Tidbnbilla Warning Siren – a long time since it’s wailed

Sunday 29 January 2023: Tidbinbilla Warning Siren – S/E. At last – the good oil from the horse’s mouth on the warning siren at the bottom of the Camelback Fire Trail in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.


Around 167 steps each way to the siren’s location.

Photographs Photographs are available here.
Track Notes

I first noticed this siren off the side of the bottom of the Camelback Fire Trail on 17 Sep 10. I’ve walked past it dozens of times since, always wondering about its history and use.

Tim the Yowie Man kindly put out a request for information in his Canberra Times weekly article in late December, and also on his Facebook page. There were many comments, which you can read here.

If anyone knows about anything in the Canberra region, it’s TYM. And if he doesn’t know, he’ll find out. He’s a regular cryptonaturalist sleuth and like a dog with a bone. Huge thanks Tim!

He invited me to meet him and Peter Hann, a former TNR Manager, at the Mountain Creek car park at 10.30am today. Peter is the ‘horse’s mouth’ (so as to speak) with the good oil on the warning siren.

We walked up to the location and Peter first shared some comments on the 2003 fires.

He then talked about the history and use of the warning siren.

And, just to show that old dogs can learn new tricks, Peter’s wife pointed out a new thing previously unnoticed by the old dogs. The warning siren has a tail light!!

Tidbnbilla Warning Siren – a tail light

Again, huge thanks to Tim the Yowie Man, Peter and Kay, and TYM’s photographer/videographer.

I understand that the Canberra Times will produce a video of superior quality to mine.

Warning Siren History and Use
  • mid 1970s – locally constructed using a fire truck siren and placed as a fire warning siren above and facing the Mountain Creek car park
  • never used, but regularly tested
  • 1983 – decommissioned, but left in place.

Thanks primarily to Peter Hann and Don Fletcher for this information. And to Tim the Yowie Man for rounding it up.


5 walkers.

Johnny Boy’s Walkabout Blog FaceBook Page

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