Mulanggari Grassland Nature Reserve
Mulanggari Grasslands Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 140 hectare, low-lying grassland reserve located in the south west of Gungahlin Valley.
The reserve features nationally endangered Natural Temperate Grassland and includes populations of the threatened Striped Legless Lizard, Golden Sun Moth, and Perunga Grasshopper. Endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland occurs on ridge lines and in recent years trees has provided a roosting site for the vulnerable Superb Parrot.
The reserve also protects an Aboriginal chert quarry complex which is valued by the Ngunnawal people and is significant for the information it provides on Aboriginal technology, occupation and resource use.
Mulanggari Grassland has a small number of walking trails and an equestrian trail.
- Walking trails
Only passive, low-impact recreation activities using existing access tracks are compatible with this reserve. Dogs, horses and bicycles are prohibited.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed.
Land use history
The ACT has a long and rich Aboriginal history, extending from the present day back at least 25,000 years. Over this time, generations of Aboriginal people have cared for Country, and have been sustained, physically and spiritually, through their relationship with the land. Traditional Custodians have also actively managed the landscape for thousands of years, through activities such as ‘fire stick farming’ and selectively cultivating certain plants, which created the landscapes first seen by European explorers and settlers. As a location where high-quality chert could be found, the lands of the reserve would have been cared for by local Aboriginal groups, who may have controlled access to the area or collected chert for trade with neighbouring groups.
Cultural heritage values
The reserve protects a number of Aboriginal heritage sites, being the physical (archaeological) traces of the rich Aboriginal history of the area. The presence of three chert quarries within the reserve would have attracted Aboriginal groups to the place over time to collect the high quality stone that can be found here. 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.
Vegetation communities and associations
About one-third of the Mulanggari Grasslands Nature Reserve supports endangered Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the ACT. The grassland is dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis) or Poa (Poa sieberiana). Other native grasses and forbs include:
- Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma spp.)
- Spear Grass (Austrostipa spp.)
- Hairy Panic (Panicum effusum)
- Common Everlasting (Chrysocephalum apiculatum)
- Scrambled Eggs (Goodenia pinnatifida)
- Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum) and
- Lemon Beauty Heads (Calocephalus citreus).
Another third of the reserve is native pasture, which lacks forb diversity and is dominated by Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma spp.), Spear Grass (Austrostipa spp.) and Red Grass (Bothriochloa macra).
On ridge tops in the west and north of the reserve the grasslands grade into partially cleared nationally endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland.
Plants – Land of diversity
The reserve protects a small population of the nationally endangered Hoary Sunray (Leucochrysum albicans). The regionally rare Emu Foot (Cullen tenax) and Silky Swainson-pea (Swainsona sericea) have also been recorded in the reserve.
Areas of predominantly exotic groundcover tend to occur in areas which are more damp and are typically dominated by Phalaris (Phalaris aquatic), Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and Brome Grasses (Bromus spp.) with native species such as Tall Spear Grass (Austrostipa bigeniculata) and Wallaby Grasses (Rytidosperma spp.) forming a minor component.
Animals – Home to many
The nationally vulnerable striped legless lizard (Delma impar) is the most common vertebrate found in the reserve with an estimated population of 2,000-3,000 animals.
Threatened Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana) and Perunga Grasshopper (Perunga ochracea) have also been observed.
Access off Gungahlin Drive and various points in Franklin.
Note: If you have difficulty accessing the information in this map please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
About Canberra Nature Park
Canberra Nature Park is made up of 38 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.
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.