In 1895 George Green built Rock Valley Homestead for his family. It is open for viewing daily within Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. April’s Heritage Festival (above) is a good opportunity to learn more from the Tidbinbilla Pioneers Association (TPA) and witness a demonstration of eucalyptus distillation (below).
Self-sufficiency was essential to the colonial settlers. The orchard boasted 74 trees in 1897. Paddocks were fenced and crops included the more unusual offerings of walnuts, maize, chestnuts and even sugar cane. There were sheep, chickens, dairy and the Greens kept bees, providing a regular supply of honey.
Grandson Eddie Green took over the property when his father Tom died in 1957 and it was acquired by the ACT Government in 1969. Rock Valley Homestead and all of Tidbinbilla was devastated by the 2003 bushfires. Through the hard work of rangers and TPA the public can view the homestead and garden thanks to the fencing keeping out the rabbits.