Saturday, 8 June 2013

Nadjunuga Walking Trail (14 photos) Runs along the southern boundary of the neighbour's adjoining block, over which Nadjunuga has an easement.

This walking trail was funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

'Nadjunuga' in the Yuin Language translates as old man mountain, his white hair is the mist captured by the trees as it passes inland from the sea or is itself emitted by the trees as part of the water cycle (Source: the late Uncle Frank Mumbler who was a friend, filmed and interviewed many times by the blogger).

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Posted by David Blackall  BSc (Agric), Dip Ed, MA (Jour), PhD
PO Box U82
Wollongong University
Wollongong, 2500
Mobile: 0414 838784
Skype: dblackal

Staff profile:

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge, on the South-East coast of Australia, is managed for the purposes of conservation, BioBanking, carbon sinking and recreational activity like adventure-tourism. For thirty seven years, the owner's biological science background has informed the management of the refuge, which is situated within the Red Rocks district of Cambewarra Mountain, NSW, Australia.

The word 'Nadjunuga' is from the local Indigenous Yuin language and translates as old man mountain - his white hair is the mist captured by trees as it passes inland from the sea, uplifted by the mountain, or is itself emitted by the trees on the mountain as part of the water cycle (Source: the late Frank Mumbler from Mumbulla Mountain, filmed and interviewed many times by the blogger).

The 16 hectare refuge has very high conservation values in both flora and fauna and is listed on the NSW BioBanking site. Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge contains sites of significance to the Indigenous Yuin Nation. 

The conservation area contains Brown Barrel (Eucalyptus fastigata) Tall Open Forest, including species such as Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) and Monkey Gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa).

The conservation area also contains riparian closed forest dominated by Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii), Native Daphene (Pittosporum undulatum), and Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum). 

Coachwood and other rain-forest species are regionally uncommon this far south, or they are at their southern limit in the area, or they are occurring as disjunct populations in the area. This is likely because of the northerly aspect of the property, sheltered from prevailing, winter westerly winds by cliffs on three sides. There are patches of rich red volcanic soil that may also contribute to the unique species characteristics.

The owner is interested in establishing a share agreement with a suitable party, preferably with strong environmental law credentials, with the view of establishing a special conservation eco tourism zone within the property. The arrangement would exemplify how such private land can be used for conservation, research, education and low impact walking tourism.

Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge is identified as Lot 41, Parish of Cambewarra, County of Camden, NSW, Australia. The property has permanent water and the owner has ensured the protection and preservation of water quality in the headwaters of O'Hares Creek and Nugents Creek, both of which converge on the property. The creeks contribute to the Kangaroo Valley, Shoalhaven, Sydney and Wollongong water catchment areas.

The property has thick tree cover, essentially temperate rain-forest, and the elevation is around 500 meters (above sea level), giving views across Kangaroo Valley to the North.

The property's listing on the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change BioBanking Scheme, places Lot 41 as a potential BioBanking site (see link below). The property is registered as a potential BioBanking site, should a developer with a similar habitat, wish to offset their development through payment to Lot 41 for the high conservation values contained within its boundaries. 

This may be attractive for some who may be looking to purchase land, especially if they are interested in conservation matters. If a local developer with a similar habitat was to offset  damage, as caused by their development, they would do so by paying the owner of Lot 41 to manage and keep an equivalent area locked up for preservation. If an application for BioBanking were to be made, first an assessment would have to be done and the area rated in terms of the potential to offset the damage at the equivalent development location.

A fauna and flora assessment was made in 1996 identifying some of the threatened animal species found at the property:

Southern Brown Bandicoot      Isoodon obesulus
Tiger Quoll                                     Dasyurus maculatus
White-footed Dunnart                 Sminthopsis leucopus
Koala                                               Phascolarctos cinereus

Long-nosed Potoroo                  Potorous tridactylus
Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby        Petrogale penicillata
Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat    Saccolaimus flavientris
Great Barred Frog                        Mixophyes balbus
Powerful Owl                                 Ninox strenua
Eastern Bristle Bird                     Dasyornis brachypterus
Olive Whistler                                Pachycephala olivacea
Glossy-black cockatoo              Calyptorhynchus lathami
Rose-crowned Pigeon               Ptilinopus regina
Purple-crowned Pigeon             Ptilinopus superbus
Greater Broad-nosed Bat          Scoteanax ruppellii
Common Bent-wing Bat            Miniopterus schreibersii
Little Bent-wing Bat                    Miniopterus australis

Here is the URL to the BioBanking Scheme Departmental site, explaining how it all will work:

Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge has a Council Approved shed officially described as a Workshop Storage Studio.

The 12 meter by 4.5 meter Colour-Bond shed is insulated in the ceiling and this has been installed 1 meter down the walls. 

Built in 1990, the shed has two wood burning stoves, both of which are linked to a solar hot water system providing hot water for the shower and the sink. There is a Telstra digital telephone line to the shed that links to a radio connection to the rest of the world. Mobile telephone coverage is weak inside the building, but is very reliable outside and away from the trees. There is a small gas electric refrigerator in the 'Living Machine'.

There is no electricity, but a small generator has been used to power electrical devices like tools and even computers.

Due to the 1997 Escarpment Act, it is unlikely a Development Application for any more building for a residence would be approved. However trekking and eco-tourism with overnight stays would be possible in certain circumstances, particularly in combination with research and maintenance of the Wildlife Refuge.

In the mid 1970s the owner David Blackall ran a small pottery on the property, firing low temperature stoneware. This work was salt glazed using (slightly more) environmentally friendly sodium bicarbonate, instead of sodium chloride (salt), which sends up the chimney hydrochloric acid vapour when the compound breaks down to release the sodium to the silica in the clay pots. Instead, sodium bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide, but is less reactive and so is more difficult to get the desired 'orange peel' effect of salt glazing as evident on the cobalt decoration below. These photographs show some of the works.

This kick pottery wheel, welded together with old bits of iron scrap in 1973, still works if one's leg still works.

Artist Lindesay Gregory hand built a number of interesting pots that went through this salt fired process. This lovely jug was made and fired in 1977 to 1,180 degrees celcius.

Taken one cold morning, in May 2012, this photograph shows the mist trapped below in Kangaroo Valley . . . 

. . . and after the mist clears

Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge is on a branch track, off Leebold Hill Road, 6 kms after this intersection at Beaumont on the Moss Vale Road.

Note the gap in the forest under the sign, with a view below of Cambewarra village between the two dead trees, the gap in the forest is likely to disrupt air and moisture flow from the south. Deforestation causes climate change: changing the wind patterns, rearranging the air flow, lowering rainfall, increasing salinity and destabilising steep mountainslopes. 


An article of interest, published in PS News:

Parks for sale to save the parks

"Australia may need to consider selling off some of its National Parks to pay for the conservation they were reserved for according to a professor from the University of Queensland (UQ)." 

Available at: 


Letter to Catchment Management Authority, which had no reply. 

From: David Blackall
Sent: Tuesday, 8 May 2012 9:25 AM

Private Forest Unit offers to assist landholders with the management of their private native forests

Dear Catchment Management Authority

I write to inquire about the possibility of some income for my land by way of salinity benefits, carbon sequestration, biodiversity enhancement and / or soil and water quality improvement after my 40 years of conservation-based land use. I would like to develop my property for education, Bio Diversity and research, even eco tourism. It is is already a Wildlife Refuge and listed on the NSW BioBanking site but is yet to offset a development. Your website says that the Private Forest Unit offers to assist landholders with the management of their private native forests and I am certainly interested in this with the view to produce environmental credits of some kind.

Thanks and regards