Gibraltar Falls / Woods Reserve Area

Go to the Register of the National Estate for more information.
Corin Rd, Tharwa
Australian Capital Territory
The Gibraltar Falls/Woods Reserve area is a spectacular granite and falls setting of high aesthetic significance. The moist and cool falls environment supports the fern PILULARIA NOVAEHOLLANDIAE which is rare in the Australian Capital Territory and is also a habitat of the nationally rare dragonfly AUSTROPETALIA TONYANA. This dragonfly is a relic species with an ancient ancestry stretching back over 100 million years to when Australia was part of the great southern super continent Gondwanaland. The closest relatives of this species are in the Blue Mountains, Tasmania and South America. The dragonfly is of scientific importance for establishing the speciation pattern of Australian dragonflies.

The Commission has determined that this place has Indigenous values of National Estate significance. The Commission is currently consulting with relevant Indigenous communities about the amount of information to be placed on public record.
Within this place Gibraltar Creek descends a vertical distance of 50m by a series of steep cascades and falls and enters a granite walled gorge that extends for 800m through Woods Reserve. The falls are one of the few readily accessible waterfalls in the Australian Capital Territory. At the head of the falls the Creek is 3m wide in a shallow rock floored valley. It plunges over the rim of the main falls via two narrow meandering gutters eroded in the granitic rock (Shannon's Flat Adamite). Abandoned or floor level gutters are also incised into the rock surface above the falls. The stretch of creek above and below the falls contains many small pools and cascades. The cool, moist atmosphere in the splash zones of the falls supports ferns such as mother spleenwort (ASPLENIUM BULBIFERUM) and Austral pillwort (PILULARIA NOVAEHOLLANDIAE). The surrounding vegetation comprises a sclerophyll woodland.