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Mann River campground and picnic area

Mann River Nature Reserve

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Learn more about why this park is special

Mann River campground and picnic area is in Mann River Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal gatherings

Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Due to its location at the bottom of the range leading to the coast, the reserve would have been a popular place for the Ngarabul People of the northern tablelands as well as the Gumbaynggir People to the south-east. It's believed the Ngarabul People travelled the mountains on a historic route that is known today as Old Grafton Road.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

Historic highways and bushranging country

View of Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

With the discovery of gold and a regular Cobb and Co mail run, the lands of the reserve were once popular hunting grounds of renowned bushrangers such as 'Captain Thunderbolt' and 'Black Tommy' McPherson. Bordering the eastern edge of the reserve, Old Grafton Road was originally a timber getters track used to cart the valuable 'red gold' cedar trees in the 1840s. When the road was widened during the 1860s, Cobb and Co ran a weekly mail service along this road, linking Grafton and Glen Innes.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

Roving reptiles and birdlife

Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

This reserve protects a wide range of lizards from the mighty lace monitor, reaching up to 2m in length to the more diminutive blue-tongue lizard. Eastern water dragons are often seen sunning themselves on the riverbanks. With over 50 species of birdlife protected within the reserve, grab your binoculars for sightings of king parrots, yellow-faced honey-eaters and yellow-rumped thornbills. The magnificent raptor birds such as the peregrine falcon can often be seen surfing on mountain thermals. Native mammals you can see include grey kangaroos, wallaroos, pretty-faced wallabies and swamp wallabies.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

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Mann River campground and picnic area, Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer