Kattang Nature Reserve

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Overview

Near Port Macquarie and Taree, Kattang Nature Reserve offers spectacular views, magnificent wildflowers, great photography, easy walking, picnicking, whale watching and fishing.

Read more about Kattang Nature Reserve

Kattang Nature Reserve is a spectacular location on the mid-north coast, just waiting to be explored. Surrounded on all three sides by Pacific Ocean, the majestic Perpendicular Point stands tall with 40m vertical cliffs plummeting to the sea below. The outstanding coastal views from the lookout make a perfect backdrop for a great photograph.

Wander along easy walking tracks while taking in magnificent views, and admire the vibrant colours of spring wildflowers which attract the large variety of birdlife. Enjoy picnicking with a view as you indulge in whale watching, and try spotting dolphins in the sparkling waters below.

Head to the rock platforms below and laze away the day lying under the shade of the she-oaks with a good book. Take the kids exploring - the abundant marine life in the rockpools will provide hours of fun. Enjoy swimming at Dunbogan Beach and try your luck fishing from the rocky platforms or the sandy beaches.

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/kattang-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast region
  • Kattang Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger, or pest management.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

From Port Macquarie:

  • Drive south on Pacific Highway to Kew
  • Turn left into Ocean Drive and continue driving through Laurieton
  • After crossing Dunbogan Bridge, turn left onto The Boulevard, which then becomes Camden Head Road.
  • Continue for approximately 4km until you reach the reserve

From Taree:

  • Drive north on Pacific Highway and take the exit to Kew
  • Turn left into Ocean Drive and continue driving through Laurieton
  • After crossing Dunbogan Bridge, turn left onto The Boulevard, which then becomes Camden Head Road.
  • Continue for approximately 4km until you reach the reserve

Parking

By bike

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

By public transport

Kattang Nature Reserve is accessible by bus from Port Macquarie. 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 Kattang Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Try your luck beach fishing at Dunbogan Beach, or from the rock platforms.

Spring

Immerse yourself in colour and surround yourself with blossoming wildflowers.

Summer

Wander along the wide rock platform near Washhouse Beach and discover the plentiful marine life in the rockpools.

Winter

Head to Perpendicular Point or Charles Hamey lookout for spectacular views and a great vantage point for whale watching.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

25.8°C

Winter temperature

Average

5°C and 18°C

Lowest recorded

5.3°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

1,188mm

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

Laurieton (7 km)

Located at the base of North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park, Laurieton is one of the villages that make up the Camden Haven area on the North Coast of NSW. Laurieton is 30km south of Port Macquarie and offers an idyllic holiday spot for families, nature-lovers and anyone who enjoys a holiday by the beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Port Macquarie (47 km)

Vibrant Port Macquarie is surrounded by beautiful waterways - the Hastings River, canals, creeks, bays and the Pacific Ocean. The city also has a five-star collection of golden-sand beaches stretching from Port Macquarie Beach to Town Beach and north along the 16-km swathe of North Beach.

www.visitnsw.com

Taree (65 km)

Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

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

Thousands of years of Aboriginal culture

 Rockpools in Kattang Nature Reserve. Photo: M Smith

The name 'Kattang' comes from the local language of the Birpai Aboriginal people. Shell middens provide evidence of Aboriginal occupation for thousands of years. The landscape and wildlife of Kattang continue to be an important part of the identity, spirituality and cultural heritage of the Birpai People.

Maritime past

Views along the coastline, Kattang Nature Reserve. Photo: A Marshall

Camden Head Pilot Station, right next to the reserve, is heritage listed as a relic of an era when ships wishing to enter the estuary had to wait, sometimes for days at a time, for the pilot to signal their safe passage. Today the Pilot Station's role is to contribute to community well being and enhance cultural and natural heritage. They also have holiday accommodation so check out their website and get involved.

Plants as a life source

 Rockpools, Kattang Nature Reserve. Photo: M Smith

Whether you're exploring the rock platforms or wandering across the cliff tops, you're sure to see lots of wildlife at Kattang. Washhouse Beach is one of the most diverse rock platforms in NSW, with some 128 species of organisms living there. This small nature reserve also supports a variety of habitats, including rugged and exposed headlands, patches of littoral rainforest, dry eucalypt forest and wet and dry heaths. Why not join the Friends of Kattang to get involved in protecting this precious bushland?

  • Charles Hamey lookout You’ll be amazed at the breathtaking coastal views from Charles Hamey lookout. Admire the colourful spring wildflowers and enjoy birdwatching and whale watching.
  • Perpendicular Point walking track This easy walk rewards you with spectacular scenic coastal views to Port Macquarie and Diamond Head. The lookout is perfect for whale watching, birdwatching and photography.

Fascinating plants, birds and animals

Flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi), Kattang Nature Reserve. Photo: G Mowat

There are 154 types of animals recorded in this reserve: 8 amphibians; 6 reptiles; 17 mammals; and 123 birds. The cliff tops provide an excellent vantage point for whale watching and spotting dolphins. You might also see northern brown bandicoots, koalas and goannas on walking tracks. With 123 bird species spotted here, you'll see plenty of birdlife all year round. Osprey, white-breasted sea eagle and brahminy kites soar overhead. Spring wildflowers attract flocks of Lewin's honeyeater, white-cheeked honeyeater and yellow-faced honeyeater. You might also see migratory birds like the black-faced monarch, dollarbird and rainbow bee-eater in spring and summer. And, of course, if you're lucky, you might see the threatened wompoo fruit-dove or glossy black cockatoo.The black she-oaks here are an important food source for the glossy black cockatoo and the wildflowers on the heath attract feeding birds, insects and mammals with their sweet nectar.

  • Charles Hamey lookout You’ll be amazed at the breathtaking coastal views from Charles Hamey lookout. Admire the colourful spring wildflowers and enjoy birdwatching and whale watching.
  • Perpendicular Point walking track This easy walk rewards you with spectacular scenic coastal views to Port Macquarie and Diamond Head. The lookout is perfect for whale watching, birdwatching and photography.

Education resources (1)

What we're doing

Kattang 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.

Kattang Nature Reserve. Photo: NSW Government