Plant lovers, the Central Coast is home to over 2000 native plants and many plant communities.
Groups of waratahs are found in the Brisbane Water National Park and Somersby. Mangrove Mountain is famous for its gymea lilies. A wonderful stand of cabbage tree palms can be found at the Palms Picnic area in the Munmorah State Recreational Area in the northern reaches of the Central Coast and nearby is the Geebung Heath Track. Extensive Mangrove stands, rich in native wildlife, can be found around the sheltered tidal inlets of Brisbane Waters. Native orchids, include the Donkey Orchid and the spectacular Sun Orchid abound in all areas.
Dense subtropical rainforest communities are usually found in the gorges and on lower southern slopes around the Central Coat, where tree ferns, cabbage-tree palms, bangalow palms, elkhorns and orchids may be seen. Katandra Reserve, in the Holgate area just west of Gosford, has some of the finest rainforest on the Central Coast with a stand of bangalow palms, the rare white beech, the splendour of magnificent forest trees and the contortions of ancient strangler figs.
There is nothing to beat the spectacular displays of wildflowers in the coastal heath communities in late winter to early spring. Boronias, eriostemons, grevilleas dillwynias, gompholobiums, pultenaeas, bossiaeas are just a fraction of what can be seen in these communities. If you only have one bush excursion a year, head for the coastal heathland, (found in all National Parks bordering the ocean.) in spring time!!
Open forest and woodland communities are found all over the Central Coast and stringybark, scribbly gum, red bloodwood and smooth-barked apple are just a few of the dominant species. A common understorey consists of acacias, grevilleas, banksias, hakeas and grass trees. Hanging swamps are found in the heath-like understorey in the open woodland of Brisbane Water National Park.
In Munmorah State Recreational Area there is a swamp-heath consisting of the broad-leafed and swamp paperbark as well as honey ball myrtle. A wetland trail in North Wyrrabalong takes you to the swamp mahogany and paperbark fringed wetlands.
A spectacular red gum forest is found in the Wyrrabalong National Park, in association with the old man banksias, burrawangs and a myriad other plants. The flannel flowers in October swamp the area in height of up to two metres.
Angophora floribunda ........ in bloom!
Further afield, magnificent isolated stands of red cedar and Illawara Flame Trees are found in the ecologically rich Watagans National Park. Popran National Park consists of a number of undisturbed small creek catchments to the Hawkesbury River with over 450 plant species recorded and over 19 vegetation communities. Dharug National Park is home to a diverse range of flora associated with rich animal life.
Visit the "Bushwalk" page to find out where to go, when and what plants you'll hope to see.
Every trip into the bush will surprise and enchant you, there's always a plant you don't know, something different in flower or some environmental adaptation that will leave you gobsmacked.