Mongarlowe River picnic area
Monga National Park
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.
- Picnic areas
- Monga National Park
- What to
- 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 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
- in Monga National Park in the South Coast and Country NSW regions
Monga is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
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
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
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.
Take in the sweet perfumes of the plumwood trees in flower.
See the distinctive bright red colour of the Monga waratah in flower along the banks of Mongarlowe River.
Enjoy the cool temperatures in the rainforest and discover its natural wonders on Penance Grove walking track.
Embark on the historic Corn Trail walking track and experience the diverse natural landscapes of Monga.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
10°C and 26°C
0°C and 11°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Drinking water is not available in this area so you'll need to bring your own.
- Non-flush toilets
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
- Fire rings (bring your own firewood)
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
This area is fully wheelchair-accessible.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Firewood is not supplied and may not be collected from the park.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Batemans Bay (20 km)
Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.
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.
Moruya (36 km)
Moruya is a historic dairy town on the Moruya River surrounded by dairy pastures and rugged national parks.
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
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.
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.
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.