The Brindabella Range is a mountain range located on the border between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The ranges rise to the west of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, and include the Namadgi National Park in the A.C.T. and Bimberi Nature Reserve and Brindabella National Park in New South Wales. The Brindabellas are visible to the west of Canberra and form an important part of the city's landscape.
History and geography
The name is said to mean “two kangaroo rats” in the language of the local Aborigines. However, another account states that "Brindy brindy" was a local term meaning water running over rocks and bella was presumably added by the Europeans as in "bella vista".
Before European settlement it was inhabited by the Ngunnawal, Walgalu and Djimantan Aborigines. The area was first settled in the 1830s by European squatters with land first being purchased in 1849. Gold was found in 1860 but mined from the 1880s; in 1887 the Brindabella Gold Mining Company was formed. Mining continued til 1910. It is now an agricultural area.
Australian author Miles Franklin grew up in the Brindabella Valley and wrote an autobiographical work, Childhood at Brindabella, which told of her early life in the valley.
The most northerly ski fields in Australia are located in the A.C.T. - in the Brindabella Ranges and include the Namadgi National Park in the A.C.T. and Bimberi Nature Reserve and Brindabella National Park in New South Wales. The highest mountain in the ACT is Bimberi Peak, which lies above the treeline at 1912 metres, at the northern edge of the Snowy Mountains.
A ski chalet was constructed at Mount Franklin in 1938 to service the Canberra Alpine Club. Ski runs were cleared and ski tows were improvised. The chalet later operated as a museum before being destroyed in the 2003 bushfires. A new shelter designed and built by University of Adelaide students opened in 2008. Today, cross country skiing is possible in the area, when conditions allow. Cross Country skiing is also practised at Mount Gingera, which rises above the city of Canberra to an elevation of 1855m, and is the most prominent snow covered peak above the city.
Snow play is available at Corin Forest, near Canberra, at an elevation of 1200m. A development plan was drafted following the 2003 Canberra bushfires which would see three 600m chairlifts installed together with snowmaking facilities and accommodation at this site.
- Bimberi Nature Reserve - plan of management (Report). New South Wales Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water. p. 3. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/parks/pomfinalbimberi.pdf. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- INSTRUMENT NO. 111 OF 1999 ACT Legislation