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Turkey Flat trail

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Turkey Flat trail is in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

River redgum

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus L'Her.), Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is synonymous with Riverina river redgum forests – an iconic Australian eucalypt which grows to awe-inspiring heights. With a deep red colour curving along rivers and channels, Riverina river red gum is of international significance. These special eucalypts provide a home to koalas, which you may spot in their branches. Bird watchers might catch a glimpse of white-bellied sea eagles, sacred kingfishers, and threatened superb parrots, amid the majestic trees. There are plenty of fishing opportunities available in the park too, with yellow belly, redfin and brim fish to catch in the area. Murrumbidgee Valley is also a sanctuary for reptiles and kangaroos.

  • Forest drive If you’re looking for a scenic day trip near Murrumbidgee River, near Narrandera, go 4WDing or mountain biking along Forest drive, in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park.
  • Koala reserve Known to locals as Koala reserve (Narrandera Nature Reserve), is part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and home to over 200 koalas. It’s a great place for walking and cycling.
  • Turkey Flat picnic area and bird hide Set on Murrumbidgee River, Turkey Flat picnic area and bird hide is a great picnic spot. Visiting these NSW wetlands is a top choice for things to do in Leeton.

Take me to the river

Koala Reserve, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Murrumbidgee River flows in a westerly direction and is over 1,600km long. Murrumbidgee Valley national and regional parks access over 500km of river frontage at irrigation hubs of Narrandera, Yanco, Leeton, the plains of Maude and Hay, and the edge of the mallee at Balranald. River red gums benefit from times of flooding as it recharges the subsoil with water. The river supports river red gums forests, which in turn support the banks of the river with their root systems. Logged since the 1820s and managed as forests by the government since the early 1900s, in 2010 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service protected 107,000ha of river red gums by creating new parks and reserves, which will now be enjoyed for generations to come.

  • McCaugheys Lagoon McCaugheys Lagoon in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is a great spot for birdwatching or a romantic picnic.
  • Middle Beach This sandy Murrumbidgee River haven, Middle Beach, is an ideal place to go canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming or picnicking. Secluded camping spots can be found nearby.

Water, water everywhere

Kayaking on the river, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Europeans settled the area in the 1840s. By the early 1900s, private irrigation works were replaced by government projects to develop Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). Eventually, MIA supplied water to an area of 182,000ha and enabled subdivision of grazing land into smaller units of mixed farming, horticulture, dairy and sheep. During the 1950s, Italian migrants to Australia were drawn to the area because of its similar climate and soil to Italy and became integral in the success of Riverina agriculture.

Wiradjuri people

Wooloondool, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

River red gums have been important to Wiradjuri people, the traditional land owners of Murrumbidgee Valley, for thousands of years. As well as being used for making canoes and shields, they also provide warmth, shelter and food. Some river red gums were large enough for individuals to sleep in, and light a small fire during the cold nights. Even today, Wiradjuri artists in Narrandera use river red gum to make boomerangs, coolamons and carved didgeridoos.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

Plants

  • River red gum, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Paul Childs

    River red gum (Eucalpytus camaldulnesis)

    Australian native plants, majestic river red gum trees are widespread across Australian inland river systems. The river red gum is a dominant tree species of the Murray-Darling basin which spans NSW, Queensland and Victoria. This iconic native eucalypt grows to a height of 30m and is thought to have a lifespan up to 500-1000 years.

  • Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)

    A hardy Australian native plant, the saltbush is a small spreading shrub that can withstand dry salty soils such as those found in the desert plains of western NSW. It is grey-white in colour and has small spear-shaped succulent leaves. It flowers from December to April.

Look out for...

Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae

Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

Environments in this park

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Turkey Flat trail, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford