Muogamarra Nature Reserve is only open six weekends a year when the wildflowers are in bloom, and they certainly put on a very good show. In fact, it's largely due to them that this place is home to my favourite bush walks, which range from short strolls past a variety of flowers to longer treks down to the water of the Hawkesbury River that take hours to complete.
The reserve is open during the wildflower season for a reason
You will find Muogamarra Nature Reserve just past Cowan on the old Pacific Highway in Northern Sydney. Entry costs $10 (for adults), yet it's worth paying to get in. You barely have to leave the car park to enjoy the sights, with the short walks up the top near the entrance being your best chance to admire the flora. A lookout is also nearby, and there's a picnic area and museum here too.
Enjoy great views on the Point Loop Walk
If you're up for a longer walks, these are just as good, though for different reasons. I did the Peats Crater Walk, and while you do get to see flowers - they're not as beautiful. Instead, this walks goes through so many different phases; there's the fire trail down the hill, as well as the grassy area once cleared for farming; Peats Crater; a rainforest-like area; the mangroves, and finally the Hawkesbury River.
I like this reserve because the walks aren't just about plodding through bush to your destination. There's heaps to discover, like the Aboriginal carving of a whale you come across before the start of the Peats Crater Walk, or the remains of a stone guesthouse built in the nineteenth century that lie off the path on your way to the river.
The remains of past eras can be found here, including signs of a house near this old wall.
Of course, I was introduced to Muogamarra by a friend very familiar with it, so perhaps I've been shown the very best parts. If the rest is as good as what I've seen, then it's worthy of a strong recommendation - of which I have given to many people.
If you want to explore Muogamarra, you can do the walks by yourself or join one of the tours that are run during the open season. These are also a good way to go inside at other times of the year, as they're also held on special occasions too. The rest of the time, the reserve is closed to the public to protect it's natural and culturally valuable sites.
Where: Off the Pacific Highway, between Cowan and Brooklyn.
Why: There's lots to discover on these walks
Cost: Adults: $10. Children: $5. Family (2 adults and 3 children): $25
When: The reserve is open to the public for six weekends a the year, during August and September, from 9am to 4.30pm each day.
Good for kids: Yes, there's short walks and a picnic area.