A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Take a walk on the wild (flower) side
For six weekends across the transition from winter to spring, the pristine Muogamarra National Park welcomes you to take a walk on the wild side, and not only take in stunning sights of the Hawkesbury waterway, but to enjoy the splashes of colour brought by native wildflowers coming into bloom.
This year, visit this flourishing reserve between Saturday 13th of August and Sunday 18th of September. $10 per adult ($5 per child) will grant you access between 9am and 4.30pm. Sydneysiders may reach it via the old Pacific Highway, finding it just past Cowan on the Northern outskirts of Sydney.
You'll be greeted at the gate by the incredibly friendly guides. The staff here radiate passion for the park's protection and preservation, and welcome you to discover it in a safe and informative way. Find them throughout the trails and at each of the main lookout points ready to greet you with a smile and good conversation.
You'll also see them at base camp by the car-park - your gateway to walks of different lengths and gradients. They'll give you detailed information about each of these, and the different species of flora and fauna you may spot; and additionally, a station from which you may buy snacks, water, tea or coffee. Also find toilets and handwashing facilities up here.
This is an easy 30 minute up to one and half-hours return at max. A flat 2km circuit, it was ideal to warm up and familiarise ourselves with the various wildflowers to be spotted across the park. We saw these intricate flowers that really call for attention to detail in bright pinks, yellows, purples and luminescent whites.
Different species of wildflowers - Point Loop. PC to my friend Alanna Street.
A backdrop of blue sky and sweeping valleys sat behind the forest lining this track. Along the way, you'll find a turnoff to the Western Vantage Point; a short detour with a view of Peat's Crater. The volcanic soil here was once used for rich crop plantations. Also find a picturesque rock platform with a panorama of this mountainous landscape.
2. Lloyd Trig Walk
In a different direction from base camp you'll find, for one, the more adventurous route to Lloyd Trig. Medium grade, this 3.5km walk is a comfortable 2 hour return trip. On the way, you'll catch a taster of the amazing views you're in for, over the Hawkesbury river and Mooney Mooney Bridge.
Follow an old convict road and bush tracks toward this natural highpoint. Do take care on the sea of loose rocks on this beaten up road. Before being rewarded with an unforgettable panorama, a small scramble up the rocks to the summit is needed. Then, take your time and enjoy a sprawling view across forest-covered mountains, and the Hawkesbury river network.
Felt like I was almost sitting on the edge of the world at Lloyd Trig!
It's generally suggested, if you make the journey down, you should go the extra miles and check out the also exceptional view from the top of Deerubbin. If you're concerned about time this can be comfortably done in 3hrs (return, about 6km in total) from base camp.
Meander along the windy road, not forgetting to keep any eye out for the colourful wildflowers and wildlife. Lyrebirds, which are natural talents at remixing different sounds, and eagles are notorious to this place. Also keep an ear out for frogs, and an eye out for gorgeous tadpoles in quaint bodies of water.
Cute little tadpoles spotted on the way back from Deerubbin.
Once you reach the turn-off to the steeper and narrower bush trail, you're on your final leg. Pull your best scramble moves to get yourself up the top, to be congratulated by guides and treated to postcard-perfect views down across this broad section of the Hawkesbury. Notice landmarks like Long Island and Mooney Mooney bridge.
The water was just shimmering in blue when we were here, not to mention what looked like blue sky for days!
4. Peat's Bight
If you want a bigger adventure yet, why not take the day-long return to Peat's Bight? This harder grade track is 10km's in total, and done as a guided tour right into Peat's Crater where you'll see solidified magma. Journey also through lush rainforest, mangroves and historic roadworks.
Aiming for this bigger achievement in next year's open season. Muogamarrua is closed to visitors outside of these six weekends of seasonal shift to preserve the fragile ecosystems and Aboriginal heritage home to here. Take up the special opportunity to see its beauty this year, and be charmed by the colourful wildflowers currently coming into fruition.
Hi Telani. Thank you for your great article. I am one of those guides that you met at Muogamurra and it's nice to know that our efforts are appreciated. Just to note that we are all volunteers. We only have one paid member of staff , a ranger, on duty each weekend. Also may I compliment you on the accuracy of your article. I searched for any errors and found only one A rare event these days. You can walk to Peats Bight as a self guided walk though you will learn a lot more on a guided walk. Book early next year
Hope to see you again