Come & See Herberton's Flora & Fauna

Herberton Flora and Fauna

Herberton is situated on the headwaters of the Wild River in the heart of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. The town is surrounded by dry sclerophyll open forests dominated by eucalypt species. Herberton is also close to the savanna to the west and the wet sclerophyll and tropical upland rainforests to the east. The area is also heavily mineralised. Little wonder then that Herberton has developed a unique assemblage of native flora. The Wild River Bottlebrush is obvious in the river bed, Xanthorrhoeas dot the hillsides, paper daisies and ground orchids show here and there. The larger trees include turpentines, lemon – scented gums, bloodwoods, stringybarks, and Gympie Messmate. Slightly smaller are the numerous oaks and the cypress trees. Scroll down for more information on Herberton’s flora and fauna.

Some of the Many Trees and Shrubs

  • Herberton Peppermint Gum – Eucalyptus exserta
  • Herberton Ironbark (Eucalyptus atrata) Commonly found around Herberton, Irvinebank Stannary Hills and Mareeba area with a population in the Mt. Windsor Tableland area.
  • White Mahogany (Eucalyptus mediocris) Commonly known as yellow stringy.
  • Northern Peppermint (Eucalyptus lockyeri subsp. lockyeri) Named after Michael Lockyer from Ravenshoe who identified this tree as a unique sub species restricted to Ravenshoe and Herberton areas.
  • Bushmans Clothespeg – Grevillea glauca
  • Irvinebank Wattle –Acacia leptoloba
  • Lemon-scented Gums – Corymbia citriodoraWhen you crush the leaves you can smell a lemon scent.
  • Burdekin Plum – Pleiogynium timorense
  • Rock Fig – Ficus platypoda
  • Weeping Paper Bark – Melaleuca leucodendron
  • Mt Morgan Silver Wattle – Acacia podalyriifolia
  • Watsonville Bloodwood – Corymbia erythrophloia
  • Lemon-scented Tea Tree – Leptospermum petersonii
  • Pumpkin Gum – Eucalyptus pachycalyx
  • Bats Wing Coral Tree – Erythrina vespertilio
  • Native Gardenia – Gardenia ochreata
  • Weeping Bottlebrush (Wild River Bottlebrush) –Callistemon viminalis

Interspersed below them are the smaller shrubs: the Corky Bark shrub, various acacias, and banksias. And as altitude increases, the unique plants of the mountain heathlands start to appear- the grevilleas and their low sprawling relatives.

The Great Northern Mine Plant Walk

The walk starts near the entrance of the Mining Museum and is 1.3 kilometres long. Several species of plants on the walk are endemic (native) to Australia. Specimens of two of the plants were collected by Banks and Solander on Captain Cooks voyage in 1770.

And every so often some native fauna will be encountered. Generally the animals are shy and have disappeared well before they are noticed, but maybe a goanna will be spied or a fruit bat high above and even one of the roos that live on the hill. There is however a startling range of bird species, some resident, some transitory, but all worth time spotting.

Birds of the Herberton Area

Approximately 100 species of birds have been compiled and recorded in the Herberton area. This includes several varieties of waders, ground dwellers, night birds, birds of prey, honeyeaters, parrots, kingfishers, swallows and so many more. A list has been prepared by Rhonda Winger, a member of Birds Australia and contributor to Birds of Australia Atlas over a five-year period. The list can be downloaded here.

Good locations for birdwatching are the Herberton Mining Museum, Lions Park in Herberton, Wondecla Oval and the Historic Village Herberton.

© Herberton Mining Museum History Association 2021

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