Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve at Carinda
The Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve and State Conservation Area totals 21,898 hectares and is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The nature reserve is separated into two areas, the north and south marsh. The remaining 90% of the Macquarie Marshes is mainly private land managed for agricultural purposes.
The Macquarie Marshes are a dynamic system, experiencing wet and dry cycles, each equally interesting in their own way.
During a wet cycle, if conditions are suitable, thousands of birds flock to the area to breed. Large expanses of open water interspersed with various vegetation types make for an extremely diverse and biologically rich area. Unfortunately, access during flooding is problematic. For example, Gibson’s Way, the only road that crosses the marsh, becomes impassable.
The Macquarie Marshes are also worth visiting during a dry cycle where bush birds abound and River red gum forests are more accessible. A “dry” marsh also helps visitors understand the dynamic nature of wetlands and their reliance on natural cycles to sustain themselves.
There are a number of ways you can experience the Macquarie Marshes. A simple drive along Gibson’s Way is a good way to start and for many people provides a good introduction to the Macquarie Marshes. There is an Observation Platform along Gibson Way near the Terrigal Creek (this is also described separately in the web site), which enables visitors to get an elevated view of the wetlands and the diverse fauna they support.
Can I access the Nature Reserve?
The Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve is surrounded by private land and as such, is not generally accessible to the public. However, a NPWS Discovery Weekend is often held once a year where NPWS staff and local NPWS Discovery Rangers take members of the public on guided walks and tours. This is usually held on the Labour Day long weekend in October of each year and is subject to weather conditions.
NPWS Discovery walks and tours can also be organised at other times of the year. These are run on a cost recovery basis and cost $180 per group for a half day and $300 per group for a full day, eg for a full dayDiscovery activity for a group of 10 people it would cost $24 each or for a group of 3 people it would cost $80 each. Group size is limited to 20 people.
Wetland viewing platform, Macquarie Marshes
This elevated viewing platform is a great place to see birdlife when there is water in the wetlands. Check before you go as in this region wetlands aren’t always wet – this isn’t Kakadu! Location: The viewing platform is on Gibson’s Way, the road that links the Carinda Road (near Willie Retreat) and Quambone. If travelling from Warren, take the road to Carinda for just over 100kms and turn right at the Telstra tower into Gibson’s Way.
Note – Gibson’s Way is unsealed and not suitable for other than 4WD after rains. It is strongly recommended you get local advice before proceeding to the viewing platform as when there is water in the Macquarie Marshes there are several places it crosses this road and may make it impassable even if you have 4WD. The black floodplain soils are easy to get bogged in!
For more information please contact the Warrumbungle National Park Visitor Centre on (02) 68254364 or visit the Macquarie River Trails Website