Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve

Overview

Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, in the NSW Southern Highlands, is a great place for walking, picnicking, birdwatching and enjoying the tranquillity of this wetland area.

Read more about Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve

A Southern Highlands wetland sounds unlikely, but it does exist. When Bong Bong weir was constructed in the 1920s to supply water to Moss Vale, a lagoon and swamp area formed at that part of Wingecarribee River. Only 12 years later it was declared a wildlife sanctuary. Now, over 90 species of birds, a third of which are waterbirds, have made it their temporary or permanent home.

Whether you’re keen on birdwatching or just looking for a peaceful place to enjoy walking and a quiet picnic, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve awaits you.

The land was originally part of 1,000ac granted in 1819 to Charles Throsby in recognition of his exploration of a route from the Southern Highlands to the Bathurst district. This area is also where Bong Bong village, the first settlement in the Southern Highlands, once stood. Although the village no longer exists, you can view historic Throsby Park from the reserve, where colonial buildings remain intact.

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/visit-a-park/parks/cecil-hoskins-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Moss Vale:

    • Head north on Argyle Street/The Highland Way
    • Cross Bong Bong Bridge over Wingecarribee River, then turn right after 300m.
    • Drive to the end of this road and stop at the reserve carpark

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    When the weather is milder, hike from the reserve to Bong Bong.

    Spring

    Bring your binoculars for a spot of birdwatching and look for migratory bird species that stop over to feed and rest in the reserve.

    Summer

    Enjoy a summer evening picnic and listen to birdcalls. By the time the sun goes down, they'll be in competition with the frogs.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    12°C and 25.3°C

    Highest recorded

    38.8°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    1.8°C and 12.5°C

    Lowest recorded

    -6.4°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    June

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    333mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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).

    Prohibited

    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

    Moss Vale (3 km)

    Moss Vale is the rural centre of the Southern Highlands, with its regional livestock saleyards, farmers market and agricultural show. The meandering tree-lined main street and lush gardens make it one of the most picturesque towns in the region.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Bowral (6 km)

    Spring is tulip time while summer has fragrant roses and autumn, flowering bulbs. Bowral Tulip Festival runs from the end of September until early October; the Autumn Garden Festival is held in May.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Nowra (58 km)

    Nowra is a historic city and the commercial heart of the Shoalhaven. It's on the Shoalhaven River close to beaches and national parks.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Who was Cecil Hoskins?

    Bong Bong Weir located along Weir View walk, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    When the reserve was gazetted in 1975, it was named after Sir Cecil Hoskins. This man was a local resident for 40 years who not only had a keen interest in creating parks and gardens, but also contributed to the purchase of the land for the reserve.

    Wetland creatures

    Looking across the lagoon, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH

    Over 90 bird species inhabit the reserve and around one third of these, including pacific black ducks, black swans, dusky moorhens and grey teals, are waterbirds that are dependent on the lagoon. So if you're keen on bird watching, be sure to bring your binoculars along. Platypus and kangaroos also make their homes in and around the lagoon. The reserve also supports stands of Paddys River box, native to the Moss Vale district and south of Jenolan, as well as snow gum banksia and a range of other native species. The lagoon itself is deep enough for large aquatic plants to thrive, such as tall spikerush, ribbonweed, yellow bladderwort and water milfoil. Other aquatic species include water snowflake, starwort, water primrose, river buttercup and nardoo.

    • Weir View walking track Weir view walking track at Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve is a short easy walk along the southern bank of the lagoon with scenic views and great birdwatching opportunities near Moss Vale.
    • Wingecarribee River walking track Wingecarribee River walking track is a short easy walk from Cecil Hoskins picnic area, near Moss Vale. Enjoy scenic river views and birdwatching opportunities in Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve.

    The weir and the wherefore

    Lagoon at Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Bong Bong weir was built in the 1920s to create a water supply for Moss Vale. The lagoon and swamp areas, which developed as a result of this weir, were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1932. During the 1965-8 drought, Wingecarribee Council considered destroying the weir to allow water to be released for Berrima Cement Works, situated downstream. This proposal was so strongly opposed by the local community, however, that the idea was abandoned. The reserve supports stands of Paddys River box, native to the Moss Vale district and south of Jenolan, as well as snow gum banksia and a range of other native species. The lagoon itself is deep enough for large aquatic plants to thrive, such as tall spikerush, ribbonweed, yellow bladderwort and water milfoil. Other aquatic species include water snowflake, starwort, water primrose, river buttercup and nardoo.

    • Weir View walking track Weir view walking track at Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve is a short easy walk along the southern bank of the lagoon with scenic views and great birdwatching opportunities near Moss Vale.
    • Wingecarribee River walking track Wingecarribee River walking track is a short easy walk from Cecil Hoskins picnic area, near Moss Vale. Enjoy scenic river views and birdwatching opportunities in Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve.

    Aboriginal culture

    Looking over Wingecarribee River, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    The reserve lies within the traditional land of the Bong Bong people. Cultural, linguistic and spiritual knowledge associated with this area continues to be passed on today. NPWS works in collaboration with local Aboriginal communities to protect this rich heritage.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin