Our last stop in Canberra was the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
Yes, I failed to say it correctly the entire time I was there.
Two of my new friends/colleagues joined us on the journey, as it came up in conversation the night before that we’d be headed out that way and just so happened to be the only ones with a car. We ended up spending the day together, the majority of it hiking on looped trail through the main nature reserve. We were all a bit drained from the last few days, and definitely not moving at top speed like we normally would. There was also so much more wildlife to see than expected, which slowed us down, but for arguably the best reason.
We walked through a koala breeding area, and just like at the zoo they were mostly sleeping. We did see a few of them move when we circled back, but that was also because many of them happened to be taking a bathroom break at that time. There was one especially chubby one in the back, but we’re still unsure if he/she had a beer belly or was carrying a baby. Either way, they were somewhere between the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and something I might have nightmares about.
On the main trail we saw:
potoroos (they kind of look like a giant rat)
wallabies (look like baby Roos)
one or two platypuses (very difficult to see in the water, they only surface for a minute or two)
a carnivorous duck (his name was Ripper)
two black swans
more birds than I could keep track of.
The real treat of the day was a field full of fifty plus eastern grey kangaroos, officially negating my kangaroo death toll. It was a magical experience getting to be so close to them and watch them interact with one another.
Though we had hoped to maybe do one more trail, we just didn’t have the energy to muscle through it. We took a drive up to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Centre, where the antennae used to transmit images of the first steps on the moon (as well as many other historic moments in space!) to the rest of the world are located. We didn’t get a chance to go back into the facility, but after seeing how beautiful the surrounding area was I’m thinking we may have to go back anyways.
We had an unbelievably gorgeous ride through the mountains back to the center of Canberra, most of the winding roads lined with Kangaroos having dinner. After dropping everyone off, Tyler and I made our way slightly back out of the city to our hotel for the night. It was definitely not as wonderful as the Little National, but at this point we were so beat that we didn’t even care. Any bed would have sufficed. We also loved that our kangaroo theme was continuing on, as the field beside the hotel was chock full of them. A wallaby was even perched on the pool deck in back of the hotel, which was honestly kind of terrifying to see in the dark (it stayed perfectly still and only followed us with its eyes…like a possessed gargoyle).
We woke up bright and early the next morning to get back on the road. We had planned our trip pretty poorly, and had to leave by 8 to get the car back before enterprise closed. Next time we’ll definitely be getting an extra day, though to be honest I’m not sure we could have made it through a second day of walking and sightseeing.
As we passed back into Sydney I felt the instant sense of knowing we were almost home. I love traveling and exploring, but after the busyness of the week I was looking forward to a hot shower, relaxing on the couch, and delivery pizza. And I can confirm that though it sounds bizarre, prawn as a topping is in fact, delicious.