Muogamarra Nature Reserve

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Muogamarra Nature Reserve
Nearest town or city Cowan, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°33′12″S 151°11′10″E / 33.55333°S 151.18611°E / -33.55333; 151.18611
Area 22.74 km²
Established 29 October 1954
Managing authorities New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
Official site Muogamarra Nature Reserve

Muogamarra (pronounced Moo-o-ga-marra) is a nature reserve New South Wales (Australia), on the northern edge of Sydney. It lies between the outer Sydney suburb of Cowan to the south, and the Hawkesbury River to the north. It is closed to the public for most of the year, but opens for 6 weekends each year in spring, when there are prolific displays of wildflowers. At other times of the year it is available to groups such as the scouts or to schools for education or special events.

During the weekends that the reserve is open to the public, volunteers provide guided walks around some of the most interesting trails.

The vegetation is mainly dry sclerophyll forest, dry sclerophyll shrubs on rocky areas, and mangroves along the river.

Aboriginal sites[edit]

There are many Aboriginal sites in Muogamarra, especially rock art engravings and grinding grooves.

History[edit]

In 1836 George Peat was granted 50 acres (20.2 hectares) on the Hawkesbury River at what is now Peats Bight. He built huts and a wharf there, and farmed his land. A dairy farm was then built nearby at Peats Crater.

Founded by John Duncan Tipper in 1934 when he leased 600 acres (2.4 km²) to protect the flora, fauna and aboriginal sites, due to his concern at the loss of Hawkesbury sandstone forest. He named the site 'Muogamarra', which he believed was an aboriginal (Awabakal tribe) word meaning 'Preserve for the future'. This area was at the northern end of what is now the Nature Reserve. Over time Tipper expanded his lease to 2050 acres (8.30 km²). In 1954 the land was given up by Tipper and gazetted as 'Muogamarra Sanctuary'

The 750 acre (3.0 km²) Sir Edward Hallstrom Faunal Reserve was dedicated in what is now the southern part of the Nature Reserve in 1961. This was the work of Allen Strom and Sir Edward Hallstrom.

In March 1969 the two areas were amalgamated into what is now Muogamarra Nature Reserve, under the control of the newly formed New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Entry point[edit]

There is only one entry point to Muogamarra Nature Reserve:

Pacific Highway, Cowan 
33°34′27″S 151°11′29″E / 33.57417°S 151.19139°E / -33.57417; 151.19139 (Muogamarra Nature Reserve Entrance)
3 to 3.5 km north of Cowan along the Pacific highway, on the left hand side (northbound), a small gravel road with a gate. Inside the gate, a narrow gravel road (accessible to normal cars) leads three kilometres into the reserve, where there is an unsealed carpark, toilets, a small open grassy area and the main information centre. An entry fee applies.

Walks[edit]

Muogamarra has several good short day walks, beginning at the main information centre:

Point Loop
Short, flat loop walk from carpark, with excellent wildflowers. Goes to an excellent viewpoint over Peats Crater and the Hawkesbury River. 2 km
JD Tipper Loop
Short mostly flat walk to lookout named for the founder of Muogamarra Nature Reserve views overlooking Brooklyn. 1 km
Lloyd Trig
Slightly longer mostly flat walk on an old road built by convict labour to Lloyd Trig Point, with excellent views of the Hawkesbury River area. 4 km
Peats Crater
A fairly long walk with 200 m of descent and 200 m of ascent which follows a convict road to the site of George Peat's farm at Peats Crater, which is also an interesting geological feature. 10 km
Deerubbin Lookover
A medium length walk with 110 m descent & 110 m ascent along the old Peats Ferry convict road to a rock shelter which provides stunning views over the Hawkesbury 180 m below. 6 km
Bird Gully Swamp
A trail which skirts the edge of a 'hanging swamp' containing a unique plant habitat. Also goes to the top of a pretty waterfall and occupation sites of aboriginal Gu-ring-gai people.

See also[edit]