Towra Point Nature Reserve

Overview

With an abundance of mudflat, fresh water wetlands and sea grass beds, Towra Point Nature Reserve near Cronulla is great for school excursions and offers swimming, boating, kayaking and canoeing activities.

Read more about Towra Point Nature Reserve

Towra Point Nature Reserve is a place of many contrasts. It forms the largest and most diverse estuarine wetland complex in NSW. Representing around half of the remaining mangrove area near Sydney, and most of the saltmarshes remaining in the region, this park is as beautiful as it is complex.

With an abundance of mudflat, fresh water wetlands and sea grass beds, the reserve teems with life. It provides breeding, feeding and roosting sites for many threatened and migratory bird species, which makes this reserve ideal for wetland birdwatching. Whether you experience these fragile and untouched wetlands by boat or kayak, you’re bound to love Towra.

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/towra-point-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Towra Point Nature Reserve is accessible by boat only. Access to the land is available on special consent for research and educational purposes only. Contact the local Area office on 9668 2000.

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See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Towra Point Nature Reserve.

Getting there and parking

From Sydney:

  • Towra Point is only accessible by boat.
  • Follow Captain Cook Drive, towards Kurnell.
  • At the T-intersection turn left towards Botany Bay, and then turn left again at Prince Charles Parade.
  • Continue to the end, and Bonna Point boat ramp is on the right.

By bike

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

By public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the Transport NSW website.

Best times to visit

Spring

A variety of birds, including rainbow lorikeet, crimson rosella and Eastern rosella can be seen feeding on purple berries during spring.

Summer

Take a picnic and your swimmers to Towra Beach picnic area and cool off during the hot summer months.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

25°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

43.4°C

Winter temperature

Average

16°C and 21°C

Lowest recorded

0.1°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

216.2mm

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

Drones

Flying recreational drones is not permitted in this park because it is located within 5.5km of an airfield or helicopter landing site. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) states that drones should not be flown within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people, or within 5.5km of an airfield. Drones can also impact on public enjoyment and privacy, interfere with park operations, and may pose a threat to wildlife in some areas. Please contact the park office for consent if you wish to fly a drone for commercial filming or photography purposes. For more information, see the Drones in Parks policy.

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

Cronulla (6 km)

This summer, grab your beach towels, order your fish and chips, and hit the sand at Cronulla Beach, one of the many beaches on the beautiful coastline just south of Sydney. In addition to being one of the areas's top surfing beaches, it's close to Royal National Park, and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you just may spot dolphins and turtles in its waters.

www.sydney.com

Sydney City Centre (20 km)

No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

www.sydney.com

Parramatta (39 km)

Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

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

Sights to behold

Quibrary Bay viewing platform, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Boating and kayaking through the maze of waterways is a great way to see Towra Point Nature Reserve. Be sure to stay within sanctuary and refuge zones to help preserve this outstanding environment. Towra Beach picnic area is a popular destination in summer with boaties, who are tempted by the views stretching from Botany Bay to Sans Souci.

  • Quibray Bay viewing platform Quibray Bay viewing platform in Kurnell is a great place for birdwatching and also features scenic views across conservation areas close to Sydney.
  • Towra Beach Kurnell’s delightful Towra Beach is ideal for boating, kayaking or a leisurely picnic, all with the Sydney city skyline as your backdrop.

Captain Cook’s landing

Towra Beach, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

The site of one of the first contacts between European and Aboriginal peoples, Towra Point is a hugely important place for Australia as we know it today. In April 1770, the Cook expedition explored the area and mapped Towra Lagoon as a source of fresh water. Botany Bay was also the site of some of Australia's first botanical collections by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander; much of what they saw can still be seen here today.

Aboriginal country

Quibrary Bay viewing platform, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

The beautiful coastal landscape of Towra Point is country for various Dharawal, Dharug and Eora nations. It has provided an abundant source of natural food, being especially rich in seafood and fresh drinking water, for thousands of years. This nature reserve is now a dedicated Aboriginal Place, in recognition of the natural and spiritual significance to this remarkable civilisation. Aboriginal sites, including middens and earth mounds, are all a part of Towra’s fascinating historic landscape.

A bird watching haven

Water hole, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

Some of the birds that feed on the intertidal flats around Towra Point migrate over 12,000km, coming from as far away as Siberia, China and Japan. Nearly all the migratory birds here are wading birds or shorebirds. You may spot a royal spoonbill or a Pacific golden plover when you visit the reserve; this is a great place for birdwatching and nature photography. Nearly all of the migratory birds that have used the Towra Point area are wading birds or shorebirds. Approximately 34 of the 80 species of migratory birds listed for protection have been recorded as using the Towra Point wetlands.

  • Quibray Bay viewing platform Quibray Bay viewing platform in Kurnell is a great place for birdwatching and also features scenic views across conservation areas close to Sydney.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)

What we're doing

Towra Point 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.

Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: OEH