Hanging Rock car park
Entry to the Hanging Rock car park is well signposted. While there is good parking and a couple of picnic tables at the car park, there are no toilet or water facilities
The car park will comfortably take about 15 cars and is well maintained even though it is unsealed
Hanging Rock car park
This is another of those tiny little walks, just on 600 metres, that most people would say why bother but I’m glad that we did this one. The Hanging Rock walk starts at the Hanging Rock car park, go figure, which is also the same starting location for the longer Ashbrook Fire Trail walk. I would recommend this walk as an add-on for those who have just completed the longer walk or for the family members in the group who either aren’t up for a longer walk or just feel like something to do while waiting for the more enthusiastic walkers to return.
There is good interpretation signage at the start of the walk as well as at the approach to the rock shelter about 150 meters after you start which explains what you are seeing in this area. This trail is a loop and when given the choice take the left hand loop up towards the rock shelter so you approach it via the explanatory signage. The trail itself consists of metal mesh boardwalk as well as natural trail and is very easy even given the small uphill section that takes you to the top. Once you reach the summit you are presented with what would have to be one of the largest boulders in the territory that creates a natural rock shelter. You can see why this was used for that purpose, in addition this shelter is close to the nearby Ashbrook stream which provided access to water as well as abundant food. Being just on and below the crest of the hill combined with bushland and other rocks, this area is well protected from the natural elements.
This walk will take the average person about 15 minutes and is pretty easy but I would allow extra time just to have a good look around.
Picnic tables in the car park. Apart from these tables there are no other facilities. Its only a short trip back to the bigger car parks where there are toilets and water
The trail head to the Hanging Rock Trail is located to the right hand side of the car park
Bridge at walk start
While there is no sign here, take the loop to the left so that you approach the shelter by going past the interpretive signage
Mesh track at the start of the walk
Signage and seat about 150 metres into the walk
Interpretive signage on the trail
Typical trail example
Hanging rock. This boulder is huge and appears to be self supporting, hence its name. It would definitely provide good shelter in bad weather
Shelter from the weather on a number of sides
A number of other boulders surround the main shelter adding to the protection from the elements
Heading down towards the carpark
The trip from the centre of Canberra is approximately 51 minutes and 50 km. Once you enter the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve travel to the Hanging Rock car park to start your walk. The car park is approximately 9 km from the visitor centre and is on the right hand side of the loop – it is clearly signposted. Don’t worry too much if you go the wrong way as the road loops around and you will eventually come to this trailhead which ever way you go.
The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve contains a series of walks that are closer to Canberra than those at the 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 by scanning your pass from as early 7:30am and you will need to be out by 6:00pm at the latest (8:00pm in summer). If you are buying a single entry into the park you will need to wait until the visitor centre opens at 10:00am (9:00am in the summer).
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve entry
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
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve requires a pass to enter with your car (with up to eight passengers)
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker