Walk: Wyrrabalong National Park

  • When 08 Oct, 2017 from 09:45 AM to 02:00 PM (Australia/Sydney / UTC1008)
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This walk is different to most STEP walks in being entirely through massive, forested Quaternary age sand dunes. These rise to more than 40 m asl and form an isthmus between Tuggerah Lake and the ocean. The park is famous for its Sydney Red Gum forests, but also hosts a range of dune swales with high water tables supporting swamp forest and endangered littoral rainforest. This carries cabbage tree palm forests, formidable vine thickets and supports trees like swamp mahogany, bangalay, corkwood, hard quandong and endangered magenta lillypilly. October was chosen because of the flannel flowers, which grow to chest height and carry blooms up to 10 cm across, but there are many other species in flower, and the scarlet new leaf growth on the corkwoods is striking too. If you're lucky you may spot a regent bowerbird in the rainforest.

Time: 9:45 for a 10 am start 
Access route: You can arrive from two directions but best by far is up the M1 to Sparks Road (first interchange past the motorway service areas). Follow Sparks Road (and its name changes) across the narrow neck bridge between Tuggerah and Budgewoi Lakes. Pass through most of Toukley turning right at Evans Road traffic lights (Aldi on opposite corner). Time from North Shore roughly 1 h 10 min
Meet: End of Evans Road next to Heritage Village and veterans retirement complex – plenty of kerbside parking!
Length of walk: 7.5 km (about 4 h)
Grade: medium: tracks are smooth and easy – no rocks, but walk is long and there are lots of ups and downs, you'll feel you've had a good walk!
Bring: snack or lunch, water, hat, camera, plant/bird i.d. books, or whatever your interest
Leader: John Martyn (0425 830 260)

Historic notes: Wyrrabalong National Park North was gazetted in 1991, and by that process saved from the threat of sand mining for all time.