Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve

View of bushland at Mulligans Flat



Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve photoMulligans Flat Nature Reserve photo

Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is a 984 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 has many stone artefact scatters reflecting Aboriginal occupation and land use, and European heritage sites, including historic border markers and tree-lined corridors indicating old roads.

For more information visit Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.


  • Walking trails
  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Mountain biking (only on Centenary Trail, sealed cycle paths and management trails)
  • Horse riding is permitted only on marked equestrian trails.

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.

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 Stringybark (Eucalyptus 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) and Small 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 a relatively large population of Milkwort (Polygala japonica), considered uncommon in the ACT.

Other rare plant species present in Mulligans Flat include Pale Flax Lily (Dianella longifolia var. longifolia), the nationally endangered Hoary Sunray (Leucochrysum albicans var tricolor), Matted Water Milfoil (Myriophyllumpedunculatum) and Austral Mudwort (Limosella australis).

Animals – Home to many

The threatened Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana) is found in a number of areas throughout Mulligans Flat and the reserve also supports a large population of the regionally uncommon Key’s Matchstick Grasshopper (Keyacrisscurra).

There is a very high diversity of woodland birds including the threatened Hooded Robin (Melanodryascucullata), 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).

Latham’s 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 (Tiliqua rugosa) 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) and New 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 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.

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.