Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve

View of bushland at Mulligans Flat



Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve photoMulligans Flat Nature Reserve photo

Mulligans Flat nature reserve will have amended closure times from Thursday 20 June - Saturday 5 October 2019 to conduct a rabbit eradication program.

The nature reserve will be closed every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night from:

  • Monday 6.00pm - Tuesday 6.00am
  • Tuesday 6.00pm - Wednesday 6.00am
  • Thursday 6.00pm - Friday 6.00am

Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is a 985 hectare reserve located in northern Canberra. It is popular for walking, cycling and birdwatching.

The Centenary Trail passes through Mulligans Flat.

The reserve protects yellow box-red gum grassy woodland and several woodland plant, grasshopper, lizard, bird and mammal species. It provides habitat for the golden sun moth (Synemon plana) and is a key site for woodland research. The reserve includes historic border markers and tree-lined corridors indicating old roads and many artefact scatters indicating Aboriginal use and ;occupation. It also includes European heritage sites.

For more information visit Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.


  • Mountain biking (on Centenary Trail, and formed vehicle trails only)
  • Walking tails
  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables

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 ‘fire  stick farming’ and selectively cultivating certain plants, which created the  landscapes first seen by European explorers and settlers.

The Gungahlin area  was first sighted by European explorers when Charles Throsby passed through the  northern part of what was to become the ACT in October 1820. Agricultural  development of the ACT followed soon after in close association with pastoral  settlement. Land was first taken up in the Ginninderra district in about 1826  by George Thomas Palmer, who settled land (granted in 1831) at ‘Palmerville’  (later ‘Ginninderra’), his station buildings being located on Ginninderra Creek  south of the Yass Road. Sheep grazing continued until the nature reserve was  established in 1993.



Vegetation communities  and associations

Mulligans Flat contains high quality and partially modified yellow  box-blakely’s red gum grassy woodland and areas of bundy broad leaved peppermint woodland.

Little Mulligans contains forest dominated by red stringy-bark  (E. macrorhyncha) with open secondary  native grassland which has a high diversity of native species. The higher  slopes of the reserve have stringybark open forest with grassy, shrubby or  litter-dominated ground layer and areas of heathland and shrubland.

Plants – Land of diversity

Mulligans Flat is a significant  habitat of uncommon woodland plants including salmon sun orchid (Thelymitra rubra), austral booklime(Gratiola pumilio), finger flower(Cheiranthera linearis), hairy  raspweed (Gonocarpus elatus),horned midge orchid (Corunastylis cornuta), slender speedwell (Veronica subtilis)andsmall knotweed(Polygonum  plebeium).

About 50 plants of the nationally vulnerable austral toadflax (Thesium australe)occur in the centre of the reserve.

Mulligans Flat also has relatively large populations of the following  plant species which are considered uncommon in the ACT: creeping bossiaea (Bossiaea prostrata), milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata), milkwort (Polygala japonica), narrow plantain (Plantago gaudichaudii), twining fringe lily(Thysanotus patersonii)and yam daisy (Microseris lanceolata).

Other uncommon plant species  present in Mulligans Flat include prickly moses (Acacia ulicifolia), blue grass lily (Caesia calliantha), bristly  rock fern (Cheilanthes distans), hairy  centrolepis (Centrolepis strigosa),  large tick trefoil (Desmodium  brachypodum), pale flax lily (Dianella longifolia var. longifolia), slender wire lily (Laxmannia gracilis), the nationally endangered hoary sunray (Leucochrysum albicans var tricolor), matted  water milfoil (Myriophyllum  pedunculatum), austral mudwort (Limosella australis), austral trefoil (Lotus australis), river buttercup (Ranunculus inundatus) and hill fireweed (Senecio bathurstianus).

Rare plant species present in Little  Mulligans Flatinclude Australian mudwort(Limosella australis), milkmaids(Burchardia  umbellate), narrow plantain(Plantago  gaudichaudiana), river buttercup(Ranunculus inundates), twining fringe lily (Thysanotus patersonii) and yam daisy (Microseris lanceolata).

Animals – Home to many

The threatened golden sun moth (Synemon plana)is foundin a number of areas throughout Mulligans  Flat and the reserve also supports a large population of the regionally  uncommon key’s matchstick grasshopper (Keyacris  scurra).

There is a very high diversity of woodland birds including the  threatened hooded robin (Melanodryas  cucullata), painted honeyeater (Grantiella  picta), regent honeyeater (Anthochaera  Phrygia), Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolour), Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii). varied sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera), and white-winged triller(Lalage  sueurii).

Lathams’ snipe (Gallinago  hardwickii) has been sighted in the reserve.

The cryptic flightless perunga grasshopper (Perunga ochracea)occurs in Little Mulligans Flat and the spotted-back skink (Ctenotus uber orientalis), stone gecko (Diplodacytlus vittatus) and shingleback  (Trachydosaurus rugosus) have also  been recorded in the reserve.

The area supports a diverse woodland bat fauna.

In 2009, the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary was  established with the construction of 11 kilometres of rabbit, cat and fox proof  fencing to protect 485 hectares of box-gum woodland. Species no longer found in  the region have been re-introduced into the Sanctuary including eastern bettong  (Bettongia gaimardi), bush stone curlew  (Burhinus grallarius) andNew Holland mouse (Pseudomys novaehollandiae).  Other reintroductions are planned.  The Sanctuary  is supported by the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust.

For more information visit Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.



There are a number of access points into the reserve from Gundaroo Road and Horse Park Drive. The main entry point is at a designated car park on Amy Ackman Street in the suburb of Forde.

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 over 35 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.