Penance Grove walking track
Monga National Park
If you’re on a day trip to Monga National Park, near Braidwood, Penance Grove is an easy boardwalk stroll through ancient Gondwana rainforest.
- Monga National Park
- 0.25km loop
- Time suggested
- 15 - 30min
- Grade 1
- Please note
The first 50m of this 250m boardwalk is wheelchair-friendly. There are several sections of steps beyond this point.
Penance Grove walking track is a highlight of any day trip to Monga National Park, from Braidwood or Batemans Bay. Great for families, the first 50m of the 250m boardwalk is fully wheelchair-accessible and is ideal for visitors with limited mobility.
Enter this shady forest glen dappled with sunlight and discover the ancient rainforest. You’ll see plumwood trees decorated with ferns, mosses and lichen forming a cathedral-like canopy for the tall mosses below. It’s incredible to think that many of the plant species here date back millions of years to when Australia was part of the super continent, Gondwana.
In summer, it’s a great place to retreat from the heat and the holiday crowds. And in early autumn, you’ll see the cream-coloured flowers of the plumwood trees dotted around the rainforest floor and smell their delightful perfume.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/penance-grove-walking-track/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- 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 Penance Grove walking track.
Grade 1Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
15 - 30min
Quality of markings
Clearly sign posted
Quality of path
No experience required
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
On entering Monga National Park:
- Continue on River Forest Road for approximately 4.9km
- Pass the sign to Mongarlowe River picnic area and after 500m, you’ll see the Penance Grove walking track carpark on your right.
Park entry points
- Penance Grove carpark See on map
Parking is available at Penance Grove walking track.
- Toilets are available at the nearby Mongarlowe River picnic area.
- Drinking water isn't available in this area, so it's a good idea to bring your own.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
The first 50m of this 250m raised timber boardwalk is suitable for wheelchairs, prams, and visitors with limited mobility. Beyond this point, there are a number of flights of steps as you continue along the boardwalk.
Easy access is free of obstacles such as steps, rough terrain or significant slopes, and may have ramps or boardwalks.
Batemans Bay (11 km)
Batemans Bay is a bustling coastal town with majestic seascapes. It's located on the estuary of the Clyde River.
Braidwood (5 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 (16 km)
Moruya is a historic dairy town on the Moruya River surrounded by dairy pastures and rugged national parks.
Penance Grove walking track 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.