Seven Natural Wonders On Your DoorstepEven the most densely populated urban area in Australia – one of our claims to fame in the Eastern Suburbs – has pockets of Mother Nature’s goodness to offer, aside from our beautiful beaches. Pull on your winter woollies and get amongst these seven natural wonders that’ll give you even more reason to love living here.
You’ve got a few more weeks to catch a glimpse of these majestic marine beasts travelling north along our coast. From April to August each year, whales make their way to the warmer waters off Queensland to make babies. If you miss them now, you can also see them from October to December on their return south. For more whale facts and sightings info, go to www.wildaboutwhales.com.au.
A Special Bit Of Bushland
If you’ve ever driven past Centennial Park along York Road, kicked a footy in Queens Park, or dropped the kids off at Moriah College, you would have been just metres from a patch of endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS). Straddling York Road, there’s only 3% of the original 5,300 hectares of ESBS left across Sydney, which is protected under Commonwealth and State legislation. Council is working with Moriah and the Centennial and Moore Park Trust to ensure that we continue looking after it.
Fairies In Our Midst
Bird lovers may already know that Waverley is lucky to have high numbers of the native Superb Fairy Wren, which is in serious decline in many urban areas. The male Superb Fairy Wren is brightly coloured, especially during mating season, with bright blue and black plumage above the throat. They have been labelled as ‘the least faithful birds in the world’. Females may be courted by up to 13 males in half an hour (that’s serious speed dating), and 75% of young are from males outside the social group.
Waverley has 11 sites of remnant native vegetation across the LGA. What’s so special about remnants? These pockets of unique bushland have intact native plants that have been there for hundreds of years, and provide important homes to local wildlife. Scarily, some are at risk of being lost forever. Sites are found along the coastal walks enjoyed by thousands of people each day, in Tamarama Gully, scattered among the cliffs and rock shelves, and in the suburbs. Council is currently developing a long-term plan of action to improve the condition of each of these sites. The Action Plans will be on public exhibition later this year, so stay tuned.
You needn’t travel to central Australia to see Aboriginal rock engravings. Whilst not extensive, local samples are distinct reminders of our natural history and the Cadigal people, the traditional owners of our land. There’s a large site at North Bondi Golf Course with a whale, humans and fish. You can also heck out the large engraving of a shark and fish next to the Tamarama-Bondi cliff path, and Ben Buckler lays claim to a turtle engraving (in Ray O’Keefe Reserve).
If you are tempted to chance the cooler sea temperatures, there’s plenty to explore underwater in the rocky reefs around north and south Bondi and other local coastline areas. You may even be lucky enough to stumble across the elaborate Weedy Seadragon or a Wobbegong.
Bronte’s beach and park have long been a Mecca for surfers, picnic goers and local families. Venture west beyond the playground and you’ll find Bronte Gully, home to Bronte Creek and one of the largest areas of urban bushland in the Eastern Suburbs. In earlier times, a permanent spring fed the waterfall and Indigenous locals used the pools for bathing their children, but over time urban development and weed invasion has impacted the area. Bronte Bushcare volunteers have worked tirelessly over the last 15 years to regenerate some parts to native vegetation. Council is working with this group and others on a plan to restore the whole Gully to its former natural glory.
For more information on the bushland action plans and remnant site maps, call Waverley Council on 9369 8023.