Muirs lookout

Jilliby State Conservation Area

Affected by closures, check current alerts 


Muirs lookout at Jilliby State Conservation Area displays amazing scenic views from the Watagan Range overlooking neighbouring townships.

What to
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • The roads in this park are accessible by 4WD only
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching

No trip to Jilliby State Conservation Area would be complete without taking the time to enjoy awe-inspiring scenic views from Muirs lookout.

Gaze miles out along the mountains and eucalypt forests of Watagan Range, with panoramic views to the east over semi-rural communities - Mandalong and Morisset, as well as Lake Macquarie, included.

If you enjoy birdwatching, be sure to bring your binoculars. There are many interesting bird species that call Jilliby State Conservation Area home. At night you might be lucky enough to see the threatened sooty, barking, masked or powerful owls.

Tall eucalypts framing the view across the coast make Muirs lookout an idyllic spot to spread out and enjoy a peaceful picnic or even just a cup of tea to take in the naturally beautiful surroundings.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Muirs lookout.

Getting there and parking

Muirs lookout is in the eastern precinct of Jilliby State Conservation Area. To get there:

From the F3 expressway:

  • Take the Cooranbong/Morisset exit to Freemans Drive and turn left at the roundabout.
  • Follow Freemans Drive west to Cooranbong
  • Turn left onto Martinsville Road then left onto Wattagan Road – the uphill section becomes Martinsville Hill Road (unsealed).
  • Proceed west to Watagan Forest Road then turn left and follow Watagan Forest Road to Prickly Ridge Road
  • Turn left, heading east to the lookout about 3km along.

Alternative Route (4WD preferred):

  • From the F3 expressway take the Cooranbong/Morisset exit ramp.
  • Follow Mandalong Road west to Tobins Road then turn right onto Prickly Ridge Road
  • Follow uphill to Muirs lookout

Note: Prickly Ridge Road is subject to road closures due to wet weather and vehicle damage.

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as Prickly Ridge Road to Muirs lookout can become boggy when it rains. The roads in Jilliby State Conservation Area are unsealed and accessible by 4WD only.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only


Parking is available at the adjacent carpark, a short walk from the attraction.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Jilliby State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.


Cooler months are a great time to jump in your 4WD and go for a car touring adventure to enjoy the forests in all their autumn glory.


Spring is a perfect time to enjoy long bushwalks, bike rides and horseback rides through the parks many trails.


When the weather is too hot to work up a sweat, enjoy a picnic in the beautiful picnic areas at Muirs lookout and Stoney Ridge.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature


17°C and 27°C

Highest recorded


Winter temperature


7°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded



Wettest month


Driest month


The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.


  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)


Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

  • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking.
  • If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).


Disability access level - hard

  • Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty


Gathering firewood

Firewood is not supplied and may not be collected from the park.


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.


NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Muirs lookout is in Jilliby State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A history of booming trade

Bushwalking track, Jillaby State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

The mountainous ranges and heavily timbered gullies of Watagan Range were a physical barrier to exploration and development. Jilliby was on the western side of Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Munmorah as the colony of Sydney began to expand. These ranges soon were exploited to provide valuable, marketable timber using nearby waterways for transport. Government licences were issued to a small number of sawyers to cut red cedar in the ranges west of Tuggerah and Lake Macquarie. The early colonial cedar trade saw most of the cedar shipped off to England to supply an insatiable market for fine softwoods. Hardwood fed a building boom from the 1860s and provided sleepers for the northern railway line.

Aboriginal sites

Bushwalking track, Jilliby State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Jilliby is an important cultural and historical area for Aboriginal people. There are more than 40 recorded Aboriginal sites in Jilliby, and the adjacent Watagans National Park also includes art sites, axe-grinding grooves and open campsites. Awabakal and Darkinjung People were the original inhabitants of Watagan Range, which once provided a rich range of food sources, including plant foods such as fruit, acacia, grass seeds and nectar. Fish and freshwater shellfish were fished from the rivers, and local wallabies, kangaroos, possums, lizards and even insects were all part of the local diet.

Unique plants and animals

Native vegetation, Jilliby State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

Jilliby is a natural wonderland filled with an enormous diversity of plant species and native vegetation. Wandering through, you'll discover tall moist eucalypt forests flourishing with mountain blue gum and blue-leaved stringybark. There are also drier forest areas that will enchant you with forest oak, Sydney peppermint, and broad-leaved white mahogany. Pockets of paperbark palm forests, and warm-temperate as well as subtropical rainforest occur in sheltered gullies and creeklines.

  • Muirs lookout Muirs lookout at Jilliby State Conservation Area displays amazing scenic views from the Watagan Range overlooking neighbouring townships.

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