Blackbutt Reserve

Blackbutt Reserve opening hours:

  • Wildlife exhibits are open from 10am – 4.30pm, (closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and before1pm Anzac Day).
  • Picnic facilities and carparks 7am – 7pm.
  • Blackbutt Kiosk 10am - 3pm daily except Wednesdays and Sundays, closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.
  • Office 8am - 3pm, Monday to Friday, closed between Christmas and New Year and also public holidays.

What time are the koalas fed?

Koalas are fed at 2pm daily.

Where can I get a map of the Reserve or further information?

Please download the  Blackbutt Reserve map (pdf).

What animals can be seen at Blackbutt Reserve?

A complete list of the exhibited wildlife at Blackbutt Reserve can be found in the  Wildlife exhibits section of the web page.

Blackbutt Reserve also has range of wild fauna ranging from brush-tail possums, grey-headed flying foxes and powerful owls.

Can I book the picnic shelters?

Blackbutt Reserve currently has 16 picnic shelters that can be booked for private functions. There are six shelters located at the Carnley Reserve entrance and 10 shelters at Richley Reserve (located off Freyberg Street).

A fee is charged for the booking of each shelter.

For further information contact the Blackbutt Reserve Office Monday to Friday between 8am and 3pm on 02 4904 3344.

How do the BBQs work? Do I need to book one?

The BBQs at Blackbutt Reserve are simple push button operation, and give you approximately 20 minutes cooking time. They are NOT coin operated.

The BBQs are available for all visitors and cannot be booked.

What do I do with the possum in my roof/ house?

If you find a possum has moved into your roof there are a number of strategies that can be utilised. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services has identified 8 steps to relocate a possum:

  • Provide an alternative home for the possum by constructing a sturdy weatherproof possum-house.
  • Get inside your roof and locate the possum’s nest if possible. The nest, which has the scent of the possum, should be placed in the new possum-house to encourage the possum to its new home.
  • Securely fix the possum-house to a tree in or near your yard. Place it at least 4 metres (12 feet) from the ground so it will be out of reach of domestic dogs and cats.
  • Put half an apple or banana in or near the possum-house to encourage the possum to investigate its new home.
  • Trim any branches that overhang the house to remove access to your yard.
  • Spread some quassia chips throughout the roof cavity to repel the possum. You can usually find the chips at hardware stores. If you can’t find quassia chips, you could repel the possum by spreading eight blocks of camphor or one or two boxes of mothballs throughout the roof cavity. Do not use both camphor and moth balls as they react chemically with each other.
  • Place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on for 3 days and nights. The combination of the light and the smell should drive the possum out of your roof and hopefully into the possum-house you have provided.
  • If you do not hear the possum for a few nights, it has probably found a new home. To prevent the possum from returning, block off the access points into your roof with timber, chicken wire or both. Night time is the best time to block off the access points, as the possum will have left to forage for food. Do not block off the access points unless you are certain the possum or possums have left your roof.

If this does not deter the possum you may need to trap it.

Can I trap a possum?

In NSW possums are protected. Trapping a possum without a licence is illegal.

Licences to trap possums on your property are issued free of charge from any National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) office. Traps are available to hire from some pest control companies or a pest control company licensed by the NPWS, can trap it for you.

The possum must be released back into your property at dusk. NPWS may relocate possums to other areas but only as a last resort.

What do I do with injured wildlife?

The Wildlife Rescue Service is an organisation of wildlife carers dedicated to rescuing and caring injured or orphaned animals. The Wildlife Rescue Service can be contacted on the 0418 628 483. Alternatively, we suggest you talk to your local vet as they have a duty of care with respect to native animals or RSPCA Rutherford on 02 4939 1555 or contact the Animal Management Centre RSPCA Vet Clinic Tighes Hill on 02 4927 6822.

What can I do about ticks?

Ticks occur in moist sheltered bushy areas and gardens. They may drop on clothing as you brush against shrubbery, or drop from overhanging branches. They usually attach to body recesses where they can't be easily brushed off. The most common areas are behind the ears, the back of the head, armpits, and the back of the knees, groins and other skin folds.

Tick bites are seldom felt at first and can go unnoticed for days. Ticks can remain attached for a number of weeks. Usually there will be a small lump around the bite area. If you find a tick remove it immediately using the following methods:

  • Apply a small amount of insect repellent containing DEET on skin (most good insect repellents contain this).
  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible using fine point tweezers or a tick remover.
  • Gently pull the tick straight out with steady pressure.
  • Wash your hands and disinfect the bite and tweezers.
  • For multiple tick bites, usually tiny grass ticks, the best removal is to soak for 30 minutes in a bath with 1 cup of bicarb soda.

You should wear a wide brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt and long pants to protect yourself when bushwalking. Check yourself and other family members when you get home. Be careful of where you put your clothes as you may introduce ticks into your house.

If you know you are going to enter a tick area you should spray clothing and hats with an insect repellent. It is a good idea to do this the night before. Also use insect repellent on exposed skin.

If pets have been playing in tick areas, they should be checked daily for at least a week. Pets may not show signs of paralysis until 4 days after the tick has attached. Tick paralysis may still develop 24-48 hours after the tick has been removed. Early signs of tick paralysis in pets include lameness in hind legs and respiratory difficulties. If this occurs seek veterinary attention immediately.

Why isn’t a koala a bear?

Koalas are marsupials which means they have a pouch. A young koala (joey) is born after 35 days and then makes its way into the pouch and attaches itself to one of mum’s teats and stays there for approximately 6 months. The closest relative to the koala is the wombat.

Can you hold koalas at Blackbutt?

It is against regulations in New South Wales for the general public to hold koalas.

Can I take photos of the koalas?

The koala exhibit is open seven days a week from 10am to 4.30pm. The special design of this exhibit allows for close viewing of the koalas and some wonderful photo opportunities.

How do we know if there is a Total Fire Ban in the Reserve?

If a Total Fire Ban has been declared there will be signs posted on the entry gates to the Reserve and near most major picnic areas. During a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open. Fire permits are suspended during a Total Fire Ban. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or charcoal.

You may use a gas barbeque at home during a Total Fire Ban, but only if:

  • it is on a residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling
  • if it is a picnic area and the appliance is approved by council, National Park or State Forest
  • it is under the direct control of an adult
  • the ground within 2m of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
  • you have an immediate and continuous supply of water available. (Source:  NSW Rural Fire Service).

Blackbutt Reserve has electric barbeques at Richley Reserve and Carnley Avenue that may be used during a Total Fire Ban.

Are bicycles/scooters allowed in the Reserve?

No. Motorbikes, scooters and push bikes are not permitted within Blackbutt Reserve. This includes around the picnic areas and along the designated tracks.

Are dogs permitted in the Reserve?

Dogs, on a leash or not, are not permitted within the Reserve. Breaches may incur a fine in accordance with Companion Animals Legislation.