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Nil Desperandum

Earth house hosted by ACT Parks
8 guests3 bedrooms6 beds1 bath
Entire home
You’ll have the earth house to yourself.
Great location
90% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
Great check-in experience
100% of recent guests gave the check-in process a 5-star rating.
Indoor fireplace
This is one of a few places in the area that has this feature.
This venue is accessible by 4WD only.
The historic European heritage homestead, Nil Desperandum, described by previous guests as 'camping under a tin roof' provides a beautiful and rustic wilderness experience. Nil Desperandum offers visitors a feeling of remoteness just a short drive away from the centre of the city. There is solar lighting, a long drop toilet, quality camp stretcher beds, cold running water into the kitchen via a rainwater tank, outside gas BBQ and a fire pit.

The space
This is a camping venue inside a historic house.
Nil Desperandum provides a perfect base for bush walking, bird watching, stargazing, reading or just relaxation.
From Nils you can access the Nil Desperandum Walking Trail that takes you into the Tidbinbilla Reserve. Walking back down the road to Nils, you will find information about the camellia garden, ashbrook plantation and eucalyptus distillery. We have also provided a map with the House Manual to help you with their location.
Nil Desperandum is located within Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, with an abundance of things to do and explore. Tidbinbilla is a place of conservation, native wildlife and history—both Aboriginal and European.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve also has an abundance of native species and there's a very good chance you could see a platypus in it's natural habitat, just ask the Visitor Centre staff where their latest sightings have been.
Aside from Nil Desperandum, Rock Valley Homestead and the Tidbinbilla Valley also reflects the European history of the area. Our friendly staff can tell you more about this, but if you want to learn more there are a number of books for sale at the Visitor Centre..
Tidbinbilla has strong Aboriginal associations, stand out sites to visit include Hanging Rock and Birragai Rock Shelter.
Throughout the reserve there are over 20 walks, from short 15 minute walks to eight hour treks.
Tidbinbilla is committed to conserving Australia's endangered species and currently has three programs running. More information can be found in brochures and from Visitor Centre staff.
Throughout the year there are a number of activities lead by our rangers and expert volunteers. To find out the available activities during your stay you can find our Explore Program online or at the Visitor Centre. You can also follow our social media streams page for up-to-date information on Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Guest access
Check in is between 1 and 4pm at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre where you will be given keys and directions to the homestead.
Access to Nil Desperandum is via unsealed roads, strictly AWD or 4WD vehicles only. Access can also be gained by walking the Nil Desperandum Trail with your equipment and will take around two hours for the average walker.

Other things to note
Are you ready for an experience under the stars? A few things you need to bring:
First Aid Kit (recommended).
Torches.
Sunscreen and insect repellent.
Sleeping bag and pillow (air mattress optional).
Cutlery, plates and cooking utensils.
Food and drink, as the nearest shops are 30 minutes away.
Wood and kindling. Wood cannot be collected from within the National Park and Reserve. The Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre sells bags of wood.
You may wish to bring your own drinking water, as only untreated tank water is provided.
And finally a sense of adventure!

We provide:
Solar lighting (there is no electricity), a long drop toilet, toilet paper, quality camp stretcher beds, cold running water into the kitchen via a rainwater tank, cast iron pot, kettle, outside gas BBQ and a fire pit, kitchen cleaning equipment and camp stretcher beds.

Access:
Access to Nil Desperandum is via unsealed roads, strictly AWD or 4WD vehicles only. You have the ability to leave additional cars in the Visitor Centre car park over your stay, however we will ask you for your car make, model and registration to log the car at the Visitor Centre, for staff closing the Reserve.
Access can also be gained by walking the Nil Desperandum Trail with your equipment and will take around two hours for the average walker.
Access to Nil Desperandum runs parallel to private property. Please respect our neighbours by keeping within Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve property and obeying signs indicating private property boundaries. Similarly, when going for walks from your Nil Desperandum base, ensure that you remain within the nature reserve.
Whilst you have access and can hire the homestead, other reserve users are permitted to access the site during the day to use the toilet, collect water as required, and view the historic Nil Desperandum homestead itself.. Please be aware of this when moving away from the homestead as part of your visit, and store any valuables in the lockable rooms or in your locked vehicle. Management takes no responsibility for damage or loss of personal property as a result of this clause.
You are behind locked gates in this part of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. We ask that you only use your vehicle during your stay to get to and from Nils. Internal roads around the homestead are for management vehicles only.

Communications:
There is limited phone reception at Nil Desperandum. We suggest you test for reception between the Visitor Centre and the first entrance gate and again when you first arrive at the homestead.. We have found reception by walking up the hill on the entrance side of the homestead.

Water:
The water supply at Nil Desperandum comes from a rainwater tank. Rainwater tanks are widely used as a source of drinking water throughout rural Australia for household purposes such as drinking, food preparation or bathing. Providing the rainwater is clear, has little taste or smell and is from a well-maintained water catchment system it is probably safe and unlikely to cause any illness for most users. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve does not treat the water from the rainwater tank at Nil Desperandum, so using it is at your own risk. You might want to boil the rainwater before consumption or bring your own water supply when you come to stay at Nil Desperandum.

ACT National Park and Reserve Evacuation:
During a TOBAN (Total Fire Ban) the Reserve is closed to the public. You will be advised if there is an expected TOBAN during your stay, as we are made aware of this generally the day prior. Please note that during a TOBAN, or should adverse weather conditions occur, you may be evacuated. Should an evacuation be required at management’s request, staff will provide you with assistance and a full refund is applicable. Please follow all instructions given by staff.
This venue is accessible by 4WD only.
The historic European heritage homestead, Nil Desperandum, described by previous guests as 'camping under a tin roof' provides a beautiful and rustic wilderness exper…

Sleeping arrangements

Bedroom 1
2 single beds
Bedroom 2
3 single beds
Bedroom 3
3 single beds

Amenities

Free parking on premises
Kitchen
Indoor fireplace
Smoke alarm
Unavailable: Carbon monoxide alarm

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This host offers 15% off if you stay a week and a 15% monthly discount.
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4.90 out of 5 stars from 85 reviews
4.90 (85 reviews)

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Location

Paddys River, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Nil Desperandum is 40 minutes from the centre of Canberra. A number of things to do on the way include a trip to The Cotter Dam Reserve's swimming holes or the Canberra Deep Space Communications Centre up the road. More information can be found in brochures and from Visitor Centre staff.
Nil Desperandum is 40 minutes from the centre of Canberra. A number of things to do on the way include a trip to The Cotter Dam Reserve's swimming holes or the Canberra Deep Space Communications Centre up the r…

Hosted by ACT Parks

Joined in November 2017
  • 140 Reviews
  • Verified
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is excited to provide unique nature-based experiences for Canberrans and visitors to our region alike. We have a number of accommodation properties that are nestled within the the National Park surrounding Canberra, generally within an hours drive. ACT Parks and Conservation Service is made up of Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and it's more urban Canberra Nature Park, all together making up over 50% of Canberra. With a variety of landscapes from open plains, granite rock formations, steep valleys, glorious waterways, and Eucalyptus Forrest, to the Alpine Regions there is an abundance of variety all at your door step. Hear the call ... and disconnect!
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is excited to provide unique nature-based experiences for Canberrans and visitors to our region alike. We have a number of accommodation prop…
Co-hosts
  • Tidbinbilla
  • Tidbinbilla
  • Namadgi
During your stay
The friendly team at the Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre is available from 9am - 5pm for general enquiries.
  • Language: English
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Things to know

House rules
Check-in: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Checkout: 10:00 am
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events

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