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Dammerels history walk

Moonee Beach Nature Reserve

Overview

Dammerels history walk is a short, easy stroll taking in historic sites, scenic views and the pioneering heritage of South Solitary Island. Whale watching and birdwatching is recommended.

Where
Moonee Beach Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
0.5km one-way
Time suggested
18min
Grading
Easy
Price
Free
Please note
  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
  • The beaches at Moonee Beach Nature Reserve are not patrolled and may have strong rips or currents, so take care in the water and please supervise children at all times.
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters
  • Remember to take binoculars in you want to birdwatch or whale watch
  • There is limited water available in this park, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
  • It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.
  • Eastern grey kangaroos inhabit the reserve. They are powerful wild animals capable of causing serious injury if threatened, so please appreciate them from a distance.

When the Dammerel family took the job as full-time operators of the signal station here in 1884, they could not have known what lay ahead over the next 40 years. Apart from extremely hard work, which the daughters took on as well, the family had their fair share of tragedy, mishap and love stories.

Dammerels history walk is a short easy stroll with a superb view out to Solitary Islands, named by Captain Cook. Learn all about the workings of an historic 19th century lighthouse with a kerosene light and the signal station that provided its only link to the mainland. Hear the story of the Dammerel family and of the collision in 1886 of Keilawarra and Helen Nicoll. Only two bodies of the 48 who died in the accident washed ashore, and their graves are on Dammerels Head.

Watch for wildlife like grazing eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies, goannas and pythons. Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenic views and this fascinating portion of Australian history.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

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Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken
Dammerals Historical walk, Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Photo: A Walton/NSW Government