Greetings from all the staff at Booderee National Park
Welcome to our special summer edition (our e-newsletter no.2). A very big welcome to all our new subscribers and again to all our regular 'friends of Booderee'.
We hope to keep you informed on some of the behind the scenes happenings here at Booderee and also to share with you some options for your summer visit to Booderee.
Round leaf tea tree flowers - photo June Andersen
In particular check out our School Holiday Activities program, our new Steamers Beach Steps, our environmental 'stealth' camera results and our fire and weather feature. And don't forget to checkout our Botanic Gardens when you next visit. If you haven't been there yet you are in for a big surprise.
As always please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like to know about or for us to focus on for future editions of this newsletter. We'd very much like your feedback - or to meet up with you during your visit.
Enjoy your Christmas and have a happy and prosperous New Year.
Visitor Services Manager | Booderee National Park
Booderee best in New South Wales at the tourism awards!
In November we were all very thrilled to learn that Booderee won not one but two Tourism Awards as the best in NSW.
For the second year in a row we won the best Indigenous Tourism Award for NSW but this year we also won the best Tourist Attraction for NSW award.
The awards recognise the huge effort our staff have put in to protect the values of the park while at the same time showcasing the wide range of options for visitors to explore, learn about and enjoy. Together with the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community we strive to give visitors a memorable experience and to share the South Coast Indigenous culture and knowledge with you all.
Booderee has also won several prizes for resource recovery and water conservation.
Find out more on our news page >>
Booderee Botanic Gardens - a unique place to visit
Visitors on a culture tour in the Botanic Gardens
When you visit the Booderee Botanic Gardens you'll notice how passionate all of our Koori staff are about caring for our country, sharing our culture, knowledge and stories. All our Koori staff have a unique story to share with each and every one of you which has been passed down from generation to generation and you'll explore another world when you follow the journey and footsteps of our ancestors.
When exploring the Botanic Gardens you'll find that there are a number of marked trails that allow you to experience different garden or habitat type themes. Over the summer months one favorite walk is the rainforest gully walk. It is a quiet and cool environment which is full of tree ferns, mossy paths, palms and other native plants which were nearly all planted 50 or 60 years ago.
Maps and information brochures are available at the Botanic Gardens carpark, at our Visitor Centre or on our Botanic Gardens pages >>
Summer school holiday activities
Getting ready to learn about traditional tools
Over the summer school holiday period we are again running our very popular activities program which has something for all the family.
We try and run two sessions per day focussing a lot on learning about the South Coast Aboriginal culture - bush tucker and medicines, tools and technology, traditional stories during our campfire yarns, the Koori Gardens, the marine environment, Koori games for kids and lots more.
You can check out the entire program for scheduled activities, days and times on our - website, at our Visitor Centre or on our Information Boards around the park.
You have to book for most sessions - which can be done through our friendly Visitor Centre staff. A park entry fee applies.
Download the summer school activities booklet (PDF 126KB) >>
Campers Chris and Kim with the park's Sonya Williams
Our visitor service officer Sonya Williams caught up with some of our happy campers just as summer started. This is their story.
Chris and Kim hail from Redfern in Sydney. They were filling their gas bottle at the local store when we caught up with them. We asked them why they'd come to Booderee.
Chris replied "I've visited Booderee many times - in fact from when I was 6 years old up to 14 years old I came down and camped with my family for two weeks every year. I feel nostalgia for the place. My mum and dad still come down regularly and my sister lives in Barcelona but camps here every time she's in Australia. To me Booderee is the closest thing to paradise I've ever seen - it's pristine. From the beach you can only see bush, it's such a pure environment."
Kim had a different story. "I'm from Torronto in Canada and have never been camping before. My first impression is that this is a very beautiful place - I've never been anywhere like this before. I'm a little apprehensive about the wildlife - but excited at the same time to see kangaroos, possums, echidnas - although I'm not sure about the snakes and spiders though!"
Track upgrades at Steamers Beach and Harmony Haven
The new stairs going down to Steamers Beach
Our Wreck Bay Enterprises Limited (WBEL) building team have been busy installing new non slip steps onto beautiful Steamers Beach and upgrading the steps at Harmony Haven.
The new steps at the base of the Steamers Walking Track provide safe access to the beach across some dangerous rocks. The aluminum steps were fabricated in a modular fashion to allow the WBEL crew to carry the pieces to the site manually either down the steep track or by boat!
The upgraded walking track at Harmony Haven was constructed to give safe access to St.Georges Basin whilst also protecting the surrounding and very unique local habitat.
If you are feeling fit enough over summer - go and check out the results - you won't be disappointed.
Keeping foxes on the run
A fox caught on stealth camera
Booderee is celebrating 10 years of fox management this year - but the park's not stopping there!
Whilst the results have been highly successful and fox numbers are at record lows the park is now adapting the latest technology to continue this successful multi-agency and regional team approach.
The team is now using fauna 'stealth' cameras. The cameras are used as a monitoring tool in areas of the park where the team hopes to reintroduce locally extinct fauna such as the long-nosed potoroo.
Sooty Oystercatcher - photo Marj Kibby
Booderee is contributing to a regional program for the protection and monitoring of threatened shorebirds. The program is coordinated by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service threatened shorebird coordinator for the South Coast, Ms Jodie Dunn. She says:
"There are nests and chicks everywhere now as we enter into the peak period for shorebird nesting. The 'hoodies' (hooded plovers) are now fledging their first chicks. The pied oystercatchers are hatching out and the sooty oystercatchers are starting to nest out on the offshore islands. Meanwhile the little terns have just returned to our shores. The next three months are very busy for our shorebirds and they all need our protection!"
To illustrate how threatened some of these birds are, it is thought that there are only around 50 hooded plovers left in New South Wales - so our resident population in Booderee are very very important and really do need to be left alone to breed successfully.
Smoke from a fire at Cave beach 2008
Fire and weather at Booderee
Summer days are here and visitation to the beautiful beaches of Booderee is hotting up.
2009 has been one of the driest years for Booderee over the last 10 years or more.
To the end of November, Booderee had only received about 60 per cent of its average annual rainfall.
The mild coastal weather of prevailing sea-breezes is not only pleasant for visitors - it helps keep wildfires at bay. Booderee is almost entirely surrounded by water, so there is usually a relatively high percentage of moisture in the air. This both decreases the availability of combustible vegetation for fire to burn and limits the volatility of atmospheric fuel.
However, Booderee can be fire prone at times of lower than average rainfall like this summer - so please be very careful with fires in the park. Fires are only permitted in the BBQ's that are provided, no open fires are allowed in any part of the park (including campsites). Please also check the newly installed Fire Danger Ratings Boards or the nearest toilet/sower block to see if a total fire ban is in place.
All staff within Booderee National Park are trained and experienced fire-fighters.