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.
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 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.
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 2023