All About Navua Reserve and Yarrumundi Reserve
If you are after a rustic spot to cool off this summer then you should consider either Navua Reserve or Yarrumundi Reserve.
These two reserves are actually set on opposite sides of the section where the Nepean, Hawkesbury and Grose Rivers converge. In the right conditions you can even walk (carefully) across the river from one reserve to the other. However, to drive between the two reserves it is approximately 13kms or 15 minutes.
Both reserves are popular with locals and visitors, with Yarramundi the slightly more popular cousin. Being set along a river bank the activity options are endless including walking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, sandcastles, cricket, ball games, bird watching or just relaxing
I decided to check both out to see what each one has to offer.
Enjoy beautiful views up the river at Navua Reserve
Navua Reserve is located on the Grose Wold side of the river. It was formally part of a property known as Navua Farm.
Access to the reserve is via Grose River Road, which is a little tight towards the end, but don’t fear you will get through.
First impressions of this reserve is that it is defintely rustic, and sits within a bushland setting. However, being rustic is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact at times it is very nice. And I think Navua Reserve is defintely ones of those times. Come prepared for an outdoor experience and to enjoy the peace and the bush. Bring a simple picnic, some ball games and an excellent day you will have.
The river is really the highlight of this reserve with its wonderful sandy bank and knee high water. It is an excellent spot for kids as mum and dad can easily keep an eye on them.
It is important to note that at Navua Reseve acess to the river is via a staircase. The stairs are fine for adults and kids, but may be difficult for anyone with mobility issues.
The water is accessed via a staircase at Navou Reserve
Navua Reserve is dog friendly (for dogs on lead). It is great to see the dogs frolicking through the water enjoying the park as well. With a shared dog and human space it is important that families keep an eye on their kids.
There are also a few walking trails along the riverbank, but they did seem a little overgrown.
The rest of the reserve consists mostly of a couple of large grassy areas with tables and chairs available. There is no playground here (not necessarily a bad thing) and other facilities are rustic but adequate.
I especially loved that there are wood fires available. Perfect for a a winter wood fired BBQ.
The picnic spots and walking trails at Navua are rustic but adequate
In summary I think Navua is good for large groups looking for a wide open picnic area. The ability to have a wood BBQ is a great option for winter. Bring some shade in case you don’t nab a table although there are lots of trees around.
Entry and parking is free. Note there is no food or water available at the reserve.
Find it: 228 Grose River Rd, Grose Wold NSW 2753
More info: hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
Yarramundi is a popular spot for families
Yarramundi Reserve is the better known and possibly slightly neater around the edges cousin. Set on Springwood Road in Yarramundi, Yarramundi Reserve is a very popular spot.
As with Navua the key drawcard here is the water. The biggest different to Navua is that the water is fairly easily accessed, even though it is a longer walk from the carpark. Paved walkways through the main area of the reserve make it easy for everyone to get down to the waters edge. Note that the paved walkway does merge into a dirt path closer to the water.
The water itself is of course very similar to Navua, fairly shallow and tame with lovely sandy banks. There are some deeper sections so make sure to keep an eye on kids at all times.
Paved pathways and sandy banks make for an exellent picnic spot
There is also a neat little Lagoon Lookout here and 1.5km of walking trails that meander around the lagoon. Unfortunately due to our very hot and dry weather conditions the lagoon was empty when we were there (late September 2019).
Unfortunatley there is no water in the lagoon at present
There are a few shaded picnic tables near the water, but the area in general is quite exposed. There is a small grassy section also.
As with Navua, Yarramundi is dog friendly, however dogs are allowed off leash. This is important if you are afraid of dogs or have kids who are.
Bring some shade with you to beat the heat
Entry and parking is free. The main Yarramundi entrance is the second one after you cross over the Yarramundi Bridge. You’ll know you’ve found the right spot when you will see a large sign that says ‘Yarramundi Reserve’.
In summary I think Yarramundi is great for a weekend or weekday splash, but make sure to bring a BBQ and shade with you.
Find it: LOT 7301 Springwood Rd, Yarramundi NSW 2753
More info: hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
- Rivers are unpredictable, so take care and keep an eye on kids
- Bring all food and water with you
- The sandy area can be hot so bring a sun shade
- It can be hot in the area in Summer, why not enjoy an afternoon bbq and swim to beat the heat (and the crowds!)
More free things to do