A large number of bushwalkers and campers have visited Namadgi National Park as the site's bushfire recovery has been better than expected following last year's late winter and spring rains.
With the exception of the Yankee Hat Art Site and the Orroral Valley Campground, the whole of Namadgi National Park is now open for recreational use and is welcoming visitors again.
The park was closed after the Orroral Valley bushfire devastated 80 per cent (82,700 hectares) of the site in early 2020.
The fire also damaged 22 per cent of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (1444 hectares) and 3350 hectares of rural lands.
An ACT government spokesperson said rangers had noticed an uptick in visitors since most of the park reopened earlier this year, two years ahead of schedule.
The spokesperson said strong regrowth around trees and a proliferation of spring wildflowers suggested the park was well on its way to restabilising itself.
"It is, however, early days, and we will continue to monitor its health intensively for the next few years," they said.
"The Yankee Hat Rock Art Site remains closed for an extended period of time to allow the government to work on upgrades to the site in conjunction with the Ngunnawal community to integrate their values, lore and knowledge.
"It is important that we have new infrastructure, signage and experiences that respect and value the Ngunnawal culture and celebrate the cultural significance of this art site and its surrounding location."
Vehicle access to some key areas of the park remains restricted due to the impacts of the bushfire, as well as flooding from recent rainfall.
Public roads currently closed to vehicles are the Orroral Ridge, Booroomba and Orroral roads. Rocky Crossing is also closed.
While access to the park via these roads on foot is allowed, they will not be accessible to vehicles "for months" because of the extent of damage and complex engineering solutions needed.
The spokesperson said the government's priority was to continue making areas safe for staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors.
"We will continue to monitor tree health in high-visitation areas, and the condition of our walking trails and management trails, and repair these as necessary," they said.
"Priority has also been given to reopening access roads, but this may take time.
"In terms of the environment and ecological values of the park, the main approach to our bushfire recovery plan is to facilitate a natural regeneration of the park.
"The government's primary job will be to allow the landscape to regenerate naturally and maintain areas that could be susceptible to high erosion, particularly around roads and fire trails."
Canberran Angus Cleary, who had been visiting the park to photograph wildlife, said it was a positive for the park to reopen earlier than expected.
"It's important to have access to have outdoor spaces, and by having it open it so early people can see the damage from the bushfire and how the country is regenerating," Mr Cleary said.
ACT Land Management Minister Mick Gentleman said teams had worked hard to make the park safer for the community to return to well ahead of schedule, "with a focus on critical issues with infrastructure and along public roads into the park".
"For many Canberrans, they will be heading into Namadgi for the first time since the Orroral Valley bushfire in January 2020," Mr Gentleman said.
"The bush is still recovering, and the safety hazards brought about by the fires haven't completely gone away. Many tree branches are still very fragile, so we ask that you avoid walking in fire-affected areas on windy days.
"Always keep to the tracks because after a wet spring and summer there's a lot of thick regrowth if you head off the marked path."
Mr Gentleman said visitors should drop into the visitor centre for advice beforehand.
Visitors are urged to avoid walking through fire-affected areas on windy days and stick to paths and tracks.
More information can be found at the ACT Parks and Conservation website.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: