higher peaks but don’t rely on this


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

* All fields are required

Please Wait.

Thank you for sign up!