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Muogamarra Nature Reserve

“The wildflowers are truly spectacular. But there is so much more to experience here - bushwalking, birdwatching and great views. All on Sydney’s doorstep.”

Located in the northern outskirts of Sydney, Muogamarra Nature Reserve is an extraordinary place, and it’s easy to see why.

Open around spring time for just six weekends a year to preserve the fragile ecosystems and Aboriginal heritage of this outstanding nature reserve, the park transforms into a brilliant display of colour when the spring wildflowers come into bloom. Visiting Muogamarra, you’ll see majestic angophoras, old-man banksias, pink boronias and delicate native orchids.

Muogamarra is home to many native animals like the iconic echidna, and for birdwatchers there is plenty of birdlife to see. Look up to catch a glimpse of a soaring wedge-tail eagle or keep an eye ahead for a lyrebird.

To visit Muogamarra Nature Reserve, join a Discovery tour and hear the secrets of Muogamarra from our volunteer guides. See Aboriginal rock engravings and learn about the area’s significance on a Muogamarra Indigenous heritage walk. Or if you’d prefer to take things at your own pace, simply pack a picnic and a pair of binoculars and take in spectacular views on a self-guided walk.

 

Why you should visit

Muogamarra Nature Reserve is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Wonderful wildflowers
For plant-lovers, it’s hard to find an area so diverse in unique plant life. There are over 900 plant species found in Muogamarra – an extraordinary amount given its relatively small size and proximity to the city. The spring wildflower displays will dazzle visitors with their bright colours. Get up close and see beautiful displays of native orchids, bright pink eriostemons, purple boronias and towering Gymea lilies.

Rich in Aboriginal significance
When you step into Muogamarra Country, you are on the traditional lands of the Guringai people. The Guringai lived in the area for at least 20,000 years prior to European settlement, making extensive use of the Hawkesbury River and adjacent ridgelines. Evidence of Aboriginal heritage can be seen in engravings and shell middens found throughout the reserve: discover the significance of Muogamarra to Aboriginal people today on a Muogamarra Indigenous heritage walk.


A snapshot of colonial times gone by
You’ll also find remnants of colonial history at Muogamarra. During the 1830s and 1840s, several roads were built throughout the area, providing vital transport routes between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River. Remains of dry stone walls, culverts and foundations of earlier buildings can be found in the reserve.

Friendly locals
With such beautiful surroundings, it’s no wonder so many native animals make their home at Muogamarra. Fourteen species of native mammals, including the swamp wallaby, brush tail possum and echidna reside here. Also, 16 reptile species and 140 native birds have been recorded in the area. Spend a day exploring while listening to the laughing calls of the kookaburra and see if you can spot some wildlife on the trail ahead.


Fascinating landscapes
Hawkesbury sandstone is the most common geological feature found within Muogamarra Nature Reserve and forms the extensive plateau on which you’ll explore. Impressive volcanic pipes filled with solidified magma (a type of diatreme) can also be found at Peats Crater and Peats Bight. The volcanic rocks from these diatremes house a striking deep red soil which is rich in nutrients and fantastic nourishment for the plants which grow here.

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Getting there

The nearest train station to Muogamarra Nature Reserve is Cowan Station, on the Newcastle and Central Coast line. Cowan Station is approximately 6km from the reserve.  For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

 Car

From Sydney:

  • Head north towards Newcastle on the F3 Freeway and take the Berowra exit
  • Turn right onto the Pacific Highway and follow it past Cowan
  • The park entrance is on your left, approximately 3km north of Cowan.

From Gosford/Newcastle:

  • Head south on the F3 Freeway and take the Mooney Mooney exit
  • Follow the Old Pacific Highway across the Hawkesbury River towards Cowan
  • The park entrance is on your right, approximately 6km from the freeway exit.

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

Muogamarra Nature Reserve is open to the public from 9am to 4.30pm for six weekends around August and September each year. The reserve is closed to the public at other times to protect sensitive natural and cultural heritage values.

 Fees

Fees

  • activity fee: A Discovery activity fee applies to all people who visit the reserve during the six annual open weekends. Guided walks are included in the price. $10 adults, $5 children, $25 family (2A/3C). For more details contact the Chase Alive Discovery program.
  • park use fees: As this reserve is generally closed to the public, park use fees do not apply.

 Close to

Muogamarra Nature Reserve is close to:

  • Cowan (3km)
  • Mooney Mooney (6km)
  • Brooklyn (8km)
  • Hornsby (19km)
  • Sydney (43km)

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of wonderful things waiting for you in Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights:

Winter/Spring (Jun - Nov)

  • Experience the extraordinary display of vibrant colours during the Spring wildflower season

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 14°C and  27°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 43°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 5°C and 17°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -3.5°C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is February and the driest is July
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 655mm in one day

Safety

Sydney North (Kalkari Discovery Centre)

Phone: 02 9472 9300 or 02 9472 9301

Email: snr.discovery@environment.nsw.gov.au

Street address: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah

Opening hours: Seven days a week 9am to 5pm; closed Christmas Day

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Lookout at Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk