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Moonee Beach Nature Reserve

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Learn more about why this park is special

Moonee Beach Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

This powerful place

 Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

Look At Me Now Headland is significant to local Gumbaynggirr people as an important mythological site and a powerful place within their homeland. Evidence of everyday lives of Aboriginal heritage and its people remains in the form of middens, campsites, ceremonial sites and areas where stone axes were ground. The name Moonee comes from 'Munim-Munim', which is the Gumbaynggirr name for the area. It means 'rocky', reflecting the original importance of this place for axe-making.

  • Look At Me Now Headland walk It’s an easy hike along Look At Me Now Headland walk, with scenic views all the way and a lookout over Moonee Beach. This is a great place for whale watching in winter and birdwatching in spring.

Settling in

Look At Me Now Headland walk, Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Photo: David Young

The 1880s were a big decade for newcomers to the area and the history is fascinating. From 1884, South Solitary Island signal station was operated by the Dammerel family. Only a couple of years into what would become a 40-year job, there was a collision at sea between Keilawarra and Helen Nicoll. Lone fossicker Frederick Fiddaman spent much of the 1880s searching for gold, and evidence of his toils can still be seen at Diggers Point. A century later, locals protested long and hard, successfully preventing the area becoming a site for sewage ocean outfall. Only in 1995 were Look At Me Now Headland, Diggers Point and Bare Bluff added to the reserve.

  • Dammerels history walk 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.

Rare and threatened

Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary/Seen Australia

Little bent-winged bats roost in nursery caves on the headlands of Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Producing only one offspring each year and being particularly vulnerable to disturbance by humans, they are, unsurprisingly, an endangered species. Eastern grey kangaroos are found throughout the reserve and swamp wallabies frequent the coastal rainforests and heathlands. 80 bird species are known, including 10 endangered species, such as sooty and pied oyster-catchers and black-necked storks. Five threatened plant species survive in the salt spray and shallow soil on the surface of the headlands. To the untrained eye these plant communities, hidden within the grass, don't look like much. But to a botanist they are EEC (ecologically endangered communities) and their plight probably keeps some of them awake at night.

  • Look At Me Now Headland walk It’s an easy hike along Look At Me Now Headland walk, with scenic views all the way and a lookout over Moonee Beach. This is a great place for whale watching in winter and birdwatching in spring.
  • Moonee Creek canoe route For those into kayaking, canoeing or fishing, Moonee Creek canoe route is the ideal alternative way to enjoy the reserve. This pristine estuary is at the southern end of Moonee Beach.

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Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. Photo: Rob Cleary