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Katandra Reserve is on Katandra Rd, off Wattle Tree Rd Holgate. The Reserve is part of Gosford City Council Coastal Open Space Scheme. Katandra is an aboriginal word meaning song of birds. The 232 ha reserve is located to the north-east of Rumbalara Reserve and contains one of the largest rainforest remnants left in the city. The Reserve has two areas of interest, St John's Lookout is located on Toomeys Rd via Tapley Rd and the Ridgeway, Lisarow. The gully rainforest is below St John's Lookout and is accessed from the Matcham Valley, along Wattle Tree Rd into Katandra Rd, Holgate. Car parking and picnic facilities are available at both sites. Brochures are available from Gosford City Council offices, library and information centres.
Looking across the creek
Creek entering Seymour Pond
The area was cleared for farming in the early 1900's. A natural creek was dammed for the farm water supply, this is now known as Seymour Pond. The land on the southern side of Seymour Pond was used to grow vegetables for the Sydney market.
The Australian Plants Society Bushcare Group began work in 1998 to restore the buffer zone to protect the rainforest on the southern side of the Pond.
on was Features of Katandra Reserve
Toomeys Walk Time: 90 minutes Ease: moderate
Starts from Seymour Pond and takes the walker through the cool temperate rainforest with its many delights. Ferns, palms, mosses and interesting fungi are found along the creeks. The rainforest trees with their unusual trunks and growth habits provide habitats for the many birds and animals that live in the Reserve. On leaving the rainforest the track winds its way up to St John's Lookout and features wet and dry sclerophyll forests.
Watermans Walk Time: 45 minutes Ease: leisurely
Begins at the carpark off Katandra Road. This walk is ideal for people with limited time. It shows a little of everything there is to see in the Reserve. The walker can picnic at Seymour Pond then follow the track around to enjoy the cool atmosphere of the creek. Seymour Pond is man-made and used to supply water to the farms in the early 1900's
Graves Walk Time: 60 minutes Ease: moderate
This walk begins in the carpark off Katandra Road and
follows the ridge leading up to St John's Lookout. (It can be walked in
reverse....although with some difficulty.) The walk features many beautiful examples of
smooth bark apple tree Angophora costata.
Guringi Walk Time: 45 minutes Ease: moderate
Begins at St John's Lookout. This walk takes you below the lookout into a sheltered valley. Masses of ferns hang from the cliff face and the tree ferns covered valley makes this walk a must.
Mouat Walk Time: 180 minutes Ease: challenging
Begin this walk at St John's Lookout. The walk leads to Rumbalara Reserve. The ridges and valleys feature several different types of vegetation. There are some good views of Erina and Brisbane Waters along the way.
St John's Lookout
The walk comes off Toomeys Road, Mt Elliot. There are good picnic and car parking facilities. Views of the coastline and surrounding valleys are always interesting. Bring your binoculars.
"Harry's Pleasant Bushcare Experience"
We meet at the Katandra Rd entrance to the Reserve on the Wattle Tree Rd, Holgate end of the park. There are a few precautions we have to take before we set off down the track. The leeches here are always ready for a meal so it's on with the insect repellent and tuck the trousers into our gaiters, they can find their way into boots or bite through socks without the owner having a clue until the boots come off and all is revealed.
Just through the gate and into the reserve are two fenced off areas of eucalypts, casuarinas and other native trees planted by the Work-for-the-Dole group employed by Gosford Council. They also constructed boardwalks and steps that takes walkers along Toomey's Walk through the rainforest up to St John's Lookout and picnic area at the Toomey's Rd entrance to the reserve.
The section our group is caring for is on the left of the track that slopes down to Seymour Pond. This area was a buffer zone for the rainforest that had been cleared as farmland in past years. There has been considerable improvement on the site since we started work about two years ago, lantana, tobacco bush and privet have been physically removed, palm grass has been poisoned and any regrowth dealt with each time we attend.
Beyond where we have cleared still remain a mass of lantana and tobacco bush. We've heard there is a possibility that Council will employ someone to carry out their removal in the future.
We have replanted much of the area with seedlings some obtained from the Council nursery, some we had collected in the rainforest along the boardwalk and some propagated from seed. Local species we have trialed are;
Our usual procedure upon arrival at our work site is to inspect the area for any regrowth of lantana, tobacco bush or new weeds which have appeared. Weeds such as potato vine, moth vine, arum lily and ochna; plants which people might think are great in their garden but become a threat when they escape into the bush. We then check on the progress of our earlier planting. Next we might attack another lantana bush being careful to avoid damaging native plants which may be trapped underneath. We have discovered many plants placed here by previous groups. They recover quickly once the lantana is removed.
Soon it is lunch time and we congregate at the picnic tables near Seymour Pond. This is always an interesting time for us as all the birds arrive to entertain. First a cat bird appears with its brilliant green plumage and bright red eyes; he's quite comfortable with all the people around. Next a grey thrush lands on a branch overhead to give us a sample of his musical talents before he flits down to the end of the bench, snathes a crumb and returns to his perch. All the while a whip bird is firing away, although he doesn't show himself; he is not quite so trusting.
After a leisurely lunch and everything is packed away we walk up into the rainforest. Some of us along the Toomey's Walk and some into the forest in search of fallen seed. It's an easy walk up to the giant strangler fig. Some young people are sitting enjoying a quiet break. Next a family group comes down the track from the top picnic area. They all seem to be talking at once. I don't think they will see many birds but just to walk in the shade of these wonderful trees makes a visit worthwhile. That is the reason our members are here; to help restore the reserve so that people can enjoy its beauty and wildlife in the future.