Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve

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Overview

Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve, in NSW Central Tablelands, is a great place for birdwatching, walking, barbecues and enjoying scenic views of its sandstone pagoda features.

Read more about Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve

Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve is a particularly important place for Wiradjuri people. The second oldest nature reserve in Australia is steeped in Aboriginal heritage. It protects an area of sandstone pagoda country where striking natural rock formations jut from the bushland-like ancient ruins. Best viewed from the lookout, bring your walking boots and follow Castle Rocks walk. Pack a picnic lunch and have a meal with a view or return to Moolarben picnic area for a barbecue as a reward for your efforts.

Within this lovely landscape, 164 species of birds have been recorded. To increase your chances of spotting an endangered and rare regent honeyeater, bring along your birdwatching binoculars, although you won’t need them to see an emu.

Look out for discarded feathers on the ground – all these different birds probably cover every colour of the rainbow between them. And while you’re looking down, keep an eye out for a bower built by the male bowerbird to attract a mate.

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/munghorn-gap-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Mudgee:

    • Head north on Church Street
    • Continue onto Ulan Road for 9km
    • Turn right onto Wollar Road and follow for 26km
    • Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve occupies both sides of the road

    Park entry points

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve is not accessible by public transport.

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    The heathland begins flowering in late winter and it really starts to hit its stride in early spring. This makes it a particularly great time for camping, birdwatching and hiking.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    16°C and 30°C

    Highest recorded

    43°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    3°C and 16°C

    Lowest recorded

    -7.2°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    134.3mm

    Facilities

    Toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue 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

    Mudgee (30 km)

    Set in the Cudgegong River valley in Central West NSW, Mudgee is a charming historic town and a popular destination for wine enthusiasts keen to sample its award-winning reds and whites. From its many wineries and national parks to markets, festivals and activities for the kids, Mudgee has much to offer.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Gulgong (58 km)

    Founded in the heady days of the Australian gold rush, Gulgong has approximately 130 buildings with National Trust classification. Take a self-guided walking tour of the town's historic sites.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Merriwa (113 km)

    Merriwa is a unique and friendly rural town nestled in the Upper Hunter Valley. Situated on the Golden Highway, Merriwa is the ideal place for a stopover, as it is centrally located. In just two hours you can reach Mudgee, Dubbo, Newcastle and Tamworth.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    Trading places

    Castle Rocks walk, Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Munghorn Gap has been inhabited by Aboriginal people for over 12,000 years. Once a major trading route between the Blue Mountains and the plains, Munghorn Gap continues to be a significant place to local Wiradjuri people.

    Let's get physical

    Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Great Dividing Range stretches the length of Eastern Australia and creates an interface between the western plains and the mountains. Munghorn Gap is one of the lowest points of the range and lies on the extreme western edge of the Sydney-Bowen geological basin. Parts of the reserve drain into Cudgegong River and, in turn, the Macquarie River system.

    • Castle Rocks walk It’s an easy hike along Castle Rocks walk to the lookout for wonderful scenic views of the sandstone pagoda features found at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.

    Birds of a feather

    Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    As far as birdwatchers are concerned, Munghorn Gap is a happening place to go twitching. Over 164 different species of birds inhabit the reserve either permanently or seasonally, and many of these are rare and uncommon. They come in all shapes and sizes, from Australia's tallest bird, the emu, to the country's smallest, the 8-9cm weebill. Many are brightly coloured, such as rare scarlet honeyeaters and flame robins, while others like jackie winters and tree martins are more subdued in appearance. Bowerbirds and lyrebirds can be seen in Munghorn Gap along with national favourites like kookaburras, magpies and galahs. Birds of prey include wedge-tailed eagles, whistling kites, collared sparrowhawks, peregrine falcons and brown goshawks. After dark the boobook and owls - powerful, barking, and barn -take over for the nightly hunt.

    • Castle Rocks walk It’s an easy hike along Castle Rocks walk to the lookout for wonderful scenic views of the sandstone pagoda features found at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve.
    • Moolarben picnic area Moolarben picnic area, at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve, is a great place to picnic, barbecue and relax. Enjoy light hiking? Castle Rocks walk is close by.

    Back and forth

    Views over the valley, Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    After Europeans settled in the region, Munghorn Gap became a route for horse and bullock teams connecting Wollar, Merriwa and Mudgee. Evidence of past blacksmithing, timber-cutting, peat and coal mining, prospecting, and quarrying can still be found in and around the reserve.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Munghorn Gap 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.

    Castle Rocks walking track, Munghorn Nature Reserve. Photo: Nick Cubbin/NSW Government