For a very long time I’ve been wanting to make the easy and stunning drive down to Tidbinbilla in Australia’s Capital Territory. Not just Tidbinbilla, but the entire surrounding landscape is one of my favourites. Nearby Corin Forest is the stomping ground of the new-ish festival of Corinbank, and when it is not hosting said festival it is a popular family picnicking spot with a cafe, flying fox, toboggan ride and water slide with kangaroos and the odd bit of wildlife moseying about.
Namadgi is a hop, skip and a jump away as well. The harsh beauty of Namadgi guts me every time and I can barely speak when I see it. It is a striking contrast to the groomed and tame city of Canberra. All I can do is absorb. There is a haunting loneliness to Namadgi. The ancestors of the original Australians seem to hang here, at least I feel it and it’s not very scientific or logical, is it, but who can really judge?
As my dad says in all his wisdom: ‘we know nothing.’
Anyway. Tidbinbilla: Finally we jumped into the car and had an all too short visit to this great ‘animal park’ as we were calling it. After a bit of traipsing around we were rewarded with many an animal sighting. After the Emus and Kangaroos at the park, the elegant Brolgas were our first find, stalking about on their long, crane like legs – in fact they are Cranes, Australia’s only one. After reading Olga the Brolga by Rod Clement I am a fan of this bird. Next up were many birds: Magpie Geese, Australian White Ibis, Water Hens, two very large Pelicans who were sunning themselves on rocks in the middle of the lake, a Red-Belly Black Snake, many lizards and a water dragon and most exciting were two – two! sightings of the shy and very elusive Platypus (whose name has no confirmed plural), the very first real live platypus I have every seen.