Last updated 16Jul22

Gungaderra Grasslands Nature Reserve

The Gungaderra Grasslands Nature Reserve is located in the Gungahlin area of Canberra, bounded by the Barton Highway, Gungahlin Drive, the southern edge of suburban Palmerston and the eastern edge of suburban Crace.

Location: Hall 8727-4S 1:25000

View NE from Spiders Hill

Visits: 16 Jul 22, 10 Jul 22 (a very short recce), 2 Feb 22, 27 Sep 09.

Photographs are available.

Naming: Named after the Gungaderra property. The property was originally called Red Hill, possibly because Aboriginal people used ochre from this area but it could also have acquired the name after the soil was exposed through erosion due to drought and rabbit infestation. Richard Crace held the lease by 1937 and renamed the property Gungaderra, a combination of the names of the two large estates, Gungahlin and Ginninderra.1
‘Gungahlin’: There are two favoured origins of the word ‘Gungahlin’. Edward Crace gave the name ‘Goongarline’ to the new homestead he built in 1862 (Gungahlin Homestead). The Aboriginal word is said to mean ‘white man’s house’. The spelling, however, evolved in stages over the years to ‘Gungahlin’. Another story is that Gungahlin derived its name from an Aboriginal woman who used to repeat the word over and over, and as far as anyone could ascertain meant ‘wonderful’ or ‘beautiful’.2
‘Ginninderra’: is derived from an Aboriginal word that means “sparkling like the stars”.3

Still exists: Gungaderra homestead still exists off Sapling St or off Mapleton Ave, Harrison.4

Ochre site: The ochre site mentioned above would be Gubur Dhaura.

Contains Gungahlin Hill: Sites of Significance in the ACT. A 9 volume set, pre-cursor to the ACT Heritage Register. Published in 1988 (Vols 1-7), 1989 (Vol 8) and 1990 (Vol 9); pp38-43. Site GH19. (See photos above)


1 A Short History of Gungahlin Canberra Archaeological Society Inc by Helen Cooke March 2010

2 The Gungahlin Region Online!

3 About Gininderra

4 Canberra Tracks Gungahlin, Gungaderra Homestead community hall

5 Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre

Canberra Nature Park Reserve Management Plan 2021