Munmorah State Conservation Area

Overview

Pristine beaches, beautiful picnic and camping spots, first-class fishing and grand views are just a taste of what is on offer at Munmorah State Conservation Area.

Read more about Munmorah State Conservation Area

Munmorah State Conservation Area is a park for all seasons. Beautiful, sandy surf beaches, craggy coastlines, tranquil bays and dazzling ocean views make this a place to return to time and again.

Bushwalking, camping, fishing, surfing and swimming are just some of the many activities you can enjoy at Munmorah. Bring your binoculars to spot passing whales in winter and keep an eye out for some of the incredible bird species that call this park home – you might see a bar-shouldered dove in the coastal dunes or the southern emu wren on the low coastal heaths.

Part of the Sydney Basin, Munmorah State Conservation Area illustrates the impressive geology of the region – the views are spectacular and it's no wonder, they’ve been millions of years in the making.

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/munmorah-state-conservation-area/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Munmorah State Conservation Area.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Catherine Hill Bay:

    • Head south on the Pacific Highway (state route 111) for 3.5km
    • Turn left onto Blue Wren Drive to enter from the park’s northern entry

    From Budgewoi:

    • Head north on Elizabeth Bay Drive for 4.5km
    • Turn right onto Birdie Beach Drive which leads to the park's southern entry

    From Gosford:

    • Head north on the Pacific Highway for 41km and take Elizabeth Bay Drive

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    By bike

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

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Munmorah State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    Make the most the of the lovely temperature at this time of year and pitch the tent for a camping break by the beach.

    Spring

    Head out along Moonee Beach trail in late winter or early spring and you'll be rewarded with spectacular wildflower displays in the coastal heath areas.

    Summer

    Escape the summer heat with a walk along the Palms circuit track through the rainforest, or cool off with a swim at Frazer beach – it's patrolled during the Christmas and Easter school holidays.

    Winter

    The winter months are the best time to whalewatch at Munmorah – you can even follow the whales' journey and record your sightings.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    18°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    42.4°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    9°C and 18°C

    Lowest recorded

    3.4°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    February

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    246mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day. The park has pay and display machines - please bring correct coins (cards accepted).

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    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.

    Fishing safety

    Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

    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

    Norah Head (10 km)

    Only an hour's drive north of Sydney, Norah Head is part the Central Coast region of New South Wales. Norah Head is surrounded by natural beauty with Wyrrabalong National Park to the south and the Tasman Sea to the east whilst a short drive away are Tuggerah and Munmorah Lakes.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Newcastle (40 km)

    Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by amazing surf beaches that are linked by a great coastal walk, the Bathers Way. The walk from Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach takes about three hours and is a great way to explore the city.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Gosford (45 km)

    Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Munmorah State Conservation Area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Bushtucker wonderland

    View of Frazer Beach, Munmorah State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    The original inhabitants of Munmorah, the Awabakal people, settled in an area abundant with food like the plentiful cabbage palm, lilly pilly, acacia seed, yams and flower nectars. They supplemented their diet with shellfish collected from rocks and fish caught with lines and spears in the rivers and lakes then cooked on small hearths onboard their canoes. The Awabakal people were also known to have visited Moon Island to gather muttonbird chicks and eggs, and hunted various mammals and reptiles on land.

    Animal magic

    Moonee Beach trail, Munmorah State Conservation Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    A huge number of bird and animal species call Munmorah State Conservation Area home. You might even spot the commonly found ringtail possum and sugar glider, and if you're really lucky, you might see the vulnerable squirrel glider, which lives in the eucalypt woodlands and rainforest in the northern part of the park. Scores of birds also come to rest at Munmorah as part of their long migratory journey - some flying from as far away as China and Japan. Look for gulls, terns, migratory waders and herons roosting on Munmorah's rocky platforms and feeding at the lake foreshore. If you're patient you might even spot the endangered little tern, or the vulnerable osprey and sooty oystercatcher.

    • Moonee Beach trail This delightful walk through scenic coastal heath leads to the white sands of Moonee beach where you can relax, swim or fish before heading back along the walk.
    • Palms circuit track After a tasty picnic lunch, escape to the cool rainforest of the Palms circuit track for an short loop walk beneath a canopy of cabbage tree palms.

    Action packed

    Elizabeth Bay picnic area, Munmorah State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    You’ll never be short of something to see or do at Munmorah. The Palms circuit track and the Moonee Beach trail are enjoyable walks that take you through very different but equally impressive vegetation and scenery. The park is an anglers with myriad places to drop a line. Keen surfers and hang gliders in the know also head to Munmorah. When it’s warm you can snorkel, swim and explore rockpools at the idyllic Birdie and Frazer beaches, and in the winter months go whale watching at Wybung Head or the Tea Tree lookout.

    • Elizabeth Bay picnic area Enjoy a day out at this perfect picnic spot on the shores of tranquil Elizabeth Bay. Bring your boat and fishing rod, and don’t forget your swimmers.
    • Tea Tree picnic area and lookout Check the surf and keep a keen eye out for whales from the lookout at Tea Tree picnic area. A short walk to Birdie Beach, it’s a great spot to stop for lunch and a swim.

    Coast and beaches to crow about

    Snapper Head, Munmorah State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    Whether you’re having lunch at the Elizabeth Bay picnic area or exploring the rock pools at the stunning Moonee Beach, Munmorah has some of the best coastline in the state. Frazer beach boasts a lagoon perfect to laze in when the weather's scorching, and the sandy beach is patrolled during the Christmas and Easter holidays. The 4km stretch of sand at Birdie beach is also a favourite, while to the far north there’s a nude bathing area. Dramatic panoramic views of the coastal cliffs and heath are another popular feature, especially from Wybung Head and on the walk down to Moonee Beach.

    • Moonee Beach trail This delightful walk through scenic coastal heath leads to the white sands of Moonee beach where you can relax, swim or fish before heading back along the walk.
    • Palms circuit track After a tasty picnic lunch, escape to the cool rainforest of the Palms circuit track for an short loop walk beneath a canopy of cabbage tree palms.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

      The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

    • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

      White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

      White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

    Plants

    • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

      Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)

      With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Munmorah State Conservation Area 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. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Preserving biodiversity

    Biodiversity is an enduring priority in Munmorah State Conservation Area, and efforts to preserve this are ongoing. NPWS regularly monitors the park’s wildlife, including large and small mammals and migratory birds, ensuring they are unaffected by other park programs. NPWS is committed to plant and animal conservation, and protects threatened, vulnerable and endangered species within all NSW national parks.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to ecosystems within Munmorah State Conservation Area. Management of threats, including the removal of bitou bush and boneseed, as well as ongoing risk assessments for new and emerging weeds, is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the biodiversity values of this park.

    Conservation program

    Bitou bush threat abatement plan

    Bitou bush poses a serious and widespread threat to threatened species populations and ecological communities on the NSW coast. The NPWS bitou bush threat abatement plan helps to reduce the impact of weeds at priority sites using control measures such as ground spraying, aerial spraying, biological control and physical removal.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Visitor safety is paramount to NPWS, and work is ongoing to ensure this in Munmorah State Conservation Area. Safety initiatives are commonly employed around the park’s beaches and recreational facilities, in keeping with peak tourism periods, to make sure visitors have a safe experience in Munmorah State Conservation Area, as well as a memorable one.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Planning for fire

    Bushfires are inevitable across fire-prone vegetation types within NSW national parks. NPWS prepares for wildfires by working with other fire agencies, reserve neighbours and the community to ensure protection of life, property and biodiversity. Every park has its own fire management strategy, devised in consultation with partner fire authorities and the community to plan and prioritise fire management.

    Moonee Beach, Munmorah State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer