For ecology enthusiasts, the Gwydir Shire offers an extraordinary range of habitat and climate. The heights of Mount Kaputar occasionally receive a dusting of snow and are home to the most northerly site of snow gums in Australia. If you are particularly lucky you may even spot the famous and very rare giant pink slugs that only come out after rain. These slugs are vibrant pink and can grow to the size of an adult’s hand.
Areas of semi-evergreen vine thicket can be found across the Gwydir Shire, including areas on Travelling Stock Routes (TSR) north of Warialda, and the range of habitats allow for many species of bird to be seen – 185 species have been identified within the Mount Kaputar National Park.
Close to the Warialda Cemetery (on Crown Land Reserve), there is even a small area of spinifex. Walking trails in and around Warialda, and almost all unfenced land near Bingara will provide a rewarding experience for the bush walker and nature lover.
On the slopes of the Nandewar Range, native figs are found, particularly around rocky outcrops, the iconic smooth barked apple flourishes around Warialda, and small numbers of Oolines trees are found around Gravesend. Native figs and Oolines are obvious remnants of a much wetter climate, and native vines, including Gargaloo are found as remnants of a Gondwanan landscape.
Apart from designated public access areas such as Cranky Rock, hundreds of kilometres of TSR provide fantastic bird watching opportunities and include areas of Belah in the north where rough-bark specialists such as varied Sitellas can be found.
Turquoise parrots are often seen in the Waa Gorge end of the Mount Kaputar National Park, and superb parrots come this far north when grasses seed in autumn. A full list of bird routes and local sightings is available from Bingara and Warialda Visitor Information Centres.
Through Northern Slopes Landcare and Gwydir Ark, supervised walks with local experts are conducted which are an excellent way of finding out more about our unique ecology.
Contact Northern Slopes Landcare
(02) 6724 2052
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