Wednesday, 11 August 2010


I thought I'd share a little of our trip to Bunjalung National park in Northern New South Wales

The park is situated between Evans Heads and Iluka

View Larger Map

Its a typical bit of (or typical of what was) coastline in this area. It shares similarity with the Fraser Island coastline with differences.

There are fresh water creeks meandering along towards the ocean through sandy wetland areas behind the dunes ...


a variety of birds like the Wren who was bothered by his reflection and this white cheeked honey eater


Just down the beach at the Iluka end is a small remnant of the sort of rain forest which was common in the region.


To quote from the park brochure:
Iluka Nature Reserve contains the largest remaining stand
of littoral "by the sea" rainforest in New South Wales and is a
World Heritage listed Gondwana rainforest.

I got my best ever sighting of a Noisy Pitta (I think its a Noisy Pitta) there (and certainly the best picture so far).

rainbow pitta

We had a quiet time, with plenty of local visitors to pop in to your campsite during the day (while you read a book or generally lounge about if you have not gone for a walk)


While out on the trail (amid the thick growth of various types of hardy salt tolerant plants) are a variety of lovely (and unusual) flowers.


not to mention great beaches to go fishing on ... gotta have something for dinner!


which of course brings me to an important point. If you're going to go fishing with the kids, teach them good habits, not bad ones. Way way too many fishermen these days just toss their lines around, leave garbage everywhere, don't know how to tie a line on properly and many many more bad habits. This leads to the deaths of sea birds which just don't need to happen. This Albatross was just such a casualty


with a hook wound in its lower jaw and a line pulled through ...


the bird would have died a slow death of starvation with this caught in its bill. So please, you fishermen, be a little careful.

Another small annoyance was the fact that NSW National Parks didn't seem to know the place well, in fact not seem to know much about the park at all (even when you ring the number specific to that park).

For instance we picked a campsite in the middle of the park (Black Rock) with the express intention of being able to drive down the beach (in the 4WD) to the southern end of the park (where the rain forest is). This is important as to get to the other end of the park by road requires about a 70Km road trip (an hours drive), rather than a 10Km beach drive.

They confirmed that the track was open to the beach and there was no problem. Except of course it wasn't open.


... nor was it a recent event looking at the concrete block and the sign posted from the beach side.


or the amount of overgrowth on the track...


Which is interesting, as it demonstrates just how fast the dunes can regenerate from simple incursions such as a road through them. I think this is a significant issue for the environmental freaks (I consider myself an environmentally conscious person) who jump up and down about dune damage. This indicates that specifically planned and localised removal of the dune ecology for a road access will recover fast ... unlike say rampant dune crawling and hooting by hoons in big tyred beach buggy dune things.

Locals told me that they had heard that the National Parks People were suggesting that it will cost half a million bucks to rebuild it ... say what?

For gods sake, give any local fella with a D6 the job of carving a track down and it could not come to anywhere near that.

For Goodness sake, it doesn't need surveys, impact studies, community consultation ... just cut a track through. It is in fact such a tiny fraction of the coastline there in reality and clearly will grow back quickly when closed or moved.

brokenBeachAccessLooking at how they've done it in the first place, it seems they tried to build something up out of rock and stone. Seems a stupid method to me, as after living most of my life around this area it would just wash away with the first major storm or cyclone (which it seems to have done).

Well anyway ... Bunjalung is a lovely place, well worth the visit and the drive. I recommend staying at the Iluka end of the park as you'll have better access to the entire park and be able to nip into town easily.

Lastly its important to take water with you as there is no freshwater available at Black Rock campsite and the facilities are only composting type toilets (not flushing) and there are no showers.

Important information can be found on the website (as long as that link doesn't get changed or that site reorganised ;-)

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