Nicholls, Australian Capital Territory

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CanberraAustralian Capital Territory
Nicholls IBMap-MJC.png
Coordinates35°11′10″S 149°05′31″E / 35.186°S 149.092°E / -35.186; 149.092Coordinates: 35°11′10″S 149°05′31″E / 35.186°S 149.092°E / -35.186; 149.092
Population6,865 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1,025/km2 (2,654/sq mi)
Area6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi)
Territory electorate(s)Yerrabi
Federal Division(s)Fenner
Suburbs around Nicholls:
Kinlyside Casey Ngunnawal
Belconnen Nicholls Gungahlin Town Centre
Belconnen Crace Palmerston

Nicholls is a suburb in the Canberra, Australia district of Gungahlin. It was named after Sir Douglas Nicholls (1906–1988) who was born at Cummeragunja Aboriginal mission, New South Wales and who was a footballer, pastor, activist and a former Governor of South Australia and was gazetted on 18 October 1991. Streets are named after various sportsmen and sportswomen.[2]

Nicholls adjoins the suburbs of Kinlyside, Casey, Ngunnawal, Crace and Palmerston. The suburb is located approximately 2 km from the Gungahlin Town Centre and about 13 km from the centre of Canberra.

Local facilities[edit]

Some of the most prestigious houses in Nicholls are located against Harcourt Hill to the west. Also in Nicholls is the Senior Site portion of Gold Creek School, Perce Douglas Memorial playing fields, Nicholls Neighbourhood oval, Holy Spirit Primary School and Gold Creek Primary School. Although the suburb of Nicholls is newly established, this northern portion of the suburb including the Gold Creek School is sited on what was until 1990, the former 'Gold Creek' rural property with the Gold Creek Homestead at its centre. St John Paul II College is a Catholic high school located at 1021 Gungahlin Drive that caters for boys and girls in years 7-12. The Gungahlin Pond is located in the east of the suburb, near the southern end of the Lakes Golf Club. A Canberra Nature Park including Percival Hill is located further south.

Gold Creek Village[edit]

Gold Creek Village is located on the southern boundary of Nicholls, off the Barton Highway. It encompasses Gold Creek Square, Cockington Green, the Gold Creek golf course, the National Dinosaur Museum, Australian Reptile Centre, the George Harcourt Inn and Federation Square. An online private weather station is located in Nicholls.[3]


Aerial view from north

Nicholls contains the remnants of Ginninderra Village, one of the earliest settlements in the Canberra region. The settlement included the former St Francis School of Ginninderra and the historic Ginninderra Schoolhouse which was built in 1883. The village was located at the intersection of the Queanbeyan-Yass Road (now the Barton Highway) and Gold Creek Road which until the founding of the suburb of Nicholls led to the Gold Creek Homestead.[4]

In 1979 Cockington Green, a miniature English village, opened for business in Ginninderra Village. The private sector enterprise was the first of a number of tourism ventures to establish there over the coming years and in the early 1990s, the ACT government approved an application to rename the precinct Gold Creek Village. Sue Geh Circuit in Nicholls is named after Sue Geh, the former Australian basketballer.[5]


According to the 2016 census, The top religious affiliations for the suburb of Nicholls are Catholic 27.4%, No religion, so described 27.2%, Anglican 13.8%, Not stated 8.6% and Buddhism 3.1%. The most common birthplaces in Nicholls are Australia 67.8%, England 4.0%, China 3.0%, India 1.7%, New Zealand 1.3% and Vietnam 1.3%.

Churches and Schools[edit]

Churches: Life Unlimited Church is located at 1021 Gungahlin Drive inside St. John Paul II College.

Schools: Three schools are located on the street of Kelleway Avenue. Gold Creek Primary School is located at 30 Kelleway Avenue. Gold Creek High School is located at 130 Kelleway Avenue. Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School is located at 26 Kelleway Avenue. The shared campus between Holy Spirit & Gold Creek primary is at 30 Kelleway Avenue. St. John Paul II College is located at 1021 Gungahlin Drive, Nicholls.

Lakes Golf Course[edit]

The Lakes is a championship par 72 hole golf course measuring 6,198 metres and was originally designed by Ted Parslow.[6] The Lakes Golf Club has over $1m being spent on the course each year over the past few years. The Lakes from 2006 to 2011 has been completely transformed and has undergone significant improvements which have been managed by Jamie Dawson ( ) realised who was involved with Ted Parslow's original design concept.[7] From 1998 to 2011 over $28m was spent constructing the 6,000 square metre Clubhouse, purpose built undercover corporate facilities including a private bar, toilets and locker rooms.[8] The clubhouse design was undertaken by Wood Day Architects, and was constructed in 4 stages over a period of 13 years.It is now one of Canberra biggest licensed premises in the ACT boasting numerous bars, numerous food outlets (Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Pizza bar, Functions area and a l carte restaurant) and one of Canberra's best TAB's. [9] The Club is financially supported by the Ainslie Football and Social Club.[10] The project concept including all the design and construction outcomes since 1997 to 2011 were managed by Mr Kevin Grace, CEO of Ainslie Football and Social Club.The Club has received numerous awards with it CEO, Kevin Grace, being recognized with the ACT Chief Minister's award for his contribution to business in the Australian Capital Territory.

The next phase of development of the golf course commenced in 2007(completed 2011) with the planting of thousands of native horticultural species and returning the 66 hectares area back to its natural environment, constructing well placed bunkers on each hole, rebuilding all the tee blocks and the construction of an extensive path system to cater for motorized carts and installing a computerized irrigation system. The cart paths navigate their way through the tree canopies providing excellent shade cover in the hot summer months. This golf course is now set amongst a native botanical garden and natural waterways which has seen an abundant return of native fauna and in addition the 1000's of trees planted provided for carbon offsets.

The Lakes golf course setting is picturesque and is located amongst lakes.[11] The waterways provide a water source for maintaining the golf course with no potable water being used on the course. The new computerized irrigation system is able to take full advantage of the water in the lakes to ensure the course presents in an excellent condition even in the hottest driest summers. The Lakes Golf course is an eco sustainable development using as little water as possible since it also located well below the 100 year flood line and having the most modern irrigation systems available.


Harcourt Hill is made up from Hawkins Volcanics mostly cream rhyolite. But in the south and west there are two patches of green-grey dacite and quartz andesite. A fault forms the south east boundary of the Hawkins Volcanics. A porphyry outdrops through most of the center of Nicholls, this is green grey dacitic intrusive, with white feldspar phenocrysts. Over to the east side of the suburb there is Canberra Formation slatey shale and mudstone, then State Circle Shale, then micaceous Black Mountain Sandstone making up Percival Hill. An anticline forms the ridge of Percival Hill, with an overturned syncline on the western slopes. In the north east side of Nicholls the corner Vee shaped outcrop of tuff comes in from Ngunnawal, and also the base of the crook shaped ashstone outcrop.[12]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Nicholls (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Suburb Name search results". ACT Environment and Sustainable Development. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ weather conditions
  4. ^ Newman Chris (2004), Gold Creek, Reflections of Canberra's Rural Heritage, Gold Creek Homestead Working Group.
  5. ^ Australian Capital Territory. Public Places Names Act 1989. Instrument Number 246 OF 1999. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  6. ^ Lakes Golf web
  7. ^ Enviro Links Design Pty Ltd
  8. ^ Gungahlin Lakes: Corporate Golf
  9. ^ Wood Day architect
  10. ^ "Ainslie Football Club: Home". Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
  11. ^ Gungahlin Lakes: Gallery
  12. ^ Henderson G A M and Matveev G, Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs 1:50000 1980.