Take a tour of the Macquarie Marshes

The Macquarie Marshes are an oasis in the State's central west.

Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve aerial view

These unique and delicate semi-permanent wetlands are home to native birds, frogs, bugs, plants and more.

By daylight or moonlight, from the air or on the ground, discover the mysteries and magic of the Macquarie Marshes.

Welcome to my place!

Clouds bring water. Water means bugs. And bugs mean dinner for this wetland resident, a striped water-holding frog (Cyclorana alboguttata).

Survival is the name of the game for wetland animals who rely on regular watering to provide the right habitat for feeding, breeding and growing.

Photo: Striped water-holding frog. David Herasimtschuk.

A striped water-holding frog (Cyclorana alboguttata) sits on a raised area of mud with water all around, reeds and mixed wetland vegetation in the background.

This is gumboot country

For wetland researchers, the Macquarie Marshes provide plenty of opportunities to gather data that helps inform the management of these finely balanced ecosystems.

Birds, bugs, fish and frogs – they all need water, sometimes at different times, for different durations and at different volumes.

Finding the balance is all part of maintaining the health of these important wetlands now and into the future.

Photo: Wading in the wetland. John Spencer/OEH.

Two researchers wade through knee-high water

Strike up the band

As the moon rises, a chorus of frogs begins to serenade the Macquarie Marshes.

Some frogs, like the crucifix frog (Notaden bennettii), respond to rain while other species like spotted marsh frogs (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) and barking marsh frogs (Limnodynastes fletcheri) respond quickly to the arrival of floodwater.

They eat while food is abundant and find romance under cover of darkness. As the water recedes, they hunker down and await the return of conditions when they can do it all again.

Photo: Crucifix frog. Joanne Ocock/OEH.

A crucifix frog (Notaden bennettii)

Wetland beauty

The intermediate egret (Ardea intermedia) is one of several colonial nesting waterbirds that chooses to nest in the Macquarie Marshes and other wetlands across NSW.

It hunts for frogs, fish and other food among the reeds and rushes, peering through the vegetation and stirring the water with its clawed feet.

Photo: Intermediate egret and chicks. John Spencer/OEH.

An intermediate egret (Ardea intermedia)

Patterns in the landscape

A network of channels criss-crosses the landscape to form one of the largest remaining semi-permanent wetland systems in Australia.

Subtle changes to the movement and timing of water can affect the health of this wetland habitat and its ability to support the waterbirds and other animals which rely on the Macquarie Marshes to survive.

Photo: Water network. Stephanie Suter/OEH.

An aerial view of a wetland in the Macquarie Marshes

Flying high

You're never far from a photo opportunity in the Macquarie Marshes. Big or small, high or low, day or night, there's always something happening, so keep your camera handy!

Photo: Royal spoonbill. John Spencer/OEH.

A Royal spoonbill (Platalea regia) in flight