This week I am continuing featuring National Parks and Reserves that are easily accessible in our area.
Two of the walks that the National Parks Association ran in 2016 were at Conimbla National Park and Cookamidera South West Woodland Nature Reserve. Our Green Army Team joined them on both walks to learn more about local flora and fauna.
To get to Conimbla National Park, head towards Cowra (if travelling from Parkes or Forbes area) and from Gooloogong, travel approximately 30km on the Lachlan Valley Way, turn right onto Brook Lane, travel 2km, and turn right onto Barryrennie Road and after about 900m stay left and travel for 14km and turn left onto Kangarooby Road and the Ironbark Picnic area is on your left.
The Ironbark walking track is a looped bushwalk that winds around 1.5km that stretches its way around a ridge and up onto a flat plateau overlooking Cherry Creek Gorge. The Creek had water in it when the group visited the Park in October. This is a good spot to stop and take in the views looking east to Cowra, with mountains and farmland in the distance.
When you are ‘selling’ a spot, I think it’s good to mention the views first and then get back to what you might observe on the way there. The walk is rated a Grade 4 in the National Parks and Wildlife grading system which means that it is not just a stroll along a flat walk way. The track is reasonably steep and signage is limited.
The park contains dry eucalypt forest, with ironbark, black cypress pine, scribbly gum, red stringybark and heathlands. During the NPA walk the conditions had been quite wet and sections of the trail were soggy under foot, but this also meant that orchids, sundew and fungi were on display.
The bird count on the day wasn’t high but species that you might see in this area include: turquoise and superb parrots, brown treecreepers, grey-crowned babblers, white-fronted chats and diamond firetails. Nearby are also the Wallaby Picnic area with picnic tables, toilet and a pleasant grassed area. From here you can take the Wallaby Walking Track which is a 4km return walk.
We were fortunate to visit the Cookamidgera South West Woodland Nature Reserve at the end of September. It was also after a great deal of rain, which provided many opportunities to observe fungi and orchids and other seasonal plants in a woodland area that is usually dry woodland including Ironbark, Box, White Cypress Pine.
I have included full directions from Parkes and Forbes to the Reserve on our website blog and facebook. The Reserve is accessible via Coonambro Way. There are no fancy picnic spots or toilets. The track is a little rough, but there are some good spots to stop and observe.
We sighted a good variety of birdlife including Striped and Blu-faced Honey Eaters, Striated Pardalote, Misteltoe Bird, Olive-backed Oriole and a Wedge-tailed Eagle. We also spotted Red-necked and Swamp Wallaby.
It would be worthwhile keeping this one off your list under the fire in the Cookamidgera /Mandagery area is resolved. Always check conditions before heading out.
The National Parks Association Lachlan Valley Branch will be running more walks during 2017 when the weather cools down. I will keep you posted with their walks throughout the year.
Please note that in our National Parks and Reserves, pets and domestic animals are not permitted (other than certified assistance animals) and NSW National Parks are non-smoking areas.
For further information, follow the links on our website blog at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org or on facebook. Until next week, happy Landcaring!