Mongarlowe River picnic area

Monga National Park

Overview

Under the shade of eucalypt forest, this sheltered picnic site is an ideal place to start exploring Monga's rich habitats with easy strolls, swimming, and birdwatching.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Monga National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • The weather in this area can be unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch

If you’re looking for a quiet place to picnic amid nature, you’ll love Mongarlowe River picnic area. Nestled under the shade of eucalypt forest, this sheltered picnic site is an ideal place to begin exploring Monga's rich habitats.

Take an easy stroll along Waratah walking track to the gently flowing Mongarlowe River. Enjoy the relaxing sounds of the water flowing by and keep a close eye for platypus swimming in the river. In October and November, the distinctive bright red Monga and Gippsland waratahs flower, attracting birds and insects that feed on the sweet nectar, making this a fantastic spot for birdwatching.

You can also wander along the short 10-minute Link walking track, taking you on a journey into eucalypt forest and through a tree fern valley to discover the magical world under the rainforest canopy at Penance Grove.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/mongarlowe-river-picnic-area/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Mongarlowe River picnic area.

Getting there and parking

On entering Monga National Park:

  • Continue on River Forest Road for approximately 4.5km
  • Turn left at the sign and drive 200m to Mongarlowe River picnic area

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Mongarlowe River picnic area. It can be a busy place on long weekends, so parking might be limited.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Monga National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Take in the sweet perfumes of the plumwood trees in flower.

Spring

See the distinctive bright red colour of the Monga waratah in flower along the banks of Mongarlowe River.

Summer

Enjoy the cool temperatures in the rainforest and discover its natural wonders on Penance Grove walking track.

Winter

Embark on the historic Corn Trail walking track and experience the diverse natural landscapes of Monga.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

10°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

41.1°C

Winter temperature

Average

0°C and 11°C

Lowest recorded

-9.2°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

July

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

663.9mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area so you'll need to bring your own.

Toilets

Wheelchair accessible

  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)
  • Fire rings (bring your own firewood)

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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 (Corn Trail walking track).

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.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

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 - easy

This area is fully wheelchair-accessible.

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

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

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

Batemans Bay (20 km)

Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.

www.visitnsw.com

Braidwood (10 km)

Braidwood was the first town to be listed on the NSW State Heritage register. Today, you can tour the town on a self-guided heritage walk and see dozens of impressive historic buildings dating from the gold-rush days.

www.visitnsw.com

Moruya (36 km)

Moruya is a historic dairy town on the Moruya River surrounded by dairy pastures and rugged national parks.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Mongarlowe River picnic area is in Monga National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A glimpse of trading history

Mongarlowe River picnic area, Monga National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

Monga National Park is significant for its natural wonders and its historic heritage. Corn Trail walking track, which is today enjoyed by bushwalkers and horse riders, was the first trade route between the Buckenbowra Valley farmlands near the coast and the early European settlements on the tablelands near Braidwood. Further settlement came to the area in the 1840s, with the establishment of the timber trade and gold mining. The sawmill at Monga provided timber for Braidwood and the establishment of Canberra in the 1900s, with logging continuing in the area until 1987.

  • Corn Trail walking track Corn Trail walking track is a historic trail for hikers and horse riders to traverse a wide variety of landscapes and follow in the footsteps of the past.

Aboriginal culture

Mongarlowe River, Dasyurus picnic area, Monga National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

For over 14,000 years, the Yuin and Walbunja people have lived around the valleys of Clyde, Deua and Buckenbowra rivers. Walkers and horse riders can walk in their footsteps on Corn Trail walking track, which was one of the trails used by Aboriginal people to travel between the coast and the tablelands. There are many Aboriginal cultural sites in the park where stone artefacts, fire beacons and old campsites have been found.

Unique plantlife

Penance Grove walk, Monga National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd

Many of the plants you'll find in the cool, temperate rainforests of Monga are millions of years in the making. Related to the plants from the super continent Gondwana, they present a unique window to the past. The plumwood trees and soft tree ferns you see around Penance Grove are closely related to pollen fossils found in Antarctica. Some plumwood trees here have widths of up to four metres and are thought to be thousands of years old. Wander along the banks of Mongarlowe River and you'll also see the distinctive bright red flowers of the Monga waratah.

  • Dasyurus picnic area Dasyurus picnic area is a tranquil spot to stop on your drive to the coast from Canberra or a great day trip from Batemans Bay or Braidwood.
  • Mongarlowe River picnic area Under the shade of eucalypt forest, this sheltered picnic site is an ideal place to start exploring Monga's rich habitats with easy strolls, swimming, and birdwatching.

Education resources (1)

Mongarlowe River picnic area hero, Monga National Park. Photo: Lucas Boyd