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Muogamarra Nature Reserve

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Learn more about why this park is special

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

Wildlife

Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa). Photo: Simone Cottrell

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, pink boronias and towering Gymea lilies. 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.

  • Muogamarra Lloyd Trig walk Join this fantastic guided 3.5km walk at Muogamarra Nature Reserve, near Cowan. Discover an extraordinary place, and enjoy panoramic views of the Hawkesbury River and surrounds.

What we're doing for Biodiversity in this park

Rich in Aboriginal significance

Western Lookout, Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Photo: Tegan Burton/OEH

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.

  • Muogamarra Lloyd Trig walk Join this fantastic guided 3.5km walk at Muogamarra Nature Reserve, near Cowan. Discover an extraordinary place, and enjoy panoramic views of the Hawkesbury River and surrounds.

What we're doing for Aboriginal culture in this park

Fascinating landscapes

Lookout at Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

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.

A snapshot of colonial times gone by

Sandstone wall in Muogamarra Naure Reserve. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

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.

What we're doing for Historic heritage in this park

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

Plants

  • Waratah. Photo: Barry Collier

    Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

    The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

  • Scribbly gum. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Grey mangrove. Photo: Shane Rumming

    Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

    Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

Look out for...

Scribbly gum

Eucalyptus haemastoma

Scribbly gum. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

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Lookout at Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk