Palm Grove Nature Reserve
Palm Grove Nature Reserve, near Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, is a great place for frog enthusiasts, birdwatching, photography, picnicking and bushwalking.
Read more about Palm Grove Nature Reserve
Moss-covered boulders, dramatic rainforest ferns and wild bird and frog calls all combine to make Palm Grove Nature Reserve – all 240ha of it – a magical place for a wilderness escape. It’s also an easily accessible getaway, being located in the Ourimbah Creek valley, just a few kilometres northwest of Gosford.
This is also a special place for observing unusual and threatened species. In particular, a number of interesting and unusual frogs call the reserve home, including the red-eyed green tree frog and stuttering frog.
One of the highlights of Palm Grove Nature Reserve is the chance to experience a part of the iconic Great North walk, which runs all the way from Sydney to Newcastle. This scenic walking track, with its varied terrain and abundance of wildlife, is a great favourite with those interested in birdwatching, bushwalking and photography.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/palm-grove-nature-reserve/local-alerts
- in the Sydney and surrounds region
Palm Grove Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
02 4320 4200
Contact hours: Monday to Friday, hours vary.
- 59 Girrakool Rd, Somersby, NSW 2250
- Girrakool office
Lake Munmorah office
02 4972 9000
Contact hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.
- 1 Blue Wren Drive, Wybung NSW 2259
- Lake Munmorah office
All the practical information you need to know about Palm Grove Nature Reserve.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
- Follow Central Coast Highway up Kariong Hill (towards the F3). Turn right onto Pacific Highway then continue onto Wisemans Ferry Road. Turn right onto Dog Trap Road and then left onto Kilkenny Road and follow to the end to the entrance of Palm Grove Nature Reserve.
Park entry points
Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.
By public transport
Palm Grove Nature Reserve is accessible by taking the train to Gosford and then the bus to Somersby. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Rug up and enjoy a crisp autumn picnic amongst moss-covered sandstone cliffs and fern-filled rainforests.
Visit the reserve to view gorgeous spring blooms, including a variety of native orchids, creamy white angophora flowers and the white blooms of the turpentines.
Enjoy an escape from the heat by taking a leisurely bushwalk through cool, moist rainforest.
Cool, but fine winter days are a great time to explore the more challenging terrain of Great North walk.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
17°C and 27°C
7°C and 17°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Gosford (15 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.
Wyong (20 km)
Cessnock (80 km)
Some of the finest wines in the world are created in the Hunter Valley and its towns, gourmet food is acclaimed and luxury, boutique accommodations are matched by the most beautiful natural scenery.
Palm Grove Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Beautiful birds and fantastic frogs
Frog enthusiasts love the reserve for the opportunity to spot many colourful and unusual species including colourful red-eyed green tree frogs and rocky river frogs. Those who enjoy birdwatching are in for a treat here too, as over 80 birds have been recorded in the area, including five listed as threatened species. Among them, masked and powerful owls, glossy black and gang gang cockatoos.
- Great North walk – Palm Grove Nature Reserve Palm Grove Nature Reserve features a section of Great North walk, a well-known hiking track that runs from Newcastle to Sydney.
Throughout the reserve, you’ll find evidence of early Aboriginal occupation. Among them, Aboriginal axe-grinding grooves in sandstone outcrops and shelters that have managed to withstand the test of time in Palm Grove Nature Reserve.
A rich history
The Ourimbah Creek area was a booming area of industry for early European settlers, dating all the way back to the 1820s. Prior to the reserve being gazetted, highly priced red cedar, turpentine and other eucalypt species were harvested for use in the construction of homes, railway sleepers and mine props.
A prized conservation area
Palm Grove Nature Reserve has been recognised by local conservationists as an area of great wilderness significance worth acknowledging and protecting. Its unique plants include remnants of ancient rainforest communities, including the threatened magenta lilly pilly and bristly shield fern. The reserve’s ridges and slopes support six woodland and forest communities, which are dominated by species that have adapted to the Hawkesbury sandstone surrounds. Wander amongst red cedars, bangalows, palms and brackens. In the spring, keep your eyes open for the lovely creamy flowers of the angophoras and turpentines and the various beautiful native orchids.
Education resources (1)
What we're doing
Palm Grove 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.