Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve

Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve panorama



Aranda Bushland Nature reserve

Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 104 hectare reserve bordering Black Mountain Nature Reserve in northern Canberra. It is a gently sloping ridge which features rare Snow Gum Grassy Woodland, rare plants, a small area of endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland, dry eucalypt forest and habitat for woodland birds.

The reserve is popular for walking and cycling with a number of walking tracks and management trails, including access to Black Mountain (under Caswell Drive).

Aranda Bushland is an important part of the wooded area which extends from Black Mountain to the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee river corridors.

The Frost Hollow to Forest Walk starts from the southern end of Caswell Drive.


  • Nature appreciation
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Mountain biking (only permitted on management trails and the marked Centenary Trail)
  • Dogs are allowed on leash in the main part of the reserve but are prohibited in the Snow Gum area.


Cultural Landscape – A continuing connection to country

Aboriginal people lived in and managed the landscape in this region for thousands of years and have maintained a connection to the land to the present day. Generations of Aboriginal people have cared for Country, and have been sustained, physically and spiritually through their relationship with the land, waterways and cosmology.

Traditional Custodians have actively managed the landscape through activities such ‘fire stick farming’ and selectively cultivating certain plants, which created the landscapes first seen by explorers and pastoral settlers.

Continuation of knowledge

Traditionally, the local Ngunnawal people shared knowledge and responsibility for Caring for Country. Today, this cultural knowledge continues to be passed down to younger generations and has a role to play in the management of ACT reserves. Aboriginal community organisations and the Murumbung Rangers in the ACT Parks and Conservation Service run cultural activities to educate the wider community about the cultural landscape, heritage values and land conservation practices.

Heritage sites

The reserve protects several Aboriginal heritage sites including stone artefacts, occurring individually and in small scatters on the surface, and is likely to contain further unrecorded Aboriginal heritage sites.

These sites are of cultural significance to Traditional Custodians, linking generations of Aboriginal people over time, and they are also of archaeological significance as an important source of information on the history of the reserve and the ACT region.

All Aboriginal places and objects in the ACT are protected under the Heritage Act 2004 and must not be disturbed. Anyone finding an (unregistered) Aboriginal object or place has an obligation to report it to the Heritage Council.

Historic Heritage

Pastoral settlers came to the Canberra region in the 1820s. The Aranda Bushland area has mostly been used for grazing stock and for small-scale forestry.



Vegetation communities and associations

A majority of the reserve is dry open eucalypt forest dominated by Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus rossii) and Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha). A small area of endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland occurs in the south.

The reserve also protects a remnant patch of Snow Gums (E. pauciflora) in a frost hollow, which defines the boundary between the lower treeless grassland plains and the grassy woodland and dry eucalypt forest further up slope. This is the best example of its kind in the Canberra urban area and is listed on the ACT Heritage Register. Candlebark (E. rubida), also tolerant of the cold conditions, occurs between the Snow Gums and forest on the hillside.

The fire-sensitive Black Cypress Pine (Callitris endlicheri) is found in the centre of the reserve.

Plants – Land of diversity

Aranda Bushland supports many plant species which are rare in the ACT:

  • Black Mountain Leopard Orchid (Diuris nigro Montana)
  • Brown Beaks (Lyperanthus suaveolens)
  • Canberra Spider Orchid (Arachnorchis actensis)
  • Common Gnat Orchid (Cyrtostylis reniformis)
  • Emu Foot (Cullen tenax)
  • Grey Billy Buttons (Craspedia canens)
  • Gristle Fern (Blechnum cartilagineum)
  • Horned Midge Orchid (Corunastylis cornuta)
  • Loose Flower Bush-Pea (Pultenaea laxiflora)
  • Pale Flax Lily (Dianella longifolia var. Longifolia)
  • Pink Caps (Stegostyla congesta)
  • Plain Sun Orchid (Thelymitra nuda)
  • Rufous Midge Orchid (Corunastylis clivicola)
  • Swollen Sun Orchid (Thelymitra megcalyptra)
  • Thin-clubbed Mountain Orchid (Arachnorchisa atrovespa)

Animals – Home to many

The reserve provides habitat for threatened woodland birds including Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides), Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittata), Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) and White Winged Triller (Lalage sueurii).


Friends of Aranda Bushland conducts regular activities such as weeding, tree planting and maintenance, interpretive walks, mapping of rabbit warrens, etc. For further information visit the ParkCare Initiative page.



Access off Bindubi Street on the west side and from the suburb of Aranda at various points.

Note: If you have difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Download a PDF map

About Canberra Nature Park

Canberra Nature Park is made up of 37 nature reserves ranging from bushland hills to some of the best examples of lowland native grassland and endangered ecological community of Yellow Box-Red Gum Grassy Woodland left in Australia. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is responsible for managing Canberra Nature Park. For more information visit the Canberra Nature Park webpage.


The management of Canberra Nature Park is greatly assisted by a group of volunteers called ParkCare. ParkCare volunteers undertake a variety of activities including seed collection, plant propagation, tree planting, weed removal, erosion control, vegetation mapping and recording, water quality monitoring, raising community awareness and the maintenance and restoration of heritage places.

For more information visit ParkCare

Caring for Ngunnawal Country

The ACT Government acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as Traditional Custodians of the Canberra region, and their continuing sense of responsibility to preserve the spirit and stories of their ancestors throughout the landscape. Cultural values ;are also living and current, as much as an appreciation of the past. For more information visit Caring for Ngunnawal Country.

Canberra Nature Map

Report rare and endangered plant sightings via the Canberra Nature Map.


For more information on heritage tracks, visit Canberra Tracks which is a network of heritage signage that incorporates six self-drive routes leading to many of Canberra’s historic sites.

Prescribed burns

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service conducts prescribed burns throughout Canberra Nature Park.

More information and feedback

For more information or to provide feedback, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or complete an online feedback form.