district in the Australian Capital Territory in Australia
Oceania > Australia > Canberra > Canberra/Gungahlin

Gungahlin is Canberra's northernmost district. Many travellers visit the district for the Gold Creek Village, a family-friendly "village", holding nearly all of Gungahlin's important tourist attractions.

A miniature in Cockington Green Gardens depicting the St. Andrews Church in Kyiv

Understand edit

Gungahlin is a rather new but rapidly growing district. When it was as a town in 1991, it had only 389 inhabitants, but in the 2016 census, Gungahlin had 71,142 inhabitants, but before the 1980s, the area was just farmland. There are many new housing developments in the region that you'll encounter, and since it's a rather relatively new district, most of the district is still very green and has a rural feeling. The new light rail that opened in 2019 has also made it a more attractive place to live, but tourism outside Gold Creek has yet to reach its potential.

Today, Gungahlin makes up one of Canberra's five main town centres, with the other four being Civic, Belconnen, Tuggeranong, and Woden (Queanbeyan doesn't count as it's a part of NSW). However, it's the smallest of the five, and as there are no government offices, some may not consider Gungahlin town centre as one of Canberra's main town centres. However, it is still larger than other smaller centres like Weston Creek town centre or Kingston.

While the tiny historic town of Hall is often included as part of Gungahlin for statistical and government purposes, it's a separate district and therefore is not covered here. There is also no road access to the village from the rest of Gungahlin; it's only accessible via the Barton Highway which runs along the borders of Belconnen and Gungahlin.

Get in edit

By car edit

There are several highways from New South Wales, Belconnen, Civic and North Canberra.

From Civic, the most common route is to use the A23 Northbourne Avenue and turn onto Flemington Road by following the light rail to Gungahlin. Still, you could also use the A25 Barton Highway, which is more effective if you are heading to the Gold Creek Village.

From Hall, use the A25 Barton Highway southeast and turn left onto any one of the roads pointing towards Gungahlin – there will be signs pointing you to the town centre.

From Tuggeranong, use the unnumbered Tuggeranong Parkway north until the end of the freeway. Once at the end of the freeway, continue onto Gungahlin Drive, which should lead you to the town centre. Otherwise, if you're heading to the Gold Creek Village, take the A25 Barton Highway exit (note the signs still have the old National Route 25 route number and follow the brown signs toward Gold Creek Village.

If you're coming from the airport, take the M23 Majura Parkway north and continue up till the end of the freeway, and once the freeway ends, continue onto Horse Park Drive until you get into the town centre.

By bus edit

There are several bus lines to Gungahlin, but there is only one rapid route (excluding R1 which is used for the light rail): the R8 ( R8  from Belconnen. Other bus routes are usually more minor, localised services.

By light rail edit

Gungahlin is linked to Civic through the R1 light rail line ( R1 ); the dynamic route winds through North Canberra and the Dickson Interchange, terminating in Gungahlin's town centre. Frequent services mean you will not have to plan.

By cycle edit

Although unpopular in 2023, three of Canberra's long-distance cycling routes are present in Gungahlin.

  •  C1  – from Civic, passing through the west of Dickson before making its way through Gungahlin suburbia and the town centre.
  •  C7  – from Belconnen. It's mostly straightforward, but you will need to turn left past Barton Highway if you're visiting Gold Creek Village (it will be signposted).
  •  C9  – from Canberra Airport, this route largely follows parallel to Majura Parkway (M23) and Horse Park Drive.

See and do edit

Gold Creek Village edit

Gold? Where's the creek?

Contrary to what you might think, Gold Creek was not named after a creek (there isn't a creek nearby for that matter), nor was there a gold rush that happened during the Victorian/NSW gold rush. It was just simply named after a racehorse.

Map of Gold Creek Village's important points of interests. Minor restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors, and souvenir stores are not listed.
The plateosaurus exhibit in the National Dinosaur Museum

This is a "village" of specialty shops, attractions, hotels (for drinks), coffee shops, a native reptile museum, a butterfly enclosure, and garden supplies, in a group of separate buildings in a strip about 1 km long along Barton Highway. Locals and visitors alike use the area, especially on weekends. It was established during the 1990s in order to be under "one brand", and has since been attracting many visitors, both Canberrans and non-Canberrans ever since.

To get here from Civic, take A23 Northbourne Avenue towards A25 Barton Highway (left) then follow about 5 km to a major roundabout; go straight on about 2 km and follow signs to turn right. ACTION bus route 24 also passes by Gold Creek Village from both Belconnen and Gungahlin Town Centres, but these only operate around once every 30 minutes.

Though this system is often only found in rather large cities, Gold Creek also has a system of "one ticket, multiple venues" system, which can be found at the Gold Creek website, which covers the Canberra Reptile Zoo, Cockington Green Gardens, the Canberra Walk-in Aviary and the National Dinosaur Museum.

  • 1 Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery, 19 O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls, +61 2 6230 2922, . Sa Su 11AM–4PM, M–F by appointment only. An art centre exhibiting exclusively the finest of all Indigenous Australian art. Since its establishment in 1989, this art gallery has only showcased ethically sourced art – so not Indigenous art that was created by non-Indigenous people marketed as "Indigenous" (which is a common scam in Australia).
  • 2 Canberra Reptile Zoo, O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls, +61 2 6253 8533. Daily 10AM–5PM. A whole range of Australian reptiles on display, with thematic exhibits related to various climatic conditions. Be sure to check out the "Snake Tales" program to get up close and personal with some of the reptiles. Adults $7.50, children $6, concession $7, family tickets (2 adults & 3 or more children) $29, discounts available for group bookings.
  • 3 Canberra Walk-in Aviary, 18 O'Hanlon Pl, Nicholls, +61 2 6230 2044, . Sep–Apr: 10AM–5PM; May–Aug: 10AM–4PM. A small family-friendly walk-in with plenty of our feathery friends – birds! The walk-in contains over 500 birds from over 60 species, and if you've ever felt like feeding birds, but didn't want to in the wild, you can do just that here. But be aware, the birds are known to take the mealworms off from you (before you feed it to them), but if you're lucky enough from that, they may land on you.
  • 4 Cockington Green Gardens, 11 Gold Creek Road, Nicholls, +61 2 6230 2273, fax: +61 2 6230 2490, . Daily 9:30AM-5PM. One of Canberra's most well-known attractions, a miniature display village featuring a traditional English village and international display. Train rides and tea room also available. Adults $17.50, children $9.50, family $49, seniors $12.50.    
  • 5 Ginninderra Village, 11 O'Hanlon Pl, Nicholls. The largest remnant of Ginninderra, a large area of agricultural lands which makes up roughly where modern-day Belconnen and Gungahlin are, later becoming two of Canberra's major urban developments, with the most prominent remnant probably the Ginninderra Schoolhouse.  
  • 6 National Dinosaur Museum, cnr Gold Creek Road and Barton Highway, Nicholls, +61 2 6230-2655, fax: +61 2 6230 2357. Sa-Th 10AM-5PM, closed F. The largest collection of dinosaur and prehistoric fossil material in Australia. Adults $16, children $9.90, concession $11, family $45.00 (2 adults 2 children or 1 adult 3 children, extra children $4.00).    

Outside Gold Creek Village edit

The Gungahlin Oval

Outside the Gold Creek Village, there is not much to see nor do in Gungahlin, but there are a few venues. These barely get any visitors, and are only really visited by locals from Gungahlin, but there are some points of interests like the Canberra Centenary Trail that is done by many.

  • 1 Gold Creek Country Club, 50 Curran Dr, Nicholls, +61 2 6123 0600, . Though the golf course veers into the village, most of the golf course including the entrance is outside the Gold Creek Village, and requires you to drive a little bit from the village. It's an 18-hole course with par 72 layout, and golf courses of its size are rare outside the big cities.
  • 2 Gungahlin Enclosed Oval, Warwick St. A multi-use stadium and the home ground for Gungahlin United, Gungahlin Jets, Gungahlin Bulls and Gungahlin Eagles. The venue has a seating capacity of 1,150 people and an overall capacity of 5,000.    
  • 7 Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary (Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve). A protected area with several trails for walking, running and cycling. The sanctuary functions as a fieldwork site for researchers studying native ecology.    

See Hall for One Tree Hill Lookout. It's a lookout that's in Gungahlin but is most accessible via Hall.

Buy edit

Outside Marketplace Gungahlin in 2010
  • 1 Marketplace Gungahlin, Hibberson St, +61 2 6123 4900. Though the shopping precincts's name says "Marketplace", it's not a market, nor does it even resemble like a market. Instead, this two-storey shopping centre with 84 stores has become the district's local mall, though not overly large. There's also a food court inside, which is actually quite large for a mall of its size.    
  • 2 Capital Region Farmers Market, Old Wells Station Rd (within Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC)). Sa 7:30AM–11:30AM. An exceptional fresh food market with products being sold direct from the producer. Stalls sell fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, honey, preserves, cakes, wine and plenty more. Be sure to come early for the freshest produce and grab a coffee or something to eat from one of the pop up stalls. It is a fair distance from Civic, but the trip is well worth it if you can make it.

Eat edit

Budget edit

  • 1 Northside Garden Cafe, Shop 8/39 O'Hanlon Pl, Nicholls, +61 2 5117 3998, . W 8AM–4PM; Th–Su 8AM–3PM, 5–8PM (closed M Tu). Taste some authentic Filipino cuisine from a chef who migrated from the Philippines. The menu is extensive, but the favourites are the pork sisig, the bulalo soup, and the pork adobo. Otherwise, you can always pop in for a coffee.
  • Fast food: There's a KFC and a Maccas available in the Gold Creek Village just near the roundabout at Nicholls Way. There's also another Maccas in Gungahlin Town Centre along with a Domino's and a few other small pizza chains.

Mid-range edit

  • 2 Arirang (Arirang Restaurant), 43 Hibberson St, +61 2 6262 3959. Th–M 11:30AM–3PM, 5–10PM (closed Tu). Has great Korean flavours – Korean stews, soups, pancakes, chicken and BBQ. You guessed it, a classic Australian-Korean restaurant. However, the wait times have been said to be exceptionally long, so take that into consideration.
  • 3 Da Nunzio Caffe Bar Ristorante, 76 Phyllis Ashton Cct, +61 2 6255 6003, . W–Su 9:30AM–2PM, 5–9PM (closed M Tu). A waterfront restaurant by Yerrabi Pond with many great Italian specialties and an extensive menu of pasta, pizza and Italian wine. However, their coffee is a little bit below standard if you compare it to the average Australian coffee.
  • 4 Jasmine House, cnr Ernest Cavanagh St and Gribble St, +61 2 6242 4788. M Tu Th–Sa 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–9:30PM; W Su 5–9:30PM. An Asian (or specifically Chinese) restaurant with lots of good options for a spicy pot (what they seem to call a "hot pot"). However staff hospitality does not have a very good reputation.
  • 5 Siren Bar and Restaurant, 30 Anthony Rolfe Ave, +61 2 6162 0377, . M–Th 8:30AM–midnight, F–Su 8AM–midnight. Has an upmarket feel with some outstanding pizza and seafood options. There's a great atmosphere, though some say that the food is a bit overpriced for what you'd get.
  • 6 The Taste of Himalayas, 1 Wunderlich St, +61 466 049 610, . Temporarily closed. Some Nepalese street food from a catering van inside the Yerabi Pond Park. It's temporarily closed as of June 2022, but otherwise lots of good momos and pani puris out there!

Splurge edit

  • 7 Young & Frisky, The Marketplace, Gungahlin Place West & Efkarpidis St, +61 2 6171 6257, . M–Th 4–10PM, F–Su 11AM–10PM. Mostly specialising in a mix of American and Australian cuisines with plenty of food from other cuisines too, but rather a very Australianised or Americanized version instead. However, by far what Young & Frisky is known for is its fried chicken.

Drink edit

  • 1 The District, Shop 7-8, 56 Abena Ave, Crace (in Crace Central Shopping Centre), +61 2 6174 3147 (landline), +61 447 743 148 (mobile), . Su–Th 8AM–9PM, F Sa 8AM–9:30PM. It may be your typical "suburban pub", and a little bit pricey for what you actually get, but you'll see the difference in taste. There are daily specials from 5PM except on Fridays and Saturdays, but otherwise the extensive cocktail and wine menu should cover you on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 2 The George Harcourt Inn, 3 Gold Creek Rd, Nicholls, +61 2 6230 2484, . Tu–Su 11AM–10PM. A classic pub resembling a traditional English pub, and this is especially reflected in its furniture. There's an extensive range of burgers, pastas and salads, and is somewhat popular with families as it's located in the Gold Creek Village and therefore doesn't turn very violent, but by far, their wines and cocktails are why people visit here.
  • 3 Raiders Gungahlin, 23 Hibberson St, +61 2 6255 4111, . 9AM–4AM (not 4PM). An official branch of Canberra's NRL team, the Canberra Raiders. It has classic Aussie RSL club food and a wide variety of drinks – expect the place to go wild whenever the Raiders have a game during the NRL season.

Sleep edit

Gungahlin does not have a large range of accommodation available. Most accommodation can be found at the Gold Creek Village next to all of Gungahlin's tourist attractions, but outside Gold Creek Village, there is only one hotel in the town centre, There is also a few across the border along Federal Highway, but these are not located within Gungahlin, but are covered here.

  • 1 Abode Gungahlin, cnr Anthony Rolfe Ave and Gribble St, +61 2 6108 4911, 1300 122 633 (domestic). Reception open daily 8AM–8PM. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. A modern apartment hotel with mid-sized rooms and a restaurant/bar. Comes with free parking, and is pet-friendly too.
  • 2 Gold Creek Tourist Resort, 29 O'Hanlon Pl, Nicholls, +61 2 6241 3000, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. It's an established accommodation that's been there around the times when Gold Creek opened. It has 65 units and excellent à la carte dinner M–F from 5:30PM.
  • 3 ibis Styles Canberra Eaglehawk, 1222 Federal Hwy, Sutton NSW, +61 2 6241 6033, fax: +61 2 6241 3691, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. A large resort, a few kilometres from the outskirts of Canberra, with motel-style accommodation. It is on the Federal Highway just across the border. Rooms include small kitchenettes, and it is possible to get two interconnecting rooms for families or groups (at less than the price of two rooms). The resort has a large pool, a breakfast room and restaurant, and a small spa and sauna area.
  • 4 Leumeah Lodge, 48 O'Hanlon Pl, Nicholls, +61 2 6152 8388, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. A YMCA Canberra lodge inside the Gold Creek Village, though there are other accommodation options available if you're not a fan of lodges. It's popular with budget travellers and families, but do be aware that it can get real messy when there's a school group out here.

Camping edit

  • 5 Northern Border Campground (Northern Border Campsite), Canberra Centenary Trail, Sutton, +61 13 22 81. A rather remote campground along the Canberra Centenary Trail. It's inaccessible via road, so the only way to access it is by hiking, and there is also no direct access to the urban parts of Gungahlin from this campground either. Dogs, horses and campfires are strictly prohibited, and permits are required for large groups.

Connect edit

CBRfree public Wi-Fi is available in several locations throughout Gungahlin, but the main place is in Marketplace Gungahlin. However, there is no free Wi-Fi in Gold Creek Village, Gungahlin's largest tourist draw.

Telstra has 3G and 4G throughout Gungahlin, with 5G present in most locations, though it's most notably absent in the northwest. Optus also has 4G coverage throughout but only has 5G coverage in parts of Mitchell, Harrison and Franklin with no 5G coverage in Gungahlin Town Centre. Meanwhile, Vodafone surprisinly has 5G coverage throughout Gungahlin, though patchy in some areas.

Routes via Gungahlin
END N  R1  S  North CanberraCivic
Belconnen SW  R8  NE  END
YassHall NW A25 SE  North Canberra
END N GUNGAHLIN DR S  BelconnenWoden-Weston CreekTuggeranong
TuggeranongCanberra Airport SE M23 NE  Goulburn
CivicNorth Canberra S A23 N  merges with M23
END NW  C1  S  North CanberraCivic
Belconnen SW  C7  NE  END
END W  C9  SE  Canberra Airport

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