Mann River Nature Reserve

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Overview

A beautiful riverside spot for picnicking and camping, Mann River Nature Reserve offers scenic views, swimming and fishing near Glen Innes.

Read more about Mann River Nature Reserve

Nestled amongst the magnificent mountain range of northern NSW lies a tranquil riverside setting. With loads of natural beauty and historic significance, Mann River Nature Reserve is perched on the eastern edge of the New England Tablelands, near Glen Innes. With superb scenic views across The Great Dividing Range, it’s ideal for camping or stopping for a picnic on a car tour. Nature lovers will revel in the abundant wildlife, crystal clear waters and clear mountain air.

Historically, the area would have been a popular gathering place for local Aboriginal groups. Ngarabul People from the northern tablelands as well as the coastal Gunbaynggir would have made the most of the abundant wildlife and natural beauty.

Once popular with bushrangers, it’s now filled with self-sufficient campers who enjoy swimming and rock-hopping along the majestic Mann River. If you’re after something more leisurely, make like a lizard and sun yourself on the smooth boulders along the river’s edge.

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/mann-river-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Country NSW region
  • Mann River Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

From Grafton:

  • Drive west of Grafton along Gwydir Highway for 125km
  • Take the unsealed Old Grafton Road and drive for approximately 2km before descending 14km on sealed road to the base of Big Hill
  • Drive for 150m on an unsealed road to the campground turnoff, or continue for 6km to the lookout.

From Glen Innes:

  • Drive east from Glen Innes for 37km along the Gwydir Highway
  • Take the unsealed Old Grafton Road and drive for approximately 2km before descending 14km on sealed road to the base of Big Hill
  • Drive for 150m on an unsealed road to the campground turn off

4WD only:

  • Drive the historic (unsealed) Old Grafton Road from Grafton for approximately 130 km.

Parking

  • Mann River campground and picnic area See on map

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 Mann River Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

A great time for bushwalking, birdwatching and photography.

Spring

A great time for birdwatching and bushwalking.

Summer

Enjoy fishing and swimming the majestic Mann River.

Winter

Winter is best for crisp, clear skies and excellent stargazing.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

12°C and 25°C

Highest recorded

34.5°C

Winter temperature

Average

0.7°C and 14°C

Lowest recorded

-8.3°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

December

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

140mm

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 Plus 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 dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Glen Innes (46 km)

Set in the most prolific sapphire region of Country NSW, Glen Innes hosts the annual Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show and the annual Australian Celtic Festival, and is home to the Australian Standing Stones.

www.visitnsw.com

Grafton (136 km)

Grafton is a gracious, historic city in the Clarence Valley farming district. It's situated on the broad Clarence River and surrounded by river flats.

www.visitnsw.com

Armidale (144 km)

During autumn the parks and gardens around Armidale show their beautiful colours. Enjoy a drive along the Waterfall Way, stopping at waterfalls and craggy gorges in the rugged countryside.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

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

Roving reptiles and birdlife

Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

This reserve protects a wide range of lizards from the mighty lace monitor, reaching up to 2m in length to the more diminutive blue-tongue lizard. Eastern water dragons are often seen sunning themselves on the riverbanks. With over 50 species of birdlife protected within the reserve, grab your binoculars for sightings of king parrots, yellow-faced honey-eaters and yellow-rumped thornbills. The magnificent raptor birds such as the peregrine falcon can often be seen surfing on mountain thermals. Native mammals you can see include grey kangaroos, wallaroos, pretty-faced wallabies and swamp wallabies.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

Historic highways and bushranging country

View of Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

With the discovery of gold and a regular Cobb and Co mail run, the lands of the reserve were once popular hunting grounds of renowned bushrangers such as 'Captain Thunderbolt' and 'Black Tommy' McPherson. Bordering the eastern edge of the reserve, Old Grafton Road was originally a timber getters track used to cart the valuable 'red gold' cedar trees in the 1840s. When the road was widened during the 1860s, Cobb and Co ran a weekly mail service along this road, linking Grafton and Glen Innes.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

Aboriginal gatherings

Mann River Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Due to its location at the bottom of the range leading to the coast, the reserve would have been a popular place for the Ngarabul People of the northern tablelands as well as the Gumbaynggir People to the south-east. It's believed the Ngarabul People travelled the mountains on a historic route that is known today as Old Grafton Road.

  • Tommys Rock lookout and walking track Tommys Rock walking track offers scenic mountain views across the Great Dividing Ranges in Mann River Nature Reserve. You can choose to walk or 4WD along the trail to the summit.

Education resources (1)

What we're doing

Mann River 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.