Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve

Mt Pleasant Nature Reserve panorama



Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve

Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 57 hectare reserve located east of Canberra city.

The reserve is a small part of a large, well-connected and diverse woodland-open forest complex and protects areas of Yellow Box-Red Gum Grassy Woodland.

Mount Pleasant lookout offers views of Lake Burley Griffin and Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

The Duntroon Dairy, the ACT’s oldest building, is located at the base of Mount Pleasant.


  • Nature appreciation
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Mountain biking (only on management trails)
  • Lookout
  • Dogs are allowed on leash


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 as ‘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 three known Aboriginal heritage sites including stone artefacts, occurring individually and in small scatters on the surface, it is likely that other as yet unrecorded sites also occur.

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

In 1826 James Ainslie arrived on the Canberra Limestone plains with a flock of sheep owned by Robert Campbell. Campbell subsequently built the 'Duntroon' homestead, which is now part of the Royal Military College, on the lower slopes of Mount Pleasant.

Around 1832, the Duntroon Dairy was built above the fertile Molonglo River floodplain to provide milk and butter for the many people living on the estate. Dairying continued into the 1960s.

Much of the lower western slope of Mount Pleasant includes a plantation of mixed species which were established under the supervision of Charles Weston as part of Burley Griffin’s plan to re-forest Canberra’s denuded inner hills.

Canberra Tracks interpretative signage (Track 3 'Looking at Canberra') is located at the summit as part of the Canberra Heritage trail network.

Canberra Tracks interpretative signage (Track 2 'The Limestone Plains') is located at Duntroon Dairy as part of the Canberra Heritage trail network.



Vegetation communities and associations

The reserve contains areas of endangered Yellow Box - Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland characterised by very old mature trees, regenerating young trees, saplings, seedlings and a grassy ground layer dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra).

Animals – Home to many

Mount Pleasant has areas of moderate value woodland bird habitat, and the regionally uncommon woodland bird, the Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittata), is found there. The vulnerable Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides) has been recorded in the reserve.



Mount Painter is accessible off Northcott Drive and from numerous points in the suburbs of Campbell and Russell.

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.