Leader Jon Hestelow
Muogamarra Nature Reserve: Peats Bight and Deerubbin Lookover
7 September 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos top: Jon Hestelow
Photos below: Steven Sim
Jon Hestelow, Anne Gurney, Sally Ho, Katrina Gaitero, Colin Isaac, Kumiko Suzuki, Soo Lee Chen, Sarah Bodlay, Lindsey Paget-Cooke, Marguerite Young, Sandra Bushell, Steven Sim, Margaret Rozea, David House, Kate Wilson, Prospectives Ginny Neighbour, Marguerite Sander, Geoff Cahill
Muogamarra Nature Reserve offers wonderful views of the Hawkesbury River along with a wealth of flora. The walk will have a botanical flavour along with some history, so we will occasionally stop at some items of interest. We start at Tippers Lookout and shortly after follow the colonial road down to Peats Crater. Note, on some of the steep sections of the road the gravel can be slippery. We then proceed to Peats Bight for a lunch stop by the edge of the Hawkesbury River. After lunch we return on the same track heading uphill and then walk to Lloyd Trig to admire the views. Continuing in a northerly direction we head to Deerubbin Lookover for magnificent views of the Hawkesbury River. After a break enjoying the views we return to Tippers Lookout. Map: Cowan topographic map
After meeting at Cowan Station at 8.42am we organised the car shuffle to take the group into the Muogamarra Nature Reserve.The conditions were sunny, however we had strong westerly winds blowing during the day which made the more exposed areas less pleasant.
The plan we followed was to visit Peats Bight first and then go to Deerubbin Lookover in the afternoon. The first botanical item of interest was the large eriostemon in full bloom of pale pink flowers, one of the best specimens that I have seen. The next botanical item close by was a waratah in flower, our state floral emblem, a large bright red showy flower.
Our next stopping point was the memorial to John Tipper, the person who originally created Muogamarra as a private nature reserve. Next to his memorial is Tipper’s Lookout, offering views over the Hawkesbury River and Brooklyn. At this location we did spot some Dendrobium speciosums (rock orchids) in flower, however as per the orchid shows this season the number of flower spikes was below average.
We then followed the historic Peats Ferry Road (the road dating back to 1848), which went from the top of the escarpment down to the Hawkesbury River at Peats Bight. About half way down the hill we stopped at a pleasant spot for morning tea.
Our next stop was at Peats Crater, which was formerly used for beef cattle farming and also for fruit orchards a long time ago. The track was then followed to Peats Bight on the Hawkesbury River, where the original Peats Ferry Road finished at the wharf. We had water views for lunch and I was able to have the volunteer ranger assist by taking a photo of the group.
The walk after lunch was uphill to the top of the escarpment to the turnoff to Lloyds Trig. At the turnoff we met a volunteer ranger (Bruce), who was a font of knowledge about this nature reserve. He was able to answer some questions that I was unable to answer from our walking group, one answer being that the nature reserve was 2,300 hectares in size.
We then travelled north to Lloyds Trig. With some rock scrambling we were able to reach the top, offering great views of the region. Our last destination was to reach Deerubbin Lookover, which provided wonderful views of the Hawkesbury River, Peat Island and the M1. This was also our afternoon tea break.
When returning from Deerubbin Lookover we travelled on a different track which was to the east of the usual track. Despite the windy conditions the day was enjoyed by all. In fact most of the walkers in the group had never ventured to Muogamarra Nature Reserve before. Hopefully the 80 Leaders walk will encourage them to return in the future.
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