Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform

Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve

Overview

Stuck for things to do with kids? Enjoy scenic views and a picnic while birdwatching at Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve at Guyra, near Armidale in NSW’s northern tablelands.

Where
Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
Opening times

Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform is always open, but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • Be sure to watch out for golfers and golfballs
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching

Like the sound of an afternoon surrounded by wetlands, native plants and more birds than you can count? Head to the birdwatching platform at Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve in Guyra. This wooden observation platform sits at the eastern edge of the lagoon, a bustling bird habitat, and is a great place to stop for a picnic, while driving on the New England Highway.

Come face-to-face with a huge variety of birds, including endangered and threatened species. See if you can glimpse the renowned Japanese Snipe, which lives here from August to April, before returning to Japan, and keep an eye out for other migratory birds, including common greenshanks and white-throated needletails.

After watching from the bird hide, why not enjoy a different view with a short walk around the wetlands? There’s no formal track, but it’s easy to walk along the levee bank. Then pause for a picnic, once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, but be sure to protect your sandwiches from any opportunistic ibis.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform.

Getting there and parking

Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform is in Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. To get there:

  • From Guyra CBD, drive south along Bradley Street.
  • Turn west onto McKie Drive
  • Proceed approximately 300m along McKie Drive to the signposted carpark located adjacent to the Guyra Golf Course
  • The birdwatching platform is just a 300m walk to the west across the golf course and boardwalk

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles (no long vehicle access)

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available in a small, signposted parking area adjacent to McKie Drive. Access to the bird observation platform is via the golf course – a 300m walk.

RV camping is provided by Guyra Council and located 100m from the parking area on McKie Drive.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Picnic at the edge of the lagoon and photograph colourful autumn leaves along with aquatic birds.

Spring

The reserve comes alive in spring, with plant life at full bloom. It's a great opportunity to go birdwatching and see the local birdlife thriving in their natural habitat.

Summer

Combine a birdwatching outing with a visit to Guyra's Lamb and Potato Festival held annually from mid-January. Alternatively, stop in at the reserve en route to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Winter

Pull out your thermals and be at the reserve for the arrival of the Japanese snipe. These wonderful migratory birds return to the reserve around August each year.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

10°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

31.1°C

Winter temperature

Average

-2°C and 12°C

Lowest recorded

-7.8°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

108mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area, so it's a good idea to bring your own.

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Wheelchairs can access the Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform area with some difficulty.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Armidale (14 km)

During autumn the parks and gardens around Armidale show their beautiful colours. Enjoy a drive along the Waterfall Way, stopping at waterfalls and craggy gorges in the rugged countryside.

www.visitnsw.com

Glen Innes (25 km)

Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

www.visitnsw.com

Guyra (10 km)

Fishing in one of Guyra's numerous and beautiful streams is a great way to relax and get back to nature. You might land a big trout, too! If you're looking for more active pursuits, you're within easy reach of a number of scenic national parks, where rock climbing, kayaking horseriding and bushwalking are just some of your options.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Mother of Ducks Lagoon birdwatching platform is in Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A changing world

Bird watching platform, Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

The beautiful Mother of Ducks Lagoon has a complex history. Over the years, it’s been drained for pastoral purposes, among others, and has suffered the effects of drought. It’s fascinating to imagine that years ago much of it would probably have been underwater.

Many species call this home

Bird watching platform, Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

With over 87 species observed in and around it, Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve is a major bird habitat. You’ll also see black swans, wading ibis and cormorants diving for fish. Several endangered, threatened and vulnerable bird species rely on the reserve for survival, including the curlew sandpiper and grey falcon. You might even see one of the many reptiles recorded in the park, such as the common snake-necked tortoise or the endangered Booroolong frog. With so many migratory birds calling it home at least part of the year, the reserve has real international significance. Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve features birds protected under international agreements between Australia and Japan, China and Korea.


Wetlands full of life

Wetlands, Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

There’s more to wetlands than birds, of course. The lagoon abounds with lush plant life, including tall spike-rush, common pondweed, Australian sweet grass and even carnivorous plants. Look carefully to see rare woodruff growing on the levee bank.

Education resources (1)

Lagoon shore, Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve birdwatching platform. Photo: John Spencer