We examined the use of Landsat multispectral scanner (MSS) data to provide preliminary information on broad vegetation types present within nature reserves in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia. We analysed Landsat data for an area of natural vegetation for which ground survey and aerial photographic data are available. We used canonical variate analysis to examine the degree of spectral separation between training sites selected in the main structural vegetation types. The training classes were then grouped into spectral classes and an allocation procedure used to map the pixels in the reserve into these classes. The analysis provided a good correspondence between spectral classes and broad vegetation types recognised from aerial photography, but did not discriminate between differences in dominant species (e.g. between different types of Eucalypt woodland). The classification derived from the study reserve was then applied successfully to two nearby reserves, indicating that the data can be used to provide initial information on the broad vegetation types present in wheatbelt reserves, although it is not suitable for finer resolution studies.