Murrumbidgee Valley National Park

Overview

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, situated along the Murrumbidgee River and near Narrandera, Hay and Balranald, is a great place for fishing, camping, kayaking, cycling, hiking and birdwatching.

Read more about Murrumbidgee Valley National Park

As the day breaks, grey kangaroos bound through the morning mist as you cast a line out into the river to catch a fish for breakfast. Staying at Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is the ultimate bush camping experience. Created in 2010, this national park protects part of what is now the largest continuous tract of river red gum forest in the world. There’s plenty of opportunity for fishing, swimming, picnicking, birdwatching and taking a GPS to ‘go bush’.

Visit Koala reserve near Narrandera for a picnic, then stroll through the river red gums spotting as many koalas as you can.

For those near Leeton, Turkey Flat picnic area and bird hide is a must-see. Follow it up with a walk or bike ride along Turkey Flat trail, then end the day with a swim or a paddle at Middle Beach.

Choose from cycling and hiking routes, or discover the beauty of Murrumbidgee River by canoe; for the intrepid explorer, Narrandera to Yanco weir is a four-hour paddle. 

With few facilities and infrastructure, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park allows you freedom to find your own camping spot – as secluded or sociable as you like – the perfect base from which to explore the park. If you're near Hay, check out dog-friendly Wooloondool campground in Murrumbidgee Valley Regional Park.

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/murrumbidgee-valley-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Murrumbidgee Valley National Park.

Getting there and parking

From Narrandera to Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area I (MIA I):

  • Travel northwest on Irrigation Way for about 12km
  • Turn left off Irrigation Way at the signpost for MIA I
  • Follow access road in southerly direction for about 2.5km to grid
  • This is Grahams Grave entrance to MIA I

From Narrandera to Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area II (MIA II):

  • Head south along Newell Highway onto Audley Street, turning right onto Irrigation way. Continue travelling towards Leeton.
  • At the entrance of Yanco, turn onto Euroley Road and travel 5km.
  • Take the turn off 400m north of Euroley Bridge and after 800m cross grid where you will enter MIA II

Parking

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

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 Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

Evenings can be balmy at this time of year, so it's still a great time to camp.

Spring

Picturesque morning mists are common at this time of year and birds and animals are most active.

Summer

Enjoy early morning and late afternoon swimming during these hotter months.

Winter

This is Murray crayfish season, and a great time to head to the river.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

16°C and 32°C

Highest recorded

47.7°C

Winter temperature

Average

4°C and 16.5°C

Lowest recorded

-4.8°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

May

Driest month

January

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

93.3mm

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.

Fires in the park

Open fires are not permitted in the park during the Fire Danger Period (usually 1 October to 31 March). When a Total Fire Ban has been declared for Southern Riverina Fire Area, no fire may be lit in the open and no gas or electric barbecues may be used in the park.

Outside of the Fire Danger Period (usually 1 April to 30 September)
Wood fires are permitted in fireplaces provided in the campgrounds except on days of Very High or Extreme Fire Danger. Ensure fires are attended at all times and extinguish when you leave. Wood fires are not permitted in the woolshed picnic area.

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).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

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

Narrandera (28 km)

Narrandera is a Country NSW National Trust Urban Conservation Area located at the crossroads of the Newell and Sturt highways. This tranquil rural town in the heart of Riverina features tree-lined streets, fine historic buildings and many historic attractions.

www.visitnsw.com

Griffith (69 km)

Griffith is at the heart of the vast Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and produces about 60% of the grapes grown in the State. Today, there are more than a dozen wineries in the district with world-famous names. Visit De Bortoli or Hanwood and stock up on local produce, such as jams, preserves or pasta sauces.

www.visitnsw.com

Hay (160 km)

This exciting and innovative exhibition space uses contemporary design and cutting edge technology to tell the story of Australian sheep shearing. You'll meet the shearers, shed hands, cooks, classers, cockies, sheep and dogs behind the legends at this sparkling gallery-museum in Hay.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Wiradjuri people

Wooloondool, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

River red gums have been important to Wiradjuri people, the traditional land owners of Murrumbidgee Valley, for thousands of years. As well as being used for making canoes and shields, they also provide warmth, shelter and food. Some river red gums were large enough for individuals to sleep in, and light a small fire during the cold nights. Even today, Wiradjuri artists in Narrandera use river red gum to make boomerangs, coolamons and carved didgeridoos.

Water, water everywhere

Kayaking on the river, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Europeans settled the area in the 1840s. By the early 1900s, private irrigation works were replaced by government projects to develop Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). Eventually, MIA supplied water to an area of 182,000ha and enabled subdivision of grazing land into smaller units of mixed farming, horticulture, dairy and sheep. During the 1950s, Italian migrants to Australia were drawn to the area because of its similar climate and soil to Italy and became integral in the success of Riverina agriculture.

Take me to the river

Koala Reserve, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Murrumbidgee River flows in a westerly direction and is over 1,600km long. Murrumbidgee Valley national and regional parks access over 500km of river frontage at irrigation hubs of Narrandera, Yanco, Leeton, the plains of Maude and Hay, and the edge of the mallee at Balranald. River red gums benefit from times of flooding as it recharges the subsoil with water. The river supports river red gums forests, which in turn support the banks of the river with their root systems. Logged since the 1820s and managed as forests by the government since the early 1900s, in 2010 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service protected 107,000ha of river red gums by creating new parks and reserves, which will now be enjoyed for generations to come.

  • McCaugheys Lagoon McCaugheys Lagoon in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is a great spot for birdwatching or a romantic picnic.
  • Middle Beach This sandy Murrumbidgee River haven, Middle Beach, is an ideal place to go canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming or picnicking. Secluded camping spots can be found nearby.

River redgum

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus L'Her.), Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Gavin Hansford

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is synonymous with Riverina river redgum forests – an iconic Australian eucalypt which grows to awe-inspiring heights. With a deep red colour curving along rivers and channels, Riverina river red gum is of international significance. These special eucalypts provide a home to koalas, which you may spot in their branches. Bird watchers might catch a glimpse of white-bellied sea eagles, sacred kingfishers, and threatened superb parrots, amid the majestic trees. There are plenty of fishing opportunities available in the park too, with yellow belly, redfin and brim fish to catch in the area. Murrumbidgee Valley is also a sanctuary for reptiles and kangaroos.

  • Forest drive If you’re looking for a scenic day trip near Murrumbidgee River, near Narrandera, go 4WDing or mountain biking along Forest drive, in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park.
  • Koala reserve Known to locals as Koala reserve (Narrandera Nature Reserve), is part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and home to over 200 koalas. It’s a great place for walking and cycling.
  • Turkey Flat picnic area and bird hide Set on Murrumbidgee River, Turkey Flat picnic area and bird hide is a great picnic spot. Visiting these NSW wetlands is a top choice for things to do in Leeton.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

    Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

    The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

    Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

Plants

  • River red gum, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Paul Childs

    River red gum (Eucalpytus camaldulnesis)

    Australian native plants, majestic river red gum trees are widespread across Australian inland river systems. The river red gum is a dominant tree species of the Murray-Darling basin which spans NSW, Queensland and Victoria. This iconic native eucalypt grows to a height of 30m and is thought to have a lifespan up to 500-1000 years.

  • Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)

    A hardy Australian native plant, the saltbush is a small spreading shrub that can withstand dry salty soils such as those found in the desert plains of western NSW. It is grey-white in colour and has small spear-shaped succulent leaves. It flowers from December to April.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

What we're doing

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park 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.

Understanding landscapes and geology

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park protects the landscapes within its borders, from its bushland to its waterways and everything in between. Management projects are in place to ensure this protection, and park infrastructure receives ongoing rehabilitation and maintenance works as required. Visitors are able to fully enjoy the park’s attractions, as the amenities surrounding them are well tended to.

Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

Pests and weeds are a significant threat to the ecosystems within Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, and pest management is a priority for NPWS. Supplementary Pest Control takes place in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, as well as the implementation of prioritised pest management strategies. Ongoing risk assessment for new and emerging weeds is a priority for this park to reduce the ongoing threat to this park's biodiversity values.

Conservation program

Regional pest management strategies

Weeds and pest animals cause substantial damage to agriculture and our environment, so it’s essential we manage them in NSW national parks and reserves. Our regional pest management strategies aim to minimise the impact of pests on biodiversity in NSW.  We work hard to protect our parks and neighbours from pests and weeds, ensuring measurable results.

Developing visitor facilities and experiences

NPWS is dedicated to providing outstanding facilities and experiences for visitors to all NSW national parks. Amenities in Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, including park accommodation, tracks, trails and ramps, receive ongoing maintenance and are upgraded where required.

Conserving our Aboriginal culture

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park boasts a proud legacy of Aboriginal culture. Ongoing NPWS programs exist to access and preserve this important heritage, and NPWS fosters partnerships with local Aboriginal communities to best explore opportunities within the park and facilitate such preservation.

Shoreline, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: OEH