Namadgi National Park. Covering almost half the total area of the Australian Capital Territory's southwest, this national park has a well-maintained network of walking trails across mountain ranges, trout streams, and some of the most accessible subalpine forests in the country. The park's boundaries are within 35 km (22 miles) of Canberra, and its former pastures, now empty of sheep and cattle, are grazed by hundreds of eastern gray kangaroos in the early morning and late afternoon. Car-based tent camping is permitted in three designated campgrounds: Orroral, Honeysuckle Creek, and Mount Clear. Bookings are essential and can be made online (v26483611www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au) or by phone. Snow covers the higher altitudes June–September. Bushfires are a constant threat in summertime, so check ahead for conditions. Visitor center, Naas–Boboyan Rd., Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory, 2620. 02/6207–2900; 13–2281; www.tams.act.gov.au. Free. Visitor center weekdays 9–4, weekends 9–4:30.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. A good place to see native wildlife in a natural setting—including lots of kangaroos—this extensive bushland reserve features walking trails, wetlands, and animal exhibits, as well as good picnic facilities. The park is 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Canberra. Tours, including "platypus pursuit" and boomerang throwing, are run on weekends—some of these require a small fee. Tidbinbilla Ring Rd. or Paddy’s River Rd., Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Australian Capital Territory, 2620. 02/6205–1233; 13–2281; www.tidbinbilla.act.gov.au. A$11.50 per car per day (free for pedestrians and cyclists). Visitor center, daily 9–5. Reserve grounds 7:30–8 during daylight saving time, 7:30–6 other times.