Palm Grove Nature Reserve

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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.

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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Palm Grove Nature Reserve.


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Map legend

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Gosford:

    • 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.

    By bike

    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

    Summer temperature


    17°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    7°C and 17°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



    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).



    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.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    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)

    Wyong is a bustling township and the centre for Wyong Shire. There's something for everyone, as it's close to the Central Coast's lakes, beaches and wooded valleys.

    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.

    Learn more

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

    Beautiful birds and fantastic frogs

    Local vegetation, Palm Grove Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    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.

    Aboriginal occupation

    Great North walk, Palm Grove Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    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

    Ourimbah Creek, Palm Grove Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    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

     Looking up the tree canopy in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    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.