In Canberra, you can venture into a special sanctuary protecting rare Australian wildlife.

Critters love it here

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary has brought a whole ecosystem to life – only minutes from Canberra’s city centre.

Home to Eastern Bettongs (extinct from mainland Australia for 100 years), Eastern Quolls, tiny sugar gliders and an abundance of native birdlife, Mulligans Flat offers a unique insight into what Australia used to look like long before the introduction of foxes and other feral predators.

It’s a wide open bush space – surrounded by a predator-proof fence – conserving the woodland while also ensuring the future of important Australian wildlife.

All the animals (those introduced as well as those born at the Sanctuary), along with the diversity of woodland plants, have formed a healthy and productive ecosystem, and anyone can visit!

A Eastern Bettong in a natural habitat at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.
See the rare Eastern Bettong in a natural habitat at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. Photo: Charles Davis

Search for shiny eyes in the dark

Many of the creatures at the Sanctuary are nocturnal – meaning, they feed and frolic after dark. So your best chance of seeing a busy bettong or an elusive quoll is on a twilight tour.

The passionate and enthusiastic guides will take you to the best spots to see flora and fauna, while providing ecological insights into the lives of these incredible critters.

On these tours, people have been known to see bettongs, echidnas, possums, micro-bats, kangaroos, wallabies – even owls. Listen carefully for the call of the Bush Stone-curlew, or the many other night-time chatterboxes within the Sanctuary.

Twilight tours run regularly (for ages 10-plus) and you can book online. Wear your walking shoes as you’ll be covering about 2-3km. There are also special tours and programs for children during school holidays.

Daytime birdwatching tours are also available at different times of the year. There are about 160 species of birds to look out for, so bring your binoculars and your camera!

Keep in mind, you don’t need to join a tour to explore the Sanctuary. It’s open to the public almost all the time, closing only during periods of extreme fire danger and on Thursday nights for maintenance. Self-guide your way through Mulligans Flat using the Grassy Woodlands Trail map and guide.

People take a twilight tour of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in Canberra
When you book a tour of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, you’re helping conserve and protect native Australian animals

Find your way there

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is only about 25 minutes’ drive from Canberra’s city centre, right near the Gungahlin suburb of Forde. There are parking options nearby, then you can walk to the main gate. Be sure to close the gate after you arrive to keep the wildlife safe and secure!

Download the brochure for a map and more information.