Although it’s territory is minuscule compared to other states and territories, Australia’s capital has a nearby national park which 4WD enthusiasts can explore – the Brindabella National Park. So, is a weekend trip to the park worth it?
Brindabella National Park has an area of 18,454 ha, and it is around 58.4 km away from Canberra. It is perfect for weekend or day trips as it has spectacular views, lots of 4WD and walking trails, and fishing spots. Since it’s just a short drive from Canberra, it also offers people to experience a remote alpine bush environment, which is ideal for those who want to escape the city.
Are you planning to explore Brindabella on your next trip? We have gathered everything that you need to know, so read more below!
From Canberra, you can follow this route to reach Brindabella National Park:
- Head north-west on Theatre Ln towards London Cct
- Turn left onto London Cct
- After 170 m, turn left onto Northbourne Ave/A23
- At the Vernon Cir, take the 2nd exit onto Commonwealth Ave/A23
- After 2.6 km, continue onto Capital Cir
- Continue onto Adelaide Ave after 1.8 km
- After 1.6 km, continue onto Cotter Rd/Yarra Glen
- Use the left lane to reach Cotter Rd slip road to Tourist Drive 5/Weston Ck/Tuggeranong/Cotter
- After 750 m, continue onto Cotter Rd/Tourist Drive 5
- Continue onto John Gorton Drafter 4.8 km
- After 1.8 km, turn left onto Opperman Ave
What Should I Know About Brindabella National Park?
The few indigenous archaeological sites that have been recorded within the Brindabella area have been dated to around 5000 years before Europeans arrived in the continent. This area was the traditional home of the Walgalu Aboriginal people who famously named the valley “Brindabella,” which is means’ two kangaroo rats.”
Walgalu people took advantage of the Bogong moths on the Brindabella Range, and during the summer months, also joined the nearby Ngarigo and Ngunawal tribes for the feasts of Bogong moth. Some of these communal feasts happened on the Snowy Mountains and Bogong Range, with Mount Coree showing signs of periodic Aboriginal visitation for Bogong moth collection. But there has not been a real well-organized archaeological survey in the park, and those sites that have been recorded are scattered small campsite artifacts associated with summit Bogong Moth access routes and waterways.
In the 1850s, gold prospecting was tried throughout the range but was not a significant success. Thirteen years later, in 1864, the Franklin family took up the valley for growing cattle. In World War II, the area surrounding the Blue Range Hut was used as an intern camp for Italian Nationals. Evidence of the camp remains to this day, such as the equipment store, the swimming pool, and the creek diversion channel.
Brindabella National Park hosts extensive water catchments to the Goodradigbee and Murrumbidgee rivers in NSW and the Cotter River in the ACT. Brindabella’s closeness to the Cotter Catchment and Kosciusko National Park makes the park an essential corridor for native animals wandering between these two areas. A large part of the park is covered by forests of scribbly gum, red stringybark, box, and peppermint, while several sheltered slopes have forests of the brown barrel and ribbon gum. Also, subalpine snow gum and mountain gum forests are present at much higher altitudes.
Brindabella holds a diverse range of native animals, birds, and reptiles (and threatened species such as the corroboree frog and powerful owl). Among the large mammals, you may spot include red-necked wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, wombats, wallaroos, and swamp wallabies. Meanwhile, ring-tail and brush-tail possums, greater gliders, and sugar gliders live in the trees, and some of the tiniest mammals include echidnas, antechinus, southern bush rats, and water rats. Also, there are reptiles such as the copperhead snakes and blotched blue tongue lizards.
About 80 species of birds have been witnessed inside the park, such as the peregrine falcon and yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Of particular interest to birdwatchers are the pink robin, powerful owl, and olive whistler, all of which are threatened. The park is also home to several other threatened species, including the corroboree frog, common bent-wing bat, yellow-bellied glider, and tiger quoll.
No permits are needed to enter the Brindabella National Park. The park can be located off the Brindabella Rd and can only be accessed by 4WD vehicles. Also, bush camping is allowed only within camping areas. But no camping facilities are currently inside the park.
How Are The 4WD Tracks in Brindabella National Park?
Brindabella National Park is in the most northern part of the Australian Alps, located north-west of the NSW-ACT border around 30 km west of Canberra. The park covers an area of 184.54 sq. km. (18,454 hectares) and offers an extensive system of 4WD trails and fire trails with some ascents where you can witness fantastic views.
Most of Brindabella is sitting on volcanic rocks 400 million years old, with a large part of these belonging to a group that is called the Mountain Creek Volcanics. From the peak of Mount Coree, which towers over the park, has steep slopes on all approaches and cliffs on the north-west face. Here you’ll see sweeping views of the neighboring areas and the Bag Range Hut lookout, which is a
fascinating historical site.
What Are The Other Things That I Can Do in Brindabella National Park?
While you are in the area you can:
- Explore the Uriarra State Forest
- Take a dip or drive through the river crossings of the Goodradigbee River
- Hike to the peak of Mount Coree
What Do Other 4WD Enthusiasts Say About Brindabella National Park?
“The track is perfect at the moment. Not sure how the driving time is only 1 hour 58 mins. We took a lot longer than that and only had a few stops along the way (over 4 hours) and didn’t continue back on the track after joining up with the Brindabella Rd (from Gentle Annie Trail) – the joys of travelling with three kids under the age of 4. But we will do it again and bringing more food along for the trip.” -Cynthia H (https://www.exploroz.com/treks/Brindabella-National-Park)
Where Should I Stay in Brindabella National Park?
Here are some of the campgrounds in the park:
The Flea Creek Campground
Those looking to stay for a few days have a range of options to choose from in terms of camping grounds, such as the Flea Creek campground, which boasts fishing and picnicking. This camp is located near the creek, on the valley close to Goodradigbee River. Camping is a tent only, but it boasts BBQ and toilet facilities. Camping in this site is free and is a great starting point for those looking to explore in their 4WD.
One of the perks of setting up camp in this place is the chance to view the local wildlife, such as owls and trout.
The Lowells Flat Campground
The Lowells Flat campground is a pleasant place for families looking to spend time in the great outdoors for the weekend. It is a tent only camp with facilities like toilets, and the area remains unpowered. Visitors must be well-prepared for their journey due to the unpredictable nature of the weather, which can vary and instantly become extreme.
The McIntyres Campground
The McIntyres campground is located on the riverside, and it’s the perfect spot for a picnic, and a journey to the McIntyres Hut. The camping ground only accommodates tents, with unmarked and unpowered sites, and limited mobile reception. One profit of staying here is the chance to get closer to one of the most renowned of Australia’s animals – the kangaroo – who is known to feed by the riverside during sunset.
Which Australian State Has The Most National Parks?
Queensland leads the way with 237 national parks, closely followed by New South Wales with 235 national parks. Then comes Western Australia with 101, Victoria with 45, South Australia, and Tasmania, each with 19, the Northern Territory with 24, and the Australian Capital Territory with just one.
How Much Are The Entry Fees For National Parks in Australia?
Entry to some of WA national parks is free of charge. However, some do charge an entry fee. Day entry passes can be bought at all parks where entry fees apply, and more than one park can be visited on the same day using a single day entry pass.
Why Are National Parks Important In Australia?
National parks protect our natural heritage: stunning landscapes, extraordinary wildlife, and majestic forests. Although their main purpose is the conservation of biodiversity, National Parks also deliver other invaluable economic, social, cultural, and health benefits to Australians.
Is 4WD Better Than AWD?
Like AWD systems, 4WD is meant to send torque to all four of a vehicle’s wheels to increase traction when needed. But 4WD systems are usually more robust than AWD ones and can generally handle more rugged terrain.