The District of Gungahlin (/ˈɡʌŋɡɑːlɪn/) is one of the original eighteen districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration. The Gungahlin Region is one of fastest growing regions within Australia. The district is subdivided into divisions (suburbs), sections and blocks. Gungahlin is an Aboriginal word meaning either "white man's house" or "little rocky hill".[3]

Australian Capital Territory
Gold Creek was typical of the sheep properties of the Gungahlin region prior to development.
Coordinates35°10′59″S 149°07′59″E / 35.1831°S 149.133°E / -35.1831; 149.133Coordinates: 35°10′59″S 149°07′59″E / 35.1831°S 149.133°E / -35.1831; 149.133
Population87,682 (2021 census)[1]
 • Density967.8/km2 (2,506.6/sq mi)
Gazetted12 May 1966[2]
Area90.6 km2 (35.0 sq mi)
Location10 km (6 mi) N of Canberra City
Territory electorate(s)Yerrabi
Federal division(s)Fenner
Localities around Gungahlin:
Hall Springrange Sutton
Belconnen Gungahlin Sutton
Belconnen North Canberra Majura

As of 2022 Gungahlin comprised sixteen suburbs, including several currently under construction and a further suburb planned. The town of Gungahlin was part of the original 1957 plan for future development in the ACT and in 1991 was officially launched as Canberra's fourth 'town' by the ACT Chief Minister. At the time, the population of Gungahlin was just 389 residents. At the 2021 census, the population of the district was 87,682.[1]

Within the district is Canberra's northernmost town centre that is situated 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Canberra city centre. The town centre is one of five satellites of Canberra, seated in Woden, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Belconnen.

Establishment and governanceEdit

The traditional custodians of the district are the indigenous people of the Ngunnawal tribe.[4]

Following the transfer of land from the Government of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1911, the district was established in 1966 by the Commonwealth via the gazettal of the Districts Ordinance 1966 (Cth) which, after the enactment of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988,[5] became the Districts Act 1966.[6] This Act was subsequently repealed by the ACT Government and the district is now administered subject to the Districts Act 2002.[7]

During colonial times and up until the late 1960s, present-day Gungahlin was part of the former farmlands of Ginninderra. Ginninderra Village and later still the village of Hall serviced the needs of the local farming community. Free settlers included farming families such as the Rolfe, Shumack, Gillespie and Gribble families.[8] These settlers established wheat and sheep properties such as 'Weetangara', 'Gold Creek', 'The Valley', 'Horse Park' and 'Tea Gardens'. Much of the local produce supplied the large workforce at goldfields located at Braidwood and Major's Creek in New South Wales.[9]

Location and urban structureEdit

The district is a set of contiguous residential and industrial suburbs that surround a town centre, together with undeveloped pastoral leases that border with the state of New South Wales to the north, north-east and east. The suburbs are divided from the surrounding districts of Belconnen to the west and south-west, Canberra Central to the south, Majura to the south-east, and Hall to the north-west.

The main industrial suburb of the district is Mitchell.


At the 2021 census, there were 87,682 people in the Gungahlin district, of these 49.8 percent were male and 50.2 percent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.6 percent of the population, which was lower than the national and territory averages. The median age of people in the Gungahlin district was 32 years, which was significantly lower than the national median of 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 23.0 percent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 7.2 percent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 54.0 percent were married and 8.9 percent were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Gungahlin district was 35.6 percent between the 2001 census and the 2006 census, another 50.0 percent to 2011, 50.4 percent to 2016 and another 23.2 percent to 2021. Population growth in Gungahlin district was significantly higher than the national population growth for the same periods, which amounted to 5.8%, 8.3%, 8.8% and 8.6% respectively.[10][11][12][13][1] The median weekly income for residents within the Gungahlin district in 2021 was 48.6 percent above the national average, but slightly lower than the territory average.[1]

In 2021, compared to the national average, households in the Gungahlin district had a significantly higher than average proportion (41.3 percent) where a non-English language was used (national average was 24.8 percent); and a significantly lower proportion (58.0 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 72.0 percent).[1]

Selected historical census data for the Gungahlin district (including Hall)
Census year 2001[10] 2006[11] 2011[12] 2016[13] 2021[1]
Population Estimated residents on census night 23,466 31,656 47,303 71,142 87,682
District rank in terms of size within the Australian Capital Territory 5th   5th   4th   4th   4th
Percentage of the Australian Capital Territory population 7.64% 9.82% 13.15% 19.92% 22.06%
Percentage of the Australian population 0.12%   0.16%   0.22%   0.30%   0.35%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Australian 25.6% 21.2% 27.0%
English 21.1% 20.4% 24.6%
Chinese 5.2% 6.7% 8.8%
Indian n/a n/a 8.4%
Irish 7.1% 7.2% 7.6%
Scottish 5.6% 5.7% n/a
top responses
(other than English)
Mandarin 1.2%   1.6%   3.3%   5.3%   5.6%
Punjabi n/a n/a n/a n/a   2.7%
Hindi n/a n/a   1.5%   2.0%   2.1%
Urdu n/a n/a n/a n/a   2.0%
Nepali n/a n/a n/a n/a   1.9%
Vietnamese 2.1%   1.9%   2.0%   1.7% n/a
Cantonese 1.7%   1.7%   1.8%   1.7% n/a
Croatian 3.0%   2.2%   1.6% n/a n/a
Korean n/a n/a n/a   1.5% n/a
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
No Religion 16.0%   19.1%   24.7%   32.1%   36.6%
Catholic 33.0%   30.8%   27.1%   21.9%   18.3%
Hinduism n/a n/a   4.0%   5.7%   9.0%
Anglican 17.1%   16.5%   13.8%   9.6%   7.0%
Islam n/a n/a n/a n/a   6.1%
Buddhism 3.5%   3.5%   4.2% n/a n/a
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$813 A$1,019 A$1,052 A$1,198
Percentage of Australian median income 174.5%   176.6%   158.9%   148.8%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,836 A$2,355 A$2,453 A$2,829
Percentage of Australian median income 156.8%   159.0%   141.5%   133.4%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,676 A$2,176 A$2,247 A$2,537
Percentage of Australian median income 163.2%   176.3%   156.3%   145.3%

List of suburbsEdit

Asterisk indicates undeveloped suburbs as of 2022.


View of Hibberson Street looking east.

The primary mode of transport within the district is by private vehicle. Despite continued discussion about the preference for sustainable public transport especially light rail, Gungahlin's development is still guided by a philosophy of reliance on private personal transport and an extensive road network.[citation needed]

Public transportEdit


The ACTION bus service provides public transport throughout Canberra. Services from the various suburbs generally pass through a bus interchange located at the Gungahlin Town Centre from where they connect with light rail to Civic. Some services operate direct to the Belconnen Town Centre. The Gungahlin bus interchange is located in Hibberson Street.

Light railEdit

A light rail network linking the Gungahlin Town Centre to Civic opened in April 2019. It is intended to address peak-hour congestion on Northbourne Avenue by encouraging public transport use.[14]

Private transportEdit

Private transport is the dominant mode of transport for Gungahlin commuters. The district's major arterial roads to North Canberra and the city centre are Northbourne Avenue via the Barton Highway, Horse Park Drive and Flemington Road. Gundaroo Drive-William Slim Drive is the main connection to the district of Belconnen. With the completion of the Gungahlin Drive Extension in 2008, Gungahlin commuters can bypass the city centre to reach city's southern suburbs via Gungahlin Drive and onto William Hovell Drive and the Tuggeranong Parkway.

A number of projects have improved road access to the Gungahlin district including:

  • Duplication of the remaining single lane sections of the Gungahlin Drive Extension (completed 2011).
  • Clarrie Hermes Drive extension to the Barton Highway (completed May 2012).
  • Flemington Road was upgraded to a dual carriage way between Gungahlin Town Centre and Wells Station Road in 2010. Although this has provided some benefit for travellers, the road is mostly still one lane each way between Well Station Drive at Harrison and the intersection at Northbourne Avenue. This has created major traffic jams on the road, especially in the morning peak hour.

Public facilitiesEdit

The Gungahlin Community Health Centre, opened in 2012

While the Gungahlin district is serviced by Calvary Hospital and The Canberra Hospital for emergency treatment, a number of private medical practices have established in the town centre and surrounding suburbs. The ACT Government Health Directorate also operates a Community Health Centre, providing access to allied health and outpatient services including mental health services, children's dental and nutrition, diabetes clinic, pathology collection and drug and alcohol counseling services. The clinic opened on 3 September 2012.[15]

The Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency operates the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre which provides the Gungahlin district with a local operations centre for Ambulance and Police as well as ACT Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service.

Community and sports organisationsEdit

The Gungahlin Community Council is the peak community representative organisation for the district.

Gungahlin local sport teams include the Gungahlin Eagles (rugby union), the Gungahlin Bulls (rugby league), Gungahlin United (association football) and the Gungahlin Jets (Australian rules football). All four clubs play matches at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval. Gungahlin is also represented in the ACT Cricket Association by the North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Gungahlin (SA3)". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2022.  
  2. ^ "Districts Ordinance 1966 (ACT)" (PDF).
  3. ^ Search for street and suburb names - Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Planning
  4. ^ "Aboriginal Heritage in the ACT". Heritage. Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate. 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  5. ^ Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth)
  6. ^ Districts Act 1966 (ACT).
  7. ^ Districts Act 2002 (ACT).
  8. ^ Shumack, S (1977). Tales and legends of Canberra pioneers. Canberra: Australian National University.
  9. ^ Newman, Chris (2004). Gold Creek, Reflections of Canberra's Rural Heritage. Canberra: Gold Creek Homestead Working Group.
  10. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Gungahlin-Hall (SSD)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2022.  
  11. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Gungahlin-Hall (SSD)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  12. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Gungahlin (SSD)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2022.  
  13. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Gungahlin (SSD)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2022.  
  14. ^ "Capital Metro". ACT Government. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Gungahlin Community Health Centre". ACT Government. Retrieved 16 January 2014.

External linksEdit

  • ACTMAPi - the ACT Government's interactive mapping service