With remote wilderness experiences, a wide range of natural environments, an abundance of native wildlife, and Aboriginal and European cultural sites, there are many reasons to visit Namadgi National Park. Namadgi was declared a national park in 1984 and covers 106,095 hectares, with 160 kilometres of marked walking tracks. Walking is the most popular way to explore the park.
Visitors can set off on the Settlers Track, a nine kilometre track in southern Namadgi, to gain an insight into the early settlers of the area. The walking track passes many historic sites including huts and homesteads, fences and yards. Walking tracks and single tracks are for walkers only.
All remote area parties should record the details of their trip in the bushwalking registers located in the park. Warm and waterproof clothing is always required as mountain weather can change unexpectedly at any time of the year. Cycling is permitted on all fire trails other than those in the Bimberi Wilderness. Bicycles are not permitted off the fire trails whether in open or forested areas.
Walking off marked tracks requires expertise with a map and compass. Personal locator beacons (PLB) can also give visitors that extra peace of mind when exploring Namadgi. In the event of a serious accident, illness or emergency, the PLB can be activated, sending a distress signal to emergency services authorities together with a precise GPS location of the device. While essential for serious injury or mishap, walkers and adventurers should note there are serious penalties for deliberate misuse. PLB can be hired from the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre at a cost of $25 for five days and $50 for 10 days. For further information call the Visitor Centre on 6207 2900.
The Namadgi National Park Plan of Management 2010 was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly and commenced on 24 September 2010.
Walking is the most popular way to explore the park. Notes on the park's 160 kilometres of marked walking tracks can be found in the Namadgi Map and Guide available at the Namadgi Visitor Centre shop.
Well-prepared walkers who venture into remote parts of Namadgi reap some of the park's greatest rewards. All remote area parties should record the details of their trip in the bushwalking registers located in the park. Walking off marked tracks requires expertise with a map and compass. Warm and waterproof clothing is always required as mountain weather can change unexpectedly at any time of the year.
The old Gudgenby Homestead, one of the ACT's oldest European structures, has recently been rebuilt as part of an interpretive shelter set at the base of Mount Tennent, Namadgi National Park. The hand cut timber slab hut, originally constructed in 1845 by Scottish immigrant Charles McKeahnie, was dismantled in 1964 by then owner Bill Bootes and historian Neville Locker. The Kosciuszko Huts Association later had the hut's timber slabs stored in a shipping container, a steel box, which is where the project received the name Gudgenby in a Box.
Now, almost 50 years after the timber slabs were stored in that shipping container, the old Gudgenby Homestead once again stands tall in the beautiful bush setting of Namadgi. The hut was reconstructed using the salvaged materials of the original structure and rebuilt within a new interpretive shelter. Interpretive panels and audio stories tell tales of the early settlers. The hut also has QR codes embedded into its walls to allow visitors to pinpoint locations of other pre-1913 structures on Google maps.
Visitors can step back in time and glean an insight into the pastoral era through the exploration of this Interpretive Shelter. Gudgenby in a Box Interpretive Shelter is located just a short walk from the Namadgi Visitor Centre, Tharwa.
The Ready-Cut Cottage is an early 'ready-cut' or prefabricated kit home situated in the Gudgenby Valley, on the southern bank of the Gudgenby River in Namadgi National Park, approximately 29 kilometres south of the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre. The Ready-Cut Cottage is available for hire by groups or individuals. Any proposed use of the cottage is assessed on the basis that it should have a benefit to Namadgi National Park. More information about Gudgenby Ready-Cut-Cottage.
All fires in the ACT including campfires are regulated by law. Fire permits are required for campfires all year round except in officially constructed fireplaces. Always ensure fires are fully extinguished on departure. Help protect Namadgi's sensitive environment by observing fire regulations and using fuel stoves. Restrictions apply when Total Fire Bans are in place.
Wild dogs including dingoes can be found in low numbers throughout the Australian Alps. Although incidents of wild dogs interacting with people in Namadgi are extremely rare, visitors are advised to observe the advice on wild dogs to discourage these animals from becoming less fearful of humans. Report any incidents to the Namadgi Visitor Centre on 6207 2900.
Dogs are not allowed in Namadgi National Park and are also now prohibited in the Gibraltar Forest Regeneration Area formerly known as Gibraltar Pines east of Corin Road. Dogs are permitted on-lead at the Woods Reserve campsite and there are also many other areas in the ACT where you can take your dog.
Fishing is prohibited in the Cotter River catchment upstream of the Bendora Dam wall, the Cotter River and reservoir up to the junction with Pierce's Creek, and the Orroral River upstream of the Honeysuckle to Orroral management trail. Fishing is allowed in all other streams (classified as trout waters) but is subject to a closed season from the long weekend in June to the beginning of the long weekend in October. Gear/bait restrictions and size/bag limits also apply. Only artificial fly and lure fishing is allowed as live bait could lead to the introduction of alien species.
Horse riding is permitted on the National Bicentennial Trail and on fire trails east of the Old Boboyan Road. Before riding, contact the Namadgi Visitor Centre for information and to arrange access and use of yards and camping areas. For more information see the Explore: Canberra parks and recreation guide (Word 342KB) (PDF 4MB)
Snow can fall over any part of the park but is most common on the Bimberi and Brindabella Ranges. The Brindabella and Mt Franklin Roads can be hazardous in winter and care should be taken. Chains may be required. Contact the Namadgi Visitor Centre for details prior to departure.
Events and organised activities conducted in Namadgi National Park for groups of 10 or more people require prior approval. There are a number of recreational and community groups that organise activities within Namadgi National Park. More information is available on the Recreation page.
Camping in Namadgi is available at Honeysuckle, Orroral and Mt Clear campgrounds. Bookings are essential and available at the Namadgi Visitor Centre or online through the ACT Government Online Bookings System. More information is available on the Namadgi National Park Camping page.
There are over 400 kilometres of formed vehicle trails (management trails) available to cyclists within Namadgi National Park, Brindabella National Park and Bimberi Nature Reserve.