Palmerville Heritage Park

5 Dec

I’d heard mention of this mysterious place ‘Palmerville’ before, but it seemed like it was too far away, too obscure, to be worth the visit. When I learned it was not only just on Owen Dixon Drive but allowed dogs off leash, I put in the effort to investigate it further. And wow, was I rewarded. Palmerville Heritage Park is now a staple in our lives.

Palmerville Heritage Park is and has a lot of things.

It’s a dog park.

It’s got some incredibly old oak trees.

It’s got Ginninderra Creek.

It’s the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the area, and signs which explain what happened here (convicts! and a drowning).



There’s a memorial forest, where each tree planted is dedicated to someone who has passed away.

Looking towards the memorial forest

Looking towards the memorial forest

Part of the extensive forest

Part of the extensive forest

There’s also a decent, flat path which is wheelchair (including motorised) and kids-learning-to-ride friendly. If you prefer, there’s an easy circuit of the area which takes you over a small bridge, through dense forest and into open space in just a few hundred metres.

Flat path

Flat path

More flat path

More flat path



I love walking in Palmerville.

But there’s someone who loves it even more than me:

Wide open spaces

Wide open spaces






At times, there’s a real sense of magic here, particularly in the early evening.






Time required: This is a really short and easy walk, but it’s not about rushing it.

Height: None – the walk is flat.

Distance: As short as a few hundred metres along the well defined path; probably 1.7km circuit

Views: None, but lovely all the same

Flora and fauna excitement level: Medium – this is a really lovely area for unusual flora, and there’s plenty of amphibious and bird wildlife here. I love walking past the creek and hearing the frogs croaking. One huge warning: if you’ve got a dog that loves running into creeks, or even if you think you don’t… well, this is the place where it’s gonna happen.

Effort expended: Low

Quality of track: High for the well-defined path; the not-well defined path is not really a track but there is a clear loop around the park

Value for effort: High

Date: Numerous / often!

Where: Enter via Owen Dixon Drive and basically the corner of it and William Slim

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? Just get there and see it for yourself!


6 Responses to “Palmerville Heritage Park”

  1. Bells December 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Tara, this is one of our favourite places. it’s right near our house and we discovered it in the middle of winter, with alice. there’s a bit oak tree there we have dubbed ‘our’ oak tree and with alice we watched and waited for it to transform in spring. we love the stories there and the space and the dogs we see. we should meet you for a walk there. great post.

    • inthetaratory December 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      I’d love to meet you for a walk there! You know, I actually think it might have been your Twitter posts which alerted me to its existence in the first place… or at least made me go ‘hey what IS that?’. It is so special. Such a big space and so much to explore in that space. I can see why Alice would enjoy it! Let’s do that walk.

  2. Denise Kay March 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi Tara, I have only just found your blog on Palmerville. It is not far from our place and we are regular walkers as are quite a few Giralangians. Our group The Giralang Pond Land Care Group along with Ginninderra Catchment & Archeological Society of Canberra are in the process of trying to get funding to clean the place up a bit,
    We are planning a public awareness day August/September. It is so rich in indigenous history and early settler history, it has a lot to offer. We are thinking of a cricket match if we can get the oval up to scratch.
    I will keep you in the loop about the plans.
    Enjoyed your piece on the Dinner @OPH. I was sitting opposite .

    • inthetaratory March 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

      Hi Denise! Lovely to hear from you! I was wondering if you’d get in touch, and I’m so glad you did – and on this post, no less! I’d love to hear more about the plans for the public awareness day, and I’d also love to know more about the plans to clear it up. It’s really our ‘happy place’ and the photo I took of Boyfriend and Cooper walking off into the distance is our collective favourite 🙂 A really special place.

      • Penny Daniel January 2, 2021 at 6:37 pm #

        I have 2 trees planted in the Memorial Forest. I went there recently and the row numbers have been removed as well as most of the tree plaques


  1. Human Brochure weekend – a review by Jane | In The Taratory - November 11, 2014

    […] on Saturday morning we scale back our outdoor plans from climbing a mountain to a leisurely walk at Palmerville Heritage Park in Giralang. Cooper leads us along unkempt trails and beneath trees heavy with pink flowers. […]

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