Gibraltar Peak Walk
Distance: 8.2km return
Time: 3–4 hours
The big, grey granite shapes of Gibraltar Peak (1038m) rise above
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve like the gently rounded backs of a herd of elephants.
It’s not a dramatic peak but is nevertheless a satisfyingly stiff climb near the top and the flat summit is a wonderful place to linger over a picnic and some of the best views in the ACT.
Tidbinbilla, just to the south-west of Canberra, is a popular spot for a family barbecue among friendly kangaroos and emus, as well as more elusive koalas, brush-tailed rock-wallabies and echidnas. There’s a visitor centre, kiosk and the fenced Tidbinbilla Sanctuary wetlands. The name of the reserve is thought to derive from the Ngunnawal word Jedbinbilla – a place where boys were made men, referring to initiation ceremonies.
The walk starts from Dalsetta car park. About 500m from the start, look for an orange post that indicates a left turn to Gibraltar Peak or straight ahead to the Xanthorrhoea Loop.
If you have the energy at the start or end of your climb to the summit, it’s well worth the 1km detour here to see a magnificent stand of grass trees. The track to the peak ascends gradually through open grassland, past relaxed mobs of kangaroos, to Eliza Saddle. From here it’s a steep climb up to a viewing platform and granite steps to the summit 800m further on. It’s possible to descend to the car park via a fire trail but it’s a less interesting route.
Call in at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre to check on the latest conditions before embarking on any walk.