Hidden wildflower garden open for just six weekends
A hidden wildflower garden with a rare collection of botanical treasures and native plant species will open its gates this August and September for six weekends only.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Michele Cooper said Muogamarra Nature Reserve-just north of Sydney-is home to more than 900 species of native plants as well as the remnants of an ancient volcano.
"Muogamarra is home to a vast range of Australian wildflowers such as native orchids, towering Gymea lily, pink Boronia, eriostemon and old-man Banksia, which makes it a spectacular wildflower destination," said Ms Cooper.
"This unique array of flora and fauna is one reason why we need to limit the opening times to just six weekends each year to allow it to flourish, to preserve the fragile ecosystems and to protect the reserve's Aboriginal cultural heritage.
"This year during our open season, visitors can join a Discovery guided tour on foot or on a kayak and discover the secrets of this special place," she said.
Some of the walking tracks in the reserve provide outstanding views of the Hawkesbury, Aboriginal rock engravings and convict built roads, and other tracks wind through rainforest and historic relics.
One of the guided walks leads people down to Peat's Crater, which is an unusual volcanic structure called a diatreme that is not found in many parts of Australia.
"By joining a guided walk you'll will see and learn all the secrets of the reserve that you might miss by going on your own," said Ms Cooper.
The launch weekend (12-13 August) will also mark the 50th anniversary of NPWS.
"The Muogamarra open season will launch on Saturday 12 August with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Ray Davison, cultural workshops throughout the day delivered by Aboriginal Discovery Ranger Jess Sinnott, and activities for young children including free show bags for the first 50 children," said Ms Cooper.
"While visitors can certainly come along on any of the weekends during our open season and explore the park at their own pace, keep in mind that the Discovery walks and kayak tours will need to be pre-booked online as numbers are limited and places can fill up quickly," she said.
Muogamarra Nature Reserve will open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 12 August until Sunday 17 September 2017.
- Discovery tours include the Muogamarra Highlights Walk (new in 2017), Muogamarra Bird Gully Walk, Muogamarra Lloyd Trig Walk and Muogamarra Peats Bight Walk.
- A kayaking tour is also available: Paddle our Parks Muogamarra, the first of which will take place on Saturday 12 August.
- An event in celebration of the NPWS 50 Year Anniversary will take place on the first weekend (12 - 13 August).
- Prior bookings are essential for the guided walks and kayak tours and can be made by visiting the NPWS website: Muogamarra Nature Reserve
- Muogamurra Nature Reserve is located on the western side of the Pacific Highway, 3.35 kilometres north of Cowan Station.
- A park access fee applies during the 6 annual open weekends of $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $40 for families of 2 adults and 2 children.
Photos for media: Muogamarra Nature Reserve, Photo credits: Pam Goldie