Last updated 30Sep23

Tidbinbilla Warning Siren

The Tidbinbilla Warning Siren is located on the uphill side of the Camelback Fire Trail 50m north of the Lyrebird/Cascade Trail junction in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Location: GR 55H FA 71263-74777 (MGA94), Tidbinbilla 8627-2S 1:25000

Siren beside Camel Back fire trail, September 2010

Location of Tidbinbilla Warning Siren

Visits: 30 Sep 23, 20 May 23, 29 Jan 23, 16 Nov 22, 14 Mar 22, 2 Sep 14, 17 Sep 10. Walked past it many dozens of times.

Photographs are available.


• I have been chasing this for some time. There have been varying suggestions, including a loudspeaker for broadcasting lyrebird calls. COG responded that it was definitely not associated with lyrebird research.

• On 23 Dec 22, Tim the Yowie Man posted on his Facebook page, ‘Can you help solve this mystery at Tidbinbilla?‘, referring to this warning siren. There was a number of responses, including from previous TNR Rangers, contractors and managers. Consensus was that it was a warning siren.

• The definitive answer came from Don F. I’ve known him for a number of years, never suspecting that he held this information. He stated:

  • It was there in the 1970s. There was a regular job to charge the large 12V battery connected to it. All based on an idea not well thought through about bushfire risk and public safety.
  • Hi Tim, yes I was responsible for it being left [turned] off from 1983, but there were staff there who felt it was vital, so we agreed to leave the siren in place so that the decision could easily be reversed. Seems like it is still there almost four decades later. In 100 years, will it become a site of cult worship of ancient alien artifacts?

Confirmed by Euoka G, who posted “Can confirm evacuation alarm, was wired to the old Parks depot at Rock Valley Homestead pre-2003 fires. Infrastructure damaged in 03, never repaired.

• On 24 Dec 22, TYM included the issue in his Canberra Times weekly article. He is consolidating returns, including making a video. I’ll post results here when available.

• see here for the definitive 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.

• On west edge of Camelback fire trail, just north of Lyrebird/Cascades Trail intersection. The loud speaker is a fire and/or disaster warning siren. Not sure if it works. (Source: Steve Welch, pers com 19/10/10). So Steve was correct all along!!