Friends of Werakata National Park
Banksia Spinulosa

Past Activities

Spotlight at Astills Park area

11th February, 2006
A walk through Spotted Gum / Ironbark woodland, looking for possums and gliders, bats and listening for night birds, frogs etc.

February Meeting

Tuesday, 1st February, 2006
The first meeting for the year was held.

Spotlight at Astills Park area

8th January, 2006
A great walk despite the rain.

December Meeting

Tuesday, December, 2005
The monthly meeting plus election of office bearers plus the Christmas party.


26th November, 2005
A great walk despite the rain.

Spotlight at Pelaw Main

5th November, 2005
A spotlight tour near Pelaw Main was cancelled due to rain.

November Meeting

Tuesday, 1st November, 2005

Sawyers Gully

16th October, 2005
A tour over the great North Road and Native Dog Hill. A few enthusiastic people attended despite the wet conditions.

Bow Wow Gorge

9th October, 2005
A tour of the spectacular Bow Wow Gorge (private property) was hosted by Colin and Pamela. It was well attended and a fantastic tour of this special area. Thirty species of bird were noted as well as many nests.

October Meeting

Tuesday, October, 2005

Spring is in the Air

25th September, 2005
A great time for birdwatching as so many nests were seen as well as some of the rare birds like the black-chinned honeyeater, and brown treecreeper.

Spotlight Tour

10th September, 2005
Another popular Spotlight Tour was held, exploring Tumblebee for possums and owls.

September Meeting

Tuesday, September, 2005

Fire and Rain

Saturday, 14th August, 2005
A tour through Kurri Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland showing the recovery from fire and contrasting with the non-burnt areas. Two hours of a comfortable walk though this intersting habitat with lots of wildflowers in bloom, particularly Acacia elongata. Good examples of Hovea linearis, and Caladenia.
Hovea linearis


Saturday, 6th August, 2005
Members joined with Friends of Tumblebee, at Peace park in Weston, whilst Colin Mondy from Waterwatch demonstrated how to use the Waterwatch testing kits for stream monitoring. We were then shown how to catch and identify the water-bugs for biological assessment of stream quality.

For further info see these links.

Waterwatch Day at Peace Park

August Meeting

Tuesday, 2nd August, 2005
Colin Mondy from Waterwatch spoke on the Waterwatch program and stream monitoring.
A short hands-on session on identifying water-bugs followed.

Spotlight in Werakata

July 2nd 2005
Another successful night tour.

July Meeting

Tuesday, 5th July 2005
General business and planning.

Tumblebee Treasures

Sunday July 17 2005
A 3 to 4 hour excursion up Mount Tomalpin, known locally as Tumblebee, a Cessnock-Kurri landmark surrounded by Spotted gum/Ironbark forests with important wildlife and plants. Follow old mining tracks and railways and trace the history of industry in this key part of the South Maitland Coalfields. Experience the diversity of the area and enjoy the sweeping views during a lunch stop at the top of Tumblebee.

Meet at Neath Hotel (Firefighters Park) at 10:am and then a drive into Werakata. Walk starts from the old Archery Range carpark.

A good level of fitness is required as the track is steep and slippery in parts. Finishes by 2pm.

Cost: $3.00 each or Family $5.00. Bring sturdy walking shoes, binoculars, lunch, drinks and weather protection.

For Discovery Bookings and Information: 02 43204205.

Spotlight Discovery Tour

9th April 2005
The weather was perfect for a great night for spotlighting south-west of Tumblebee. The following were seen: Grey-headed flying foxes, common brushtailed possum, an owl, two microbats, an eastern grey kangaroo (others were heard), and two large white roosting birds. An eastern owlet-nightjar was also heard.

April Meeting

Tuesday, 7th April 2005
A general planning meeting.

Fauna Survey of the Park

29th March to 1st April 2005
A small, but very hard-working, team comprising of two people from NPWS, two external contractors, and a volunteer, spent four very full days surveying the mammals, reptiles and birds of Werakata National Park. Results should be quite interesting but are not available yet as they will need to be collated.

Native Dog Hill Walk

Sunday 20th March 2005
A walk along the old section of the Great North Rd exploring European History in this area and the natural history around Native Dog Hill.

Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland Stakeholders' Forum

Friday 18th March 2005
The Friends of Werakata National Park were represented at this forum by four members. The forum identified people and groups interested in protecting this woodland, and started to explore the means by which this might be done.

April Meeting

Tuesday, 3rd March 2005
Tricia Hogbin presented information on the Kurri Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland Recovery Project.

Clean-Up Day

Sunday February 2005
In conjunction with Clean Up Australia Day a group of volunteers spent the morning cleaning up Werakata NP. We enjoyed a barbecue lunch in the afternoon.
Members from the Tomago Detention Centre also worked over the weekend. These fellows have done a tremendous job cleaning up the Park.

February Meeting

Tuesday, 1st February 2005
First meeting for the year.

A Walk in Werakata National Park

Sunday 16th January 2005
This walk was post-poned due to the heat and concerns about bush-fires.

December Meeting

Tuesday, 7th December, 2004
An informal get-together and Christmas party.

Seed Collecting Day

Sunday, 5th December, 2004
For those who wish to assist in propagation of plants for regeneration as well as those who wish to grow plants for their own garden.

Seed collecting will take place on neighbouring private properties.

Night Tour

Saturay, 4th December, 2004
Aa enjoyable evening, from 7.30-9.30pm, exploring the bushland for mammals, nocturnal birds, and frogs to the west of Kurri Kurri Hospital.

Clean-Up Day

Sunday, 14th November, 2004
Our second successful Clean Up Day. We met at 9am on 14 November at Astill's Picnic Area, and headed out to different locations within the northern part of the Park.

A Walk in the Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland

Next Sunday, 31 October, 2004
The walk (less than 2 hours) is graded easy and will depart from the corner of Neath and Richmond Streets, Pelaw Main at 10am. We'll focus on the variety of understory plants which make up this bushland found in the Kurri Kurri area.
For more information phone Pam Fitzsimons on 4938 0082 or Irene on 49375090. A gold coin donation is appreciated.

A Climb up Mt Tumblebee

7th November, 2004.
Meet at Neath Hotel at 10 am for drive into Archery Range carpark.This walk is graded medium-hard. Bring your own lunch to have while taking in the wonderful views from the top of the mountain. This is a 4 hour walk.
For more information phone Pam Fitzsimons on 4938 0082 or Irene on 49375090. A gold coin donation is appreciated.

Monthly Meeting: Tuesday, 2nd November 2004

7:pm Arrive
7:15 Announcements
7:30 Presentation by Max Elliott on Vegetation Types in Werakata
8:30 Supper and informal discussions

Clean Up Day

Following on from our first and very successful Clean Up Day, we shall meet at 9am at Astill's Park, (on Astill's Rd. Bring protective gear (gloves, hat, sunscreen) and a trailer if you have one. If you do not have a trailer, come and help load someone else's. Join everyone for a BBQ lunch at Astill's Park afterwards. Bring your friends.

Monthly Meeting: 5th October 2004

Elections were held for the committee members.
The following were elected:

Chairperson John Goswell
Secretary Helen Pickering
Treasurer Joan McKendry
Public Relations Officer Penny Mitchell
NPWS Officer Deon von Rensburg
Discover Tour Representative Irene Richardson

The meeting included a discussion of the various orchid types found in the district, with a handout listing the types kindly being provided by Irene. The list can be found on Irene's website

A presentation on the early history of the local timber industry was given by John Goswell.

Discussions were held on activities to be arranged for the near future. these included a Night Tour by the Discovery Rangers, a seed collecting day, and the next Clean-up Day.

Spring is in the Air: and birds are nesting everywhere
When: Sunday, 26th September 2004, 8am
Who: Andrew, Colin, Pamela, Mick, Irene

     The tour was well attended. We met at 8am, at the Neath Hotel Fire Fighters Park and then travelled via Abermain and along Hebburn Rd to a track to the west, along the power lines. The habitat was spotted gum/ironbark woodland.

     The weather was perfect and there were plenty of birds to see and hear. We saw brown treecreepers, black-chinned honeyeaters, fuscous honeyeaters, dusky woodswallows, a little cuckoo-shrike, a brown goshawk, a white-naped honeyeater, noisey friarbirds, eastern rosellas, Australian ravens, yellow-tufted honeyeaters, variegated wrens and a willy wagtail.

     Nests seen included those of the little eagle, spotted quail-thrush, fuscous honeyeater (with chicks), eastern rosella (with eggs), tufted honeyeater (with chicks), eastern yellow robin (with egg), white winged chough, brown goshawk, dusky woodswallow and noisy friarbird.

     Numerous other birds were heard including spotted quail-thrush, bell miner (bellbird) peaceful dove, spotted pardalote, and grey shrike-thrush.

Eastern Robin nest Little Eagle nest Yellow-tufted Honeyeater nest

     We later moved to another area a little to the north-east. Here we saw a nest, with two young tufted honeyeaters, in scrub less than a metre from the gound! If you are using Internet Explorer you can use your mouse pointer you can find where the nest was.

Looking for the Yellow-Tufted Honeyeater's nest It was in here!

Clean-up Day 19th September 2004

We met at Astills Park at 9am, and each group took an area to clean.
The day was very successful with numerous families turning up.
This effort adds to the work done by NPWS in its cleaning program which has resulted in very noticeable changes to the appearance of the Park.
Thanks to all who contributed.

Here are two of the "finds" of the day. The Stone Gecko made a narrow escape, having made his home in an old aluminium can which was partly crushed. He dropped his tail but was otherwise unharmed.

Stone Gecko Copper-tailed Skink

Tumblebee Treasures: A walk up Mount Tomalpin
12th September 2004: 10am to 2pm
Guides:Colin, David, Mick, Irene, Pamela

We met at Neath and drove to the Cessnock Archers area, and then continued on foot. Mt Tomalpin is known locally as "Tumblebee" and is a landmark in the Kurri Kurri area. It is surrounded by woodlands, with important wildlife and plant species. We followed the trails to the base of the mountain and then proceeded up the fairly steep incline. Our guides discussed the woodland types seen and demonstrated some of the endangered flora. The view from the top extended as far as Port Stephens, as the day was clear. The weather was very pleasant and the outing enjoyed by all.
Further details of this walking trail can be found here.
Below are some photos from the top:


First Meeting of the Friends of Werakata, Tuesday, 7th September 2004

At this meeting we discussed the aims of the group. It was decided that on the next meeting voting should take place for a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer. Nominations will be received at the next meeting. Meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of each month at the Abermain School of Arts.

Tea and coffee were served and enabled some informal discussions afterwards.

Visit to Lane Cove National Park, 14th August 2004

We met at 8am at Cessnock and were driven to the headquarters of the Lane Cove National Park. Here we met with some of the Park Rangers and Melissa fron the Friends of the Lane Cove National Park. We learned about the activities of this group and how the group managed its many activities. Sources of funding for projects were discussed. We were shown some of the regeneration areas within the Park and the Park plant nursery. Morning tea and a BBQ lunch were enjoyed, and the day was a success in terms of education and as an enjoyable experience.
Click here for more details

Discussing the regeneration area at Lane Cove National Park

First meeting, 19/6/2004

A meeting was organised by Deon van Rensburg to determine interest in forming a Friends of Werakata. The meeting was a success with about 25 people turning up to the venue at Astill's Park. As a result a list of interested people was formulated, and their interests were noted. Possible activities for this group were discussed.

Discovery tour, May 2004

Andrew Zoneff, Irene Richardson and Deon van Rensburg guided the group through the Park to for a wonderful morning of birdwatching and exploration of the plants of Werakata.

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