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Monkey Face lookout

Watagans National Park

Open, check current alerts 

Current alerts in this area

Last reviewed: Thu 11 April 2024, 10.05am

Applies from Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10.38am to Sun 30 Jun 2024, 11.48am. Last reviewed: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 10.05am.

Safety alerts: Watagan Road/Heaton Road closed due to landslips

Watagan Road (also known as Heaton Road) is closed until further notice due to a major landslip on the Cessnock City Council section.

There is no access from the cattle grid at the southern end of Heaton Road, Quorrobolong south, uphill to the Georges Road intersection in the Watagans NP.

This access road to Olney, Heaton State Forests and Watagans National Park is closed.

Work is currently underway way but will be complex, involve geotechnical planning, major earthworks and road realignment. 

For information about closures in nearby state forests, please refer to the Forestry Corporation of NSW website for closures and notices.

For more information, contact the local NPWS Lake Munmorah area office on 02 4972 9000 or Cessnock City Council on 02 4993 4100.

Nearby alerts

Applies from Fri 21 Jun 2024, 12.14pm to Fri 28 Jun 2024, 5.00pm. Last reviewed: Fri 21 Jun 2024, 12.21pm

Closed areas: Aerial Drone Spraying in Hexham Swamp

Hexham Swamp will be having Aerial Drone Spraying on the National Paark and Local Land Services Land on Tuesday 25 June to Friday 28 June 2024.

For more information, contact the local park office 02) 4946 4100

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Applies from Wed 19 Jun 2024, 8.28am to Fri 28 Jun 2024, 5.29pm. Last reviewed: Wed 19 Jun 2024, 8.50am

Other planned events: Road closures

Wybung and Snapper Roads will be closed for regrading maintenance works from Monday 24 June through to Friday 28 June 2024.

Access to these areas will not be permitted during works NPWS apologises for any inconvenience caused.

For further information contact the local area office on 02 4972 9000.

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Applies from Fri 26 Apr 2024, 8.09am. Last reviewed: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 11.10am

Other planned events: Watagan Forest Road traffic delays due to road maintenance works

Drivers / vehicles on Watagan Forest Road are advised to expect temporary delays due to road maintenance works being carried out.

Works include vegetation maintenance and surface grading on the road. Traffic control will maintain contraflow through out the works but delays may be incurred.

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Applies from Thu 14 Dec 2023, 3.34pm to Mon 2 Sep 2024, 1.57pm. Last reviewed: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 9.00am

Safety alerts: Major Roadworks in Jilliby State Conservation Area - Commencing 27 December 2023

Major roadworks are ongoing in Jilliby State Conservation Area (Southern Precinct) and part of Ourimbah State Forest.

Partial and intermittent road closures should be expected. The roads that will be affected are:

  • Red Hill Road
  • Prestons Ridge Road
  • Bradleys Point Road
  • Campbells Point Road and 
  • Tooheys Road.

 

Visitors are asked to avoid the area (if possible). Otherwise, please be aware of trucks and machinery using and working on the above roads and to drive to the conditions. Warning signs and traffic control will be in place. Work is expected to be completed by September 2024. The work is funded as part of the Fire Access and Fire Trail (FAFT) program aimed at providing safe and strategic fire trails for fire response and access.

For more information, please contact the NPWS Central Coast Area Office at Lake Munmorah on 02 4972 9000 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

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Applies from Tue 11 Jun 2024, 4.05pm to Wed 31 Jul 2024, 4.06pm. Last reviewed: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 4.22pm

Other planned events: Partial fire trail and track closure (north end Moonee Beach FT)

The northern end of Moonee Beach fire trail is closed for stage 1 construction works. Alternate access to Moonee Beach is via the walking track at the top of Hooey Street.

Work is expected to take several months. This work will finalise the loop of Moonee Beach fire trail and also enable emergency services such as ambulance and fire vehicles access to the back of the beach and improve rescue times for incidents.

NPWS apologies for the inconvenience and it is unfortunate that this work is taking place at the same time as the partial closure to Hooey Street due to the landslip. 

Penalties apply for non-compliance.  For more information, contact the local NPWS office on 4972 9000

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Applies from Tue 11 Jun 2024, 12.55pm to Fri 5 Jul 2024, 5.56pm. Last reviewed: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 1.06pm

Other planned events: Notice of Aerial Drone Spray Program

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is conducting an aerial spraying program using a drone from Tuesday 25 June 2024 to Friday 5 July 2024.

The operation will use Metsulfuron Methyl 600WG for the control of Bitou bush. The program is designed to control Bitou bush infestations in remote and inaccessible locations.

The program will take place in Munmorah State Conservation Area from Moonee to Ghosties Beach cliffs.

NPWS staff will be present and patrolling closed areas during the operation. Moonee Beach fire trail will be closed whilst operations are underway:

Signs will be placed at the entry to the spray locations and there will be no public access during the spray operation. The spray operation will take 1 day. The exact dates and times of closures will be subject to favourable weather conditions.

Please contact the local Munmorah NPWS area office for more information on 49729000.

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Applies from Mon 3 Jun 2024, 7.00am to Sat 27 Jul 2024, 5.00pm. Last reviewed: Mon 27 May 2024, 11.25am

Safety alerts: Tomago Wetlands in Hunter Wetlands National Park - 1080 Baiting Program - 3 June until 27 July 2024

Notice of 1080 program

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is conducting a ground baiting program in Hunter Wetlands National Park at Tomago Wetlands from 3 June 2024 to 27 July 2024.

The operation will use1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) poison for the control of foxes.

The program is designed to minimise predator impacts on wildlife, especially threatened species.

Signs will be placed at the entry to the baiting location. Domestic pets are not permitted in NSW National Parks managed lands. Pets and working dogs may be affected (1080 is lethal to cats and dogs). Pets and working dogs must be restrained or muzzled in the vicinity and must not enter the baiting location. In the event of accidental poisoning seek immediate veterinary assistance.

Please contact the NPWS Lower Area Office NPWS for more information on 4946 4100

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Applies from Tue 7 May 2024, 8.49am. Last reviewed: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 8.56am

Other planned events: Catherine Hill Bay Lookout closed for maintenance works

Catherine Hill Bay (Catho) Lookout will be closed for maintenance works from 07/05/2024 until 01/06/2024. 

Temporary fencing will be in place, please do not enter closed areas during this time.

Works aim to regrade the road surface and redirect traffic to a two way drive in and out removing the loop. Old unsightly concrete blocks will be replaced with large sandstone blocks that will act as seating around the site.

This will all help to tie in the proposed coastal walk that will run through the heritage precinct.

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information phone the Local National Parks area office on 4972 9000.

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Applies from Fri 12 Apr 2024, 4.26pm. Last reviewed: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 8.57am

Safety alerts: Frazer Beach access stairs (near campground) closed due to extensive erosion

Frazer Beach access stairs are temporarily closed due to extensive erosion. Works will be scheduled to stabilise and fix these stairs as soon as possible. Until then the stairs will remain closed. NPWS apologises for this inconvenience. 

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Applies from Mon 7 Nov 2022, 3.08pm. Last reviewed: Fri 5 Apr 2024, 11.18am

Closed areas: Timber Beach and Timber Beach walking track are CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Timber Beach walking track is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. This area is extremely eroded and hazardous and this closure is in place to keep the public safe. 

The are has limited access for emergency services and carrying out rescues is extremely difficult and puts rescuers in danger.

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For further information, please contact the local NPWS office on 49729000

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Applies from Thu 9 Mar 2023, 3.25pm. Last reviewed: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 9.43am

Closed areas: Dead Mangrove Creek Bridge

Dead Mangrove Creek Bridge, off Cobbans Track on Ash Island is closed from Thursday 9 March 2023 until further notice due to the bridge needing maintenance

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, contact the local NPWS office (02) 4946 4100

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Applies from Thu 6 Oct 2022, 1.29pm. Last reviewed: Wed 20 Mar 2024, 1.55pm

Closed areas: Moonee Beach access trail closure

The south Moonee beach access trail located at the northern end of the Moonee Beach fire trail will be closed indefinitely due to cultural heritage sensitivity.

Alternate access to the beach is provided via Moonee Beach Trail, or, Hooey Street Catherine Hill Bay.

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, contact the local NPWS office on 02 4972 9000.

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Applies from Thu 29 Feb 2024, 11.44am. Last reviewed: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 11.10am

Other planned events: Temporary access closures to trails at Middle Camp - Catherine Hill Bay - Munmorah State Conservation Area for external developer construction works.

Middle Camp DA/2238/2017 - has begun works in the Catherine Hill Bay area adjacent to lands managed by Munmorah State Conservation Area. These works due to the location now has temporary closures to access trails for Munmorah SCA. This is necessary for the contractor managing this development in order to maintain a safe construction site and public safety.

NPWS apologises for the inconvenience and are unable to provide alternate access.

This temporary closure affects: 

  1. Collier fire trail
  2. Powerline fire trail and 
  3. Middle Camp fire trail

Please be advised that these closures will not stop access to fire vehicles in emergencies and does not cause a safety concern.

For more information, contact the local NPWS office on 4972 9000.

 

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Applies from Wed 14 Feb 2024, 10.39am to Wed 31 Jul 2024, 10.40am. Last reviewed: Sat 25 May 2024, 3.15pm

Closed areas: Pinny Beach footbridge closed

The Pinny Beach footbridge will be closed until further notice for essential repairs. The coastal walking track will remain open with access south and north of the bridge by detouring around Pinny Lagoon. Take care when traversing Pinny Lagoon during periods of high tidal activity. 

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, contact the local NPWS Central Coast Office on (02) 4972 9000.

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Applies from Wed 13 Apr 2022, 10.37am. Last reviewed: Tue 30 Apr 2024, 12.43pm

Safety alerts: Prickly Ridge Road 4WD only

The section of Prickly Ridge Road between Watagan Forest Road and Cut-Rock Road is suitable for 4WD vehicles only.

To prevent further damage to the road and to protect visitor safety, please avoid this area and other trails in the reserve that are still slippery and potentially hazardous.  

For further information, please contact the Central Coast Area Office at Lake Munmorah on 02 4972 9000.

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Applies from Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10.38am to Sun 30 Jun 2024, 11.48am. Last reviewed: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 10.05am

Safety alerts: Watagan Road/Heaton Road closed due to landslips

Watagan Road (also known as Heaton Road) is closed until further notice due to a major landslip on the Cessnock City Council section.

There is no access from the cattle grid at the southern end of Heaton Road, Quorrobolong south, uphill to the Georges Road intersection in the Watagans NP.

This access road to Olney, Heaton State Forests and Watagans National Park is closed.

Work is currently underway way but will be complex, involve geotechnical planning, major earthworks and road realignment. 

For information about closures in nearby state forests, please refer to the Forestry Corporation of NSW website for closures and notices.

For more information, contact the local NPWS Lake Munmorah area office on 02 4972 9000 or Cessnock City Council on 02 4993 4100.

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Applies from Sat 28 Oct 2023, 3.54pm to Sun 30 Jun 2024, 4.17pm. Last reviewed: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 10.06am

Closed areas: Daniels Pt Road and Maculata Fire Trail Closed -Jilliby SCA

The following fire trails are closed due to illegal 4WD damage:

  • Maculata fire trail west of Jilliby Road to Daniels Point fire trail
  • Eastern section of Daniels Point fire trail to Jilliby Jilliby Creek

There is no vehicle access across Little Jilliby jilliby Creek in either direction. Locked gates are in place in several locations.

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, contact the NPWS Central Coast area office on 02 4972 9000 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

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Applies from Wed 8 Mar 2023, 9.09am. Last reviewed: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 9.59am

Closed areas: Muirs Lookout Picnic Area - Closed

Muirs Lookout Picnic Area on Prickly Ridge Road has been closed due to ageing infrastructure, obstructed lookout views to the coast and very low public visitation. Alternative picnic facilities are located nearby in Olney State Forest and Watagans National Park. Further information on other places to visit can be obtained via the NPWS or Forestry Corporation websites. 

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Applies from Tue 7 Oct 2014, 1.53pm to Thu 7 Oct 2027, 11.00am. Last reviewed: Tue 9 Apr 2024, 9.08am

Closed areas: Parts of Sugarloaf State Conservation Area closed

Parts of Sugarloaf State Conservation Area are closed for approved underground mining operations. The affected areas (see map) have been closed to protect visitor safety, because they're subject to subsidence and remediation activities from the mining operations.

Great North walk remains open. An update will be provided should this situation change.

If you're visiting the park, please be aware of subsidence and pollution incidents that took place in 2013, which were greater than what was expected from normal mining operations. These included a cliff fall in the north, and a subsidence and grout leak incident in the central part of Sugarloaf State Conservation Area.

If you're planning to visit the park during this time, please stay on formed tracks and trails and observe all barriers, warning signs and safety messages. Areas subject to possible cliff fall or subsidence in both areas of the park are clearly marked.

For more information, call the NPWS Lower Hunter area office on 02 4946 4100. NSW National Parks safety page.

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Applies from Wed 7 Dec 2022, 5.39pm to Mon 27 Jan 2025, 5.40pm. Last reviewed: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 11.10am

Closed areas: Area closed - Pink Caves

Pink Caves are closed to visitors because they are extremely unsafe to visit.

The caves are filled with water at high tide. Even at low tide they can be dangerous, as ocean swell sends unpredictable waves sweeping into the caves and across the rock shelf. Sudden rogue waves can cause serious injury and may drag visitors across the rocks or out to sea.

There’s no lifeguard service in this area and access for emergency services is limited. There’s no approved walking track to this location. Access to the caves involves walking over a rock shelf which is slippery, uneven and dangerous.

Visitors should take care when traversing all rock shelves and coastal areas located within Munmorah State Conservation Area.

For further information call the NPWS Lake Munmorah office on 02 4972 9000.

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Applies from Fri 4 Jan 2019, 1.28pm to Tue 31 Dec 2024, 1.38pm. Last reviewed: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 8.17am

Closed areas: Morisset Picnic Area Closed

The Morisset section of Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area is closed from Thursday 20 December 2019. There is now no public access to the following areas:

  • The  Morisset Hospital site
  • Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area foreshore
  • Morisset picnic area.

Alternative picnic areas are located in the Lake Macquarie Council area in and around the Morisset and Bonnells Bay foreshores. There is no public access to view the kangaroos that frequent the hospital site. Members of the public can contact the hospital administrative office on 02 4973 0222. 

Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, contact the NPWS Lake Munmorah area office on 02 4972 9000 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

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Applies from Wed 3 Aug 2022, 10.43am. Last reviewed: Mon 3 Jun 2024, 11.31am

Safety alerts: Rock fishing safety

Rock fishing is a popular activity for many national park visitors and your safety whilst fishing is important. Parts of the NSW Central Coast are a declared high risk area due to large swells and hazardous surf conditions. In these high risk areas under the NSW Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016, you are required by law to wear an appropriate life jacket. This includes children and anyone helping you fish. This is regulated by NSW Fisheries and poses an on the spot $100 fine if non-compliant.

Before rock fishing you should always:

Stay safe, always watch the local conditions, never turn your back on the ocean and never fish alone.

If you’re in doubt don’t go out.

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Applies from Wed 3 Aug 2022, 12.57pm. Last reviewed: Thu 6 Jun 2024, 9.43am

Safety alerts: Rock fishing safety

Rock fishing is a popular activity for many national park visitors and your safety whilst fishing is important. Parts of the NSW Central Coast are a declared high risk area due to large swells and hazardous surf conditions. In these high risk areas under the NSW Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016, you are required by law to wear an appropriate life jacket. This includes children and anyone helping you fish. This is regulated by NSW Fisheries and poses an on the spot $100 fine if non-compliant.

Before rock fishing you should always:

Stay safe, always watch the local conditions, never turn your back on the ocean and never fish alone.

If you’re in doubt don’t go out.

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Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/monkey-face-lookout/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Watagans National Park in the North Coast region
  • Watagans National Park is always open, but may have to close at times due to poor weather, roads closures or high fire danger.

See more visitor info

Emergency services

For all NSW fires visit the Rural Fire Service

For the latest information on wildfires in your area please contact the NSW Rural Fire Service.

View all alerts for NSW