Oakey Hill Nature Reserve

Oakey Hill Nature Reserve panorama



Oakey Hill Nature Reserve

Oakey Hill Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 65 hectare reserve in the Woden Valley.

The reserve is a popular for walking, mountain biking and horse riding and the Oakey Hill summit provides great views of Canberra.

The reserve forms part of a wider woodland area used by woodland birds and other fauna. It protects a small area of endangered Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and supports a population of the vulnerable Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella).


  • Nature appreciation
  • Bird watching
  • Walking
  • Mountain biking (only on sealed cycle paths and management trails)
  • Horse riding (only on marked equestrian trails)
  • 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 ‘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 known Aboriginal heritage sites including stone artefacts, occurring individually and in small scatters on the surface, and 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

The name 'Oakey Hill' is thought to come from the Drooping She-oaks (Allocasuarina verticillata) which grow in the reserve.



Vegetation communities and associations

Small patches of endangered Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland are found across the reserve.

Oakey Hill has previously been planted with a variety of eucalypt and acacia species. Trees currently found in the reserve include Apple Box (Eucalyptus bridgesiana), Blue Gum (E. globulus), Ribbon Gum (E. viminalis) and Argyle Apple (E. cinerea). Black Cypress Pine (Callitris endlicheri), a small tree, is also found in the reserve.

A large area of Drooping She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) in the north east of the reserve will mature and produce seed cones, providing a potential food source for the threatened Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami).

Much of the reserve's ground layer is dominated by introduced species, although there are patches where native grasses occur, including Red Leg (Bothriochloa macra), Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma sp.) and Kangaroo Grass (Themeda sp).

Plants – Land of diversity

Oakey Hill supports a number of species considered uncommon in the ACT including Pale Flax Lily (Dianella longifolia var. longifolia).

Animals – Home to many

A population of the threatened Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) has been identified in the in the reserve.

The forest and woodland areas have value for threatened and declining woodland birds.


Oakey Hill ParkCare conducts regular activities such as weeding, tree planting and maintenance, interpretive walks



Oakey Hill is accessible via an underpass under the Tuggeranong Parkway on the west side, Heysen Street on the north side and from numerous points in Lyons on the eastern side.

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.