Located approximately 580 km north-west of Sydney, between the towns of Narrabri, Boggabri, Barraba and Bingara, is Mount Kaputar National Park. The park encompasses the mountainous region of the Nandewar Ranges, an area of some 36,816 hectares. This popular national park reaches 1,510 metres above sea level and provides some magnificent views from the summit as well as a number of lookouts throughout the park.
Eckfords Elevated Walkway – Eckfords Lookout – the raised walking track helps protect the fragile herbfields. There are views across the southern part of the park and to the plains beyond. This herbfield acts as a soak for the water that runs off the southern face of Mount Dowe. The high water table of the herbfield and the harsh exposed condition is unfavourable area for any trees and shrubs to grow, in contrast to the drier conditions of the forest further up. The herbfield is very sensitive to disturbance and can be easily damaged if walked on. The lookout is also a popular spot for watching Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring on the thermals. The Bundabulla Circuit connects Lindsay Rock Tops and Eckford Lookout.
Eckfords Herbfield – This open herbfield is acting as a soak for the water running off the southern face of Mount Dowe, and saturating the thin soil. Notice how moist and lush this open grassy area is in comparison to the forest further up the rise. The herbfield is also catching much of the soil and nutrients eroding from the higher slopes.
The high water table of the herbfield is unfavourable for trees and shrubs to grow. Only the low growing herbs can withstand the high water content and harsh climatic conditions of this exposed cliff top. The herbfield is very sensitive to disturbance and can easily be damaged by heavy footprints, so lease stay on the walking track to protect this unique and interesting area.
Don’t forget to look out for Wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax) which may be hovering above you in search of prey in the open herbfields. The surround forest offers the eagles shelter and nesting sites, as well as an ideal viewing platform for spotting unaware ground-dwelling animals.
Source: NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services Mount Kaputar National Park signage.
Photos © Ausemade PL
Mount Kaputar National Park >