Goonoowigall Bushland Reserve: The Northern Tablelands, of NSW, is home to a world-class system of National Parks. As well as these “reservoirs of nature” there are also other areas dedicated to the preservation of our unique scenery, flora and fauna.Environment.
There are State Forests and reserves administered by trusts composed of local interested people appointed by the State Government.
Goonoowigall is one of these latter Reserves and was gazetted in 1976 as a Reserve for Public Passive Recreation and Preservation of Native Flora and Fauna. The Reserve has an area of 900 hectares (2200 acres) and is situated five km south of Inverell.
Goonoowigall has a number of picnic spots and an extensive system of well–graded walking tracks that traverse the Reserve.
Some tin mining took place in the 1870’s and a wool wash was established, along a creek, in the 1880’s. Remnants of these activities may be seen in the Reserve. For centuries before European settlement, local Aboriginal people would have occupied the Reserve and surrounding area.
Many bird species live in Goonoowigall. Over 100 species have been recorded. Also present are Swamp Wallabies, Grey Kangaroos, Echidnas and Rock Wallabies. Goonoowigall is an Aboriginal word meaning “plenty of Rock wallabies”.
The reserve is rough granite country with mostly shallow infertile soils, extensive areas of exposed rock and some large granite tors (the home of the Rock Wallabies).
Goonoowigall, in company with other Northern NSW, infertile granite areas is home to an interesting and diverse range of native plants.
Callitris endlicheri, the Black Cypress and at least five Eucalypt species provide the tree canopy. Under the canopy there are many shrubby natives including: Acacia, Grevillea, Hakea, Leptospermum and Persoonia.
Three species are of particular interest: Homoranthus prolixus develops into a mounded ground cover with grey-green foliage that covers exposed rocky outcrops. Acacia leptoclada is known as the Tingha Golden Wattle. The common name refers to a village near Inverell. This medium shrub has small bipinnate leaves and bright yellow spring flowers. Macrozamia heteromera is a low growing, rare species with palm-like foliage. Male and female cones are produced on different plants. Although rare with limited distribution, Macrozamia heteromera is common in the Reserve.
Goonoowigall Bushland Reserve is worth a visit. We would suggest avoid visiting in the mid-summer when the temperature may be rather high and not conducive to walking.
The image shows Homoranthus prolixus, in the foreground, growing over granite rocks. The light green shrubs in the background are young Callitris endlicheri.