Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve

View of a valley through trees at Tuggeranong Hill



Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve photo

Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 327 hectare reserve in the Tuggeranong Valley that offers great bushwalking  and mountain biking on formed vehicle trails. The steep summit track has scenic views of Tuggeranong Valley and the Bullen Range.

The reserve provides habitat for woodland birds, and is important for the annual autumn migration of honeyeaters.

There are several pedestrian  access points from the suburbs of Theodore and Conder.


  • Lookout
  • Walking tails
  • Mountain biking (only permitted on formed vehicle trails)
  • Dogs are allowed on leash


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, and created the landscapes first seen by European explorers and settlers through activities such ‘fire stick farming’.

Tuggeranong is the Aboriginal word for "cold plain". Currie and Ovens came to the Tuggeranong plain in 1823 shortly followed by European settlers. The Tuggeranong property, established by Thomas McQuoid and his son, was later purchased by Andrew Cunningham and incorporated into the Lanyon pastoral enterprise, until the Commonwealth Government acquired the property for military purposes in 1917.

A new homestead was built in 1908, and occupied by Captain C E W Bean from 1919 to 1924 whilst he wrote an official history of WWI. The site of Tuggeranong was proposed by William Farrer in 1902 for the Federal Capital Territory.

Two areas on the lower hill slope above Conder (totalling 22 hectares), were to be developed into suburb, however a high diversity of plants resulted in the areas being added to the reserve in 2004 and 2006.

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. Stone artefacts and an axe grinding groove site are found in the reserve, and it is likely that further Aboriginal heritage sites will be found. The grinding groove site is a rare and significant type of archaeological site in the ACT. 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.



Vegetation communities and associations

A majority of the reserve  supports dry woodlands/open forest dominated by norton’s box (E. nortonii), red box (E. polyanthemos) and drooping she-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata).  Some of the drooping she-oak are estimated to be around 150 years old and among  the oldest individuals of the species in the ACT. The reserve also contains  some of the oldest and largest scribbly gum (E. rossii) trees in the ACT.

Several areas protect the  threatened yellow box-blakely’s red gum grassy woodland.

Plants – Land of diversity

Tuggeranong Hill supports relatively large populations of  the following rare species:

  • Common  fringe myrtle (Calytrix tetragona)
  • Hill  fireweed (Senecio hispidulus)
  • Pale  pomaderris (Pomaderris Pallida)
  • Shaggy  bristle fern (Cheilanthes distans)
  • Slender  wire lily (Laxmannia gracilis)Tick Trefoil (Desmodium  brachypodium)
  • Tick  Bush (Indigofera adesmiifolia)
  • Thin-clubbed mantis orchid (Arachnorchis atrovespa).
  • Wedge  diuris (Diuris dendrobioides)
  • Yellow burr daisy (Calotis lappulacea).

Other are plants include:

  • Austral  trefoil (Lotus australis),
  • Behr’s  swainson-pea (Swainsona behriana),
  • Blue-grass  lily (Caesia calliantha),
  • Chamomile  burr daisy (Calotis anthemoides),
  • Emu-foot  (Cullen tenax),
  • Hoary sunray  (Leucochrysum albicans) (nationally  threatened),
  • Long flower  hedgehog grass (Echinopogon cheelii),
  • Pale flax  lily (Dianella longifolia),
  • Pink five  corners (Styphelia triflora),
  • Prickly  moses (Acacia ulicifolia),
  • Sickle fern  (Pellaea falcata),
  • Twinning  fringe lily (Thysanotus patersonii),
  • Zornia  (Zornia dyctiocarpa var. dyctiocarpa),  and
  • Yam daisy  (Microseris lanceolata).

Animals – Home to many

Tuggeranong Hill’s rocky habitat  supports a population of the pink-tailed worm lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) and there are several patches of drooping she-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) which may provide  a food source for the threatened glossy black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami).

The reserve provides habitat for woodland birds, and is important for the annual autumn migration of honeyeaters including the yellow-faced honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops), white-naped honeyeater(Melithreptus  lunatus), fuscous honeyeater  (L. fuscus) and white-eared honeyeater  (L. leucotis).



Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve is accessible from the suburbs of Theodore and Conder.

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

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is responsible for managing 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 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.

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.

Walking trails

The reserve is  also part of the Centenary Trail which is a 145 kilometre  self-guided, non-motorised loop trail for walkers and touring cyclists that  showcases Canberra and takes users on a journey between urban and rural  environments past iconic sites and hidden treasures.