Australian National Parks near me in answer to ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄

Dear ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄,

We also have daisies, lupins and sunflowers here. Many plants were introduced here over the years. For trees, the only place we would see an oak tree or sequoia would probably be in botanical gardens. They are not native to Australia. We do have pines, both introduced and native. There are pine plantations around for their timber but I do have a favourite native pine…

Fossils existed of my favourite ancient pines. They were some 90 million years old. That means they were around during the time of dinosaurs and may have even been by some dinosaurs. They were thought to be extinct.

In 1994, a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Officer was walking in a remote part of Wolemi National Park about 200 kilometres west of Sydney. He came across unusual trees in a rainforest gorge. Being interested in botany, he realised the importance of what he had found. The tree was named the Wollemi pine and is the same plant as the 90 million year old fossil. Isn’t that amazing?

So rare were these trees, their location was kept secret until enough of them could be cultured to save their species. Now they can be bought for gardens in Australia and other countries.

Here’s a link to some information…

http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/enviro/wollemi.html

 

Have you ever seen any pictures of Half Dome?

While I have never been to Yosemite, I have seen documentaries on its beauty.  I have seen photos of Half Dome and recognised it as a granite mass. It makes you wonder how spectacular a landslide it would have been when the other half fell away.

We don’t have anything as spectacular as that in our area but we do have granite here. Like Yosemite, many natural features around here are due to volcanic activity. Volcanoes are long gone from my area. They were active perhaps 400 million years ago.

Are there any special kinds of flowers or trees in NSW( New South Wales)?

There are many trees and plants native to Australia around here. Many of the photos I sent were very Australia and are native only to this country. Some are related to plants in other places like South Africa and New Zealand but there are some that might be interesting to you.

Go back to the flower photos…

http://rossmannell.posterous.com/photos-for-ellie-and-others-interested-in-my

The first five photos in the yellow section are examples of wattle. Their scientific name is acacia. Does that name sound familiar?

 

Australia’s floral emblem is the Golden Wattle, (Acacia pycnantha). It appears on the Australian Coat of Arms.

 

Wattle does cause trouble for some people. If you have hay fever, you might find yourself sneezing.

Another very Australian flower is my state (New South Wales) floral emblem. It is the waratah in the photo below...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

How many flowers do you have in your backyard?

We have orchids, Geraldton wax, waratah, grevillia (a number of types of these as the parrots like their nectar m- Photos 2 and 3 in red), bottlebrush (for honeyeater birds - Picture 1 in the red section of flower phots), wattle (the first five yellow flowers), lavender, dahlia, anemone, lilli pilli, hibiscus as well as apple trees and an orange tree. One or two of the flower photos I sent were taken in this yard.

How many trees do you have in your backyard?

We have two trees  (pine and Japanese maple) as well as many bushes

What national parks do you go to the most?

Around my town there are three national parks and a nature reserve. I walk in each of them but my favourite is the nature reserve. They are…

Ben Boyd National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Ben Boyd National Park covers a large area along our coast. You can see its northern most strip of trees running along the beach in the distance. Looking further back, the trees in the distance are mostly part of the South East Forest National Park.


South East Forests National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

South East Forest National Park covers a huge area of bushland. I've seen a large number of birds, mammals and reptiles in my walks. This guy is an eastern greay kangaroo. He stood to about my shoulder height. I took a few photos before he disappeared back in to the trees.


Bournda National Park

Bournda National Park runs along the coast for about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) to the north of my town. It has an amazing 10 km (6.25m mile) coastal walk. The picture shows just one of the many wonderful coastal scenes along the track.


Bournda Nature Reserve (my favourite walking park near town)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The track I follow is really a fire trail. It is about 10 km (6.25 miles) long. After a sometimes steep climb to a ridge, I walk along the track in the photo. At this point I no longer hear the sounds of traffic and in 10 years have rarely met anyone else on the track.

About 20 miles from us is another national park well know for is beaches and beautiful coastline scenes. It is…

Mimosa National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I have to drive to get to this park as it would take me most of a day to walk to it. Once there, you have access to some wonderful bays and beaches. I also walk a less used track to a tidal creek the gives me access to more coastline.

What is your favorite kind of flower?

I think the grevillia are a favourite of mine as they attract many birds to our yard and in the national parks. I also have a soft spot for eucalypt flowers on often tall trees.

What is your favorite tree in the U.S you have seen in a picture?

Australia doesn’t have as many plants that change leaf colour in autumn (Fall) so I like plants trees like maples and others having colour change (as long as I don’t have to rake the leaves). I also like the sequoia because they can be so tall.

2 thoughts on “Australian National Parks near me in answer to ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄

  1. Ellie

    Dear Mr Mannell,

    Thank you for the post. I really love the picture of the kangaroo. It looks really cute, but they are really powerful.

    The picture of Mimosa National Park, Ben Boyd National Park and Bounrnda National Park looks really fun. Can you camp there?

    I go on a fire road with my family to hike. I also bike ride up there. Your fire trail looks really peaceful. Is it peaceful there?

    Here is a link to my blog http://elliesenormouselevator.blogspot.com/.>

    Sincerely,
    ♥Ell♥e♥

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello again, ♥Ell♥e♥.

      I can sometimes see kangaroos on the sports ground across the road from my house and often see them and wallabies (smaller kangaroos) when I go walking in the national parks. It’s not unusual for me to surprise some and have them hopping away quickly.

      Mimosa National Park doesn’t allow camping to my knowledge but I have seen evidence people have been camping so it’s possible. One wonderful animal that can be found there is the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor). This penguin can be found in many places along Australia’s southern coast and all around New Zealand. Here is a link to Wikipedia if you want see learn more…

      Little penguin link … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Penguin

      Bournda and Ben Boyd National Parks both have camping grounds. People can pay a small fee to stay or they can buy annual passes for entry into my state’s national parks.

      Each second year, Year 3 and 4 children from my local school have a camp at Bournda. I attended three Bournda camps with my classes. There is a lake and beaches, bush walks and many animals to see. One camp we were able to get up close to a whale that had died and washed up on the beach. It was a humpback whale. They pass our part of the coast every year to have babies in the warmer north then return to the Antarctic to feed on krill for the summer.

      Humpback whale link … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale
      Krill link … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krill

      Bournda has a crew of teachers stationed there so schools from the area can learn about the environment. In years when there wasn’t a camp, my classes would often have the chance to visit Bournda. My favourite part of Bournda is the 10km (about 6 mile) coastal walk where I took the photo above.

      I have explored many fire trails and tracks in the parks and find many very peaceful although sometimes dirt bike riders come through where they’re not allowed and can disturb the peace. Mostly on the fire trail in the picture, I soon leave the sound of cars and only hear the sound of nature.

      When exploring, it’s amazing what you can find. One hot day, I stumbled on a pool in a creek. It was sandy bottomed and 1.3 metres (about 4’4″) deep. With only the sound of birds and the rustle of leaves in the wind it was wonderful enjoying an unexpected swim.

      For safety, I always let people know where I am going and carry a phone if I need to call for help. I often have a first aid kit if I am following unknown trails. Safety is important even if you are a skilled walker.

      @RossMannell
      Teacher, NSW, Australia

      Reply

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