Galada Tamboore is part of Kulin land for which the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung are the Traditional Owners. It is about 15km north of Melbourne’s CBD. The Woi-wurrung language name - Galada Tamboore - means ‘creek waterhole’.

Merri Creek runs through Galada Tamboore with the suburb of Campbellfield to the west and Thomastown to the east. A large part of Galada’s nearly 100 hectares is managed by Melbourne Water. Hume Council and Whittlesea Council own adjacent land. The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Narrap Team helps with management as does the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC), when funding is available. The important area of grassland, galada tamboore grassland, is Parks Victoria's responsibility.


The landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions over millions of years. The resulting lava flows shaped the course of Merri Creek and formed the impressive basalt escarpments that are found along the creek valley. Merri Merri means ‘very rocky’ in the Woi-wurrung language of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung.
The dark boulders are formed of basalt rock from volcanic eruptions nearly one million years ago. The lighter coloured rock, lying below the basalt, is Silurian sandstone - approximately 400 million years old from a time when Australia was covered by seawater!

Find out more about the geology of Galada Tamboore

Galada Tamboore landscape
Environmental imacts
Environmental impacts
There is a stormwater drain outlet in Galada Tamboore that
is full of litter and weeds. How does it get there?
Rubbish gets to Galada Tamboore from schools, parks and
the streets when it rains and the water washes the litter
into Merri Creek via stormwater drains.
How many types of litter can you find in this picture?

Exotic weeds such as Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) invade Galada Tamboore and threaten indigenous plants.

Exotic weeds

A Rich Land

Wurundjeri-willam people

Galada Tamboore has been a significant place for many thousands and thousands of years for its Aboriginal Traditional Owners. The Wurundjeri-willam clan of the Woi-wurrung people created tools near Merri Creek whilst looking out across the grasslands. Tool fragment scatterings from this work make up  many sites that are of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage significance. These important sites also include scar trees, from which bowls and sometimes canoes were cut.

Current land use

Galada Tamboore is surrounded by urban and industrial development. Lack of knowledge about the environmental significance of Galada Tamboore has led to its use as a dumping ground for garden and building waste.

During the 1990s and 2000s Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) and Friends of the Merri Creek worked towards regenerating important parts of Galada Tamboore. Indigenous species were planted, weeds removed and ecological burns undertaken. More recently MCMC has worked to restore specialised saline seep communities in the gorge area and has continued to restore the galada tamboore grasslands, assisted by community volunteers. Since 2022 the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Narrap Team has managed the ambitious removal of large amounts of woody weeds on various escarpments and replanting of these areas. 

Indigenous plants commonly planted include: Tree Violet, Sweet Bursaria, Hopbush, Yellowbox Eucalypts, Red Gum, Black Wattle and Manna Gum, as well as many smaller understorey grasses, lilies and sedges.

Life at Galada Tamboore

Habitat for significant fauna

Escarpment cliffs are valuable habitat to many reptiles as well as birds of prey such as kites, kestrels, falcons and eagles which enjoy the soaring updrafts.

The north-facing slopes of the grasslands are warm and full of insects and therefore a great hunting ground for insect eating birds.

In-stream life

Within the creek there is an ever changing waterbug life including dragonfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, freshwater shrimp and needle bugs (pictured). The needle-bug has a stick-like body and a tail that acts like a snorkel.

Pippit Nest – ground nesting bird A Needle bug collected from the section of Merri Creek which runs through Galada Tamboore
Pippit Nest – ground nesting bird A Needle Bug collected from the section of Merri Creek which runs through Galada Tamboore

Find out more about Galada Tamboore.

View Galada Tamboore in Google Maps.