Wildflowers welcome walkers to Spring on the Myall

Walk on the Wildside Festival. Hawks Nest

Twenty-three people enjoyed a guided walk through carpets of wildflowers as part of this year’s ninth annual Wildside Festival at Hawks Nest. The festival is organised by Ian Morphett, Secretary of the Myall Koala & Environment Group to bring the community together and celebrate the natural environment of the Hawks Nest area.

Many were residents of the Hawks Nest Tea Gardens area while others were visitors to the annual “Walk on the Wildside Festival”. They ranged from people with an impressive knowledge of the flowers and trees to others who just wanted to enjoy the warm Spring afternoon and and marvel at the wildflowers.

The guided tour, which has become one of the main attractions of the festival, took them along the Michael Rowe Memorial Walk, which threads its way along the coast between the ocean and Mungo Brush Road.

Led by Jill Madden, President of the Myall Koala & Environment Group and with the help of Adrienne Ingram, the guided tour is a way of raising awareness of the wonderful variety of wildflowers the area has to offer.

For the first time, walkers were loaned laminated coloured guides on the wildflowers found on the track and were given copies of the guide to take home as a souvenirs. The guide can be found on the bitou.busters Facebook page.

A week earlier, 28 members of the Thursday Walkers Group had devoted their weekly walk to clearing about two kilometres of the track so the guided tour could take place.

The following day, Sunday 14 September, saw another wildflower walk but this time about bush tucker and the medicinal remedies of native plants.

This was led by Anne Haskew, a very knowledgeable source of information about all the fauna and flora in the area. Eleven people met at Swan Bay, Hawks Nest, for two fascinating hours of Anne showing local trees and plants that could be eaten or provide simple remedies, such as hop bush chewed for toothache or bracken to soothe bull-ant bites 
and stings.

Anne had made visual aids including enlarged photos and specimens of leaves, gum nuts and plant roots in labeled plastic sleeves.

A highlight was the discovery of several flying duck orchids, a small orchid resembling a duck in flight that set many cameras clicking.