Once a flourishing mining town producing enough copper to keep three smelters operating, Captains Flat has found a new role as a rural retreat for Canberra civil servants.
Not, of course, that the village’s influence on Canberra stops with recharging public service batteries. Its river, the Molonglo, maintains the levels of Lake Burley Griffin.
Not far from Queanbeyan, Captain’s Flat is accessed by a road off the Kings Highway and attracts a regular flow of visitors to fossick in the old mine fields.
Folk lore has it that the town took its name from a bullock known by drovers as Captain which continually slipped its tether to browse on the rich, grassy flats flanking the Molonglo.
The Flat also has a Yesteryear Museum where relics from the mining boom times are on display alongside a collection of vintage and veteran motor cycles.
A 17km drive south takes you to a popular picnic and barbecue retreat in the Deua National Park whose dominant feature is a 100m deep and 50m wide limestone sink known as Big Hole. The Shoalhaven River rises in the park's rainforest.