Wallum Wonderland

Wallum Wonderland

Looks like this massive cyclone Yasi is heading towards Cairns. They are evacuating the Cairns Base Hospital as I write this!

That is a long way north of us so we should be fine as long as it stays on the predicted track. This cyclone is posing a serious threat to Northern Queensland as it will probably be a category 4 when it crosses the coast in the next couple of days (category 5 is the highest intensity).

Melaleuca swamp

On a lighter note Tracey from blog Quiet Paws was recently discussing the delights of woodland creatures and woodland picnics. I said I would blog about the woodland near my home.

Boardwalk over the melaleuca swamp.

My little town on the shores of Hervey Bay is surrounded by the Burrum Coast National Park (sand-based coastal lowlands), which is a showcase of protected lowland vegetation types including paperbark swamps, mangroves and cabbage palms.

Sandy path further on from the swamp.
Burrum National Park

My family likes to go for walks in the forest to get up close and personal with the plants and wildlife. There is a lovely boardwalk across a melaleuca swamp, sandy tracks through the heathland and bird hides for the use of birdwatchers.

Burrum Coast National Park - melaleuca swamp

There is an abundance of wallum plants in the National Park and in spring there are displays of delicate wildflowers. Wallum is a Aboriginal name describing the banksias found in these areas, particularly Banksia aemula and Banksia serrata. Banksias are low plants with tough leaves which grow everywhere in the heathlands.


This area is also home to a number of rare and threatened plant species including a paperbark tree Melaleuca cheelii. Thank goodness for the forward thinking people who fought to establish these sanctuaries.

Burrum National Park

On our last walk through the National Park I took these photos. The melaleuca are usually found knee-deep (so to speak) in swamp water. We spotted a goanna on the track (the track we had just walked on).

They dropped crumbs on the ground so they could find their way home!
Melaleuca swamp creature πŸ™‚
Spot the goanna!

We had a picnic after our walk. The Butcherbirds hung around to see if they could scrounge anything. They have the most beautiful song.

Wishing everyone up north the best of luck.

23 thoughts on “Wallum Wonderland

  1. Lovely photos. We are so lucky to live along this beautiful coastline. No noise except the songs of cicadas and various frog calls outside my window as I write this. I’m sure it’s the same at your place (once the kids are asleep). Enjoy.

  2. Your pictures are so beautiful Gabrielle. It seems that your eye love symmetry and balance, it gives a very peaceful feeling perfect for wet lands. I particularly love the first one, equal part of sky and land, equal part of trees on both sides and the zig-zaged trunk in the middle, like a lighting.

  3. Oh your woodland walk is so wonderful Gabrielle! πŸ™‚
    Thanks so much for taking me on a photographic journey and pointing out the botany and wildlife along the way (though that swamp creature looks a little scary … haha!). I have a tremendous love of Melaleuca trees … so it looks like a perfect place for me!

    The cyclone is really worrying, I hope it manages to downgrade itself before it does too much harm.

    1. You’re welcome Tracey. Unfortunately the cyclone is now going to be category 5 and never before in recorded history have we had one with such intensity and so large – this is a nightmare for people further North 😦

  4. We certainly live in an extremely beautiful country… thanks so much for sharing your words and images Gabe. We need to remind ourselves of the beauty of this place now, more than ever.

    1. Thanks Squirrel – we’re safe but a bit shell shocked and the cyclone season still has a couple of months to do (they are forecasting 3 more) – I have my emergency kit ready and waiting.

  5. These pictures are just lovely Gabe. I wish we could hear the sounds too, I bet the birds are amazing to hear. The Melaleuca swamp creature lolol You live in such an amazing country and probably the most unique environment on this planet.

  6. Melaluecas are one of my favourites. Lovely tufts of floweres in season, and so tough, as must be the goanna, surviving despite cane toads and other exotic creatures competing for space on the boardwalk!

  7. What a gorgeous spot you have there. I do love the melaleucas. The butcher bird is a cutie pie. We don’t see that many of them down here but occasionally I see them at my sister’s place as she has more bushland around her. I really enjoyed this post!

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