I think the final count was around 115 people staying in all styles of accommodation, some of them for about a fortnight. The road in from Genoa put on a floral show for them, lined with the white flowers of Clematis, the striking Wedding Bush (some were unfamiliar with this showy shrub), Snowy Daisy-bush, the cream brush flowers of Swamp Paperbark and Scented Paperbark nearer to Mallacoota, with a profusion of Milkmaids along the slashed roadside.
The excursions. The three days of organised excursions saw groups of about twenty off to Genoa Peak and Genoa Creek Falls, Maxwell’s Rainforest and Mallacoota Lookout in NSW, Gipsy Point, Double Creek, Miners Track, Casuarina Walk, Pittosporul11 Walk to the beach and Bastion Point rocks and rock pool life, a coastal Geology excursion with Noel Schleiger, Mallacoota Bunker tour, Shipwreck Creek and heath!and and three MV Lochard cruises. Many other forest and beach walks etc. were done in their free time.
The plants. Most witnessed the impressive carpet of Purple Flags in various locations especially at the Miners Track along with a variety of orchids including the Spotted Sun from blue to almost red and the Forest Boronia in white to pink. They discovered many other delights wherever they wandered, most were fascinated by the aptly name Curly Sedge while the many types of Pea flowers caused the usual debate as to where they belonged.
The birds. On some walks participants were tantalised by the calls of Whipbirds, Black-faced Monarchs or Satin Bowerbirds but few caught a treasured glimpse although some were lucky enough to view Glossy Black Cockatoos feeding on their staple diet of Casuarina seeds. Also a Figbird or two were about along with many other bird species. The handsome pelicans near the wharf were a favourite, posing for many photographs, and the soaring majestic Sea Eagle commanded interest while at the other end of the scale all were entranced watching tiny Brown Warblers (or now Gerygone – pronounced Jerigonee) building their small suspended nest with side entrance complete with hood. Migratory waders at the entrance were a challenge to sort out but many saw a pair of rare Hooded Plovers on Big Beach along with a few Red-capped Plovers and Pied Oystercatchers etc.
The evenings. At the Golf Club where the Sale and District Field Naturalist Club organised events I showed a few slides of the area on Saturday evening, David Holland gave his excellent presentation on . “Owls – Journeys Around The World” on Sunday evening and – on Monday evening Glinda Major from the Historical Society spoke on the history of the area.
A great weekend. The Sale Club thanked all concerned especially the presentation of excellent meals over four nights at the Mallacoota Golf Club and I have to say that seeing one hundred happy faces and hearing the enthusiastic chatter around the tables and at the presentations each night was a fair indication that Mallacoota is firmly on their list as a place to re-visit at the first opportunity.
From a report by Bob Semmens.