Wongari Eco Retreat is set on 60 acres of past dairy country situated in the foothills of Lamington National Park. The old growth forest was logged, clear-felled, many times but the last clear-felling occurred as recently as the 1960’s. The re-growth, where it is happening, is substantial and encouraging. About half of Wongari is covered in re-growth and with the occassional patch of old growth in relatively inaccessible areas. Lantana and other weeds, most notably Croften and Cotton weed, groundsel, fireweed and Noogoora Burr, crowd out the forest fringes and choke the beautiful Waterfall Creek. Native habitat and food sources are broken by cleared areas and while there is a great variety of native flora and fauna it could be better and more varied.
The ambition is to restore the natural health of the area under the influence of Wongari Eco Retreat to as close to its natural status as we possibly can. It means getting the weeds under control, clearing the creek and planting more trees appropriate to the area. Significantly, it is desired that Waterfall Creek on the western boundary and a seasonal creek on the east should be made into healthy wildlife corridors and particularly for the koala, aquina, platypus, bower birds and black cockatoos. These corridors will effectively link two national parks: Lamington National Park (Buchanan’s Fort) and the McPherson Ranges. This would allow wildlife to traverse the environment in minimal contact with itinerant human travelers and not have to retrace over their own paths.
To accomplish this it is important to be careful to appreciate the new balance already achieved in the existing mix so that we can transition back to the way it was without disrupting life as it is currently organised (a lot of native birds and bees thrive in and around Lantana for instance). Thus weeds, trees, creeks and introduced animals like cattle as well as practical issues such as fire prepareness have to be considered in the mix. Follow the links (when activated) to see what we are thinking on each of these issues.
The rehabilitation project we have taken on is a 10 to 15 year journey. Along the way we hope to find partners that may assist in achieving Wongari’s restoration. Carbon Farming and Catchment Management Authorities, among other possibilities, may well find Wongari suitable if our objectives for a more diverse, cleaner and healthier environment are equally shared.