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Canberra Writers Festival
23-26 Aug 2018

Ghost Zoo! The wreckage on Mugga Lane

By johnboy 17 July 2008 44

Redneck Ninja sent in some curious photos of the old Mugga Lane Zoo with the following message:

    These photos were taken around November last year at the site of the
    Old Mugga Lane Zoo in Symonston. We were there to take photos for a
    school assignment and what we found is probably one of the creepiest
    places in Canberra. There were piles of sheep bones, syringes, porno
    magazines and even a used sex toy. The abandoned cages were bloody
    strange as well. There were also suspicious looking carparts tucked
    away as well (whole bumper bars from Commodores and Hyundais)
    We got chased away by this junkie soon after the last photo was taken.
    Not sure what’s happening to the site, or who owns it, but a google
    search shows a company was thinking of building an aged care nursing
    home on the site a few years back.

    I remember coming here back in the day, and yes it was in a pretty
    sorry state back in the day, but it was still a pretty good way to
    spend a Sunday afternoon. There were those annoying peacocks and
    everything. It’s sad seeing the place now, given how much fun it used
    to be. Dangerous, too.

This morning I went out there with a friend. I’ve kept two of RNN’s photos in the slideshow, the rest we took this morning. We used Google Maps to find it first, it’s actually a bit further south than the markings on this map:


View Larger Map

Then we got to play Time Team guessing at phases of occupation.

It’s a bit of a worry the extent to which it’s becoming an illegal dumping ground. Other items (an old bus stop sign) must have been brought there by someone for some reason at some time.

If there’s anyone living there they made themselves scarce in the presence of two large men with cameras. It could just be that it’s too cold out there right now for dossing in. Last November it might have been much more hospitable.

In many ways there was surprisingly few bottles of booze and drug paraphenalia, one suspects someone has cleaned the site up after a fashion.

But I agree with RNN, it’s a very spooky place, not helped by the currawongs scrabbling around.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
Ghost Zoo! The wreckage on Mugga Lane
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Clown Killer 10:06 am 21 Jul 08

I got bitten on the chest by a donkey at Rehwinkles when I was a little fella. I remember my aunt who took me there going off at some board chap who probably worked there as a shit-shoveller. Never liked donkeys after that.

PBO 9:15 am 21 Jul 08

Got a chance to check it out on the weekend, took some photos which i will post tonite. It really is a shame as to what has happened out there. We were soon spotted by a Ranger ( he had red and blue lights on his Hilux) but he left us alone to explore. As we were leaving the “tourist rush” arrived with 2 carloads appearing. Good thing we got in early.

Thumper 8:41 am 21 Jul 08

Ginninderra falls?

Doctor Evil 8:39 am 21 Jul 08

Drove past this morning and a shiny new set of gates have magically appeared at the entrance to the old zoo.

Maybe we should start a new thread called “Interesting places we will be having closed to the public this week” 🙂

Thumper 7:22 pm 19 Jul 08

Rehwinkles was cool….

Pity it’s gone….

starry 4:25 pm 19 Jul 08

I thought i read somewhere that they sold the original property ( i could be wrong)

ant 4:19 pm 19 Jul 08

seekay said :

Thumper! How did you miss the typically whiny social worker CT piece on the Causeway during the week?

Um, because it was in the Canberra Times?!

Rehwinkel is still around and living near Bungendore (might even still be on the original place on Macs Reef), he does environmental things and appears in the Bungendore paper from time to time.

ant 4:15 pm 19 Jul 08

Peterh said:

peterh said :

Probably the best deposit of Jasper in the country now has DFAT on it. (sigh)

They are shortly to begin digging up the DFAT staff carpark to build the new Climate Change Department building, I imagine they’ll have big fences around the site but you never know…

starry 2:49 pm 19 Jul 08

It was on Macs Reef Road

lux 2:17 pm 19 Jul 08

Where was Rehwinkles, for the uninitiated?

Thumper 9:08 am 19 Jul 08

Speaking of old zoos, you’d need Timeteam to find the old Rehwinkles site these days.

peter@home 10:11 pm 18 Jul 08

oh, right, just like oaks estate…

seekay 7:28 pm 18 Jul 08

Thumper! How did you miss the typically whiny social worker CT piece on the Causeway during the week?

What a dump that place is – and the public housing on the other side of the railway lines down by the markets. More genius public planning. Instant slum! Just add poor people!

peterh 9:47 am 18 Jul 08

Hamilton said :

Aren’t these photos of Charnwood?

nah, too clean. no burnt out cars, no feral tribes of kids roaming in the background. They aren’t scared of cameras, they’d probably try to eat them.

Thumper 8:43 am 18 Jul 08

Speaking of abandoned areas, does anyone live at the Causeway anymore?

lux 8:25 am 18 Jul 08

Early nineties?

A google search reveals several pages that still advertise the zoo as being open and operational. Now there’s some quality updating.

Hamilton 8:24 am 18 Jul 08

Aren’t these photos of Charnwood?

Timberwolf65 8:19 am 18 Jul 08

I get a really weird, eerie feeling when I look at these photo’s. Someone needs to get in there and clean the place up,if they haven’t already. You can see why junkies would go there.
How scary to be chased by some random, that would of freaked the hell out of me.

What was your assignment on?

Thumper 8:11 am 18 Jul 08

Currawongs or White winged choughs?

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