3. Stories of graziers, gold hunters and space tracking stations
The first pastoralists grazed sheep and cattle in the valleys and on slopes now filled with emus and kangaroos. You can trace their history in the 1830s fences, yards, huts and homesteads that remain in the broad valleys where they settled. Then see parts of the Kiandra gold trail that 1860s fortune seekers followed in Gudgenby. Hike the Orroral Heritage Walking Track between the old Apollo space tracking stations at Orroral Valley and Honeysuckle Creek - the first place on earth to receive images of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. Read the memorial display, then learn more about Australia’s excursions into space at the Deep Space Communication Complex in nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
4. Diverse nature and wildlife galore
Follow the Naas Valley to Horse Gully Hut Walking Track to Nature’s Boarding House, a huge tree where nearly 400 species of Australian birds, bats and mammals have built their dens, roosts and nests. See the hardy native fish Mountain Galaxias in Naas Creek. Watch the vegetation morph from woodland and dry forest on the low plains to towering eucalypts and fern gullies on the sheltered slopes. As you climb higher you’ll see kangaroos and wallabies grazing in the open grassland and frost hollows, then Australian Paper Daisies covering the heaths of the highest peaks. Watch out for the rare broad-tooth rat, northern corroboree frog and river blackfish in the sedge fens in the valleys and bogs on the peaks. See the majestic wedge-tailed eagle wheeling through the air or the smaller Australian Kestrel hovering over grassy areas looking for a feed.