The small Coramba Nature Reserve protects rare lowland subtropical rainforest, a threatened community of flood tolerant species.
Within moments of entering the rainforest, we were admiring the tall plank buttresses of the yellow carabeen (sloanea woollsii). Rainforest tree buttresses perform a number of functions: buttresses spread the roots of the tree across the shallow soil to find nutrients, collect leaf litter and shelter seedlings, provide stability to the tall trees and are a cool place to play hide and seek with the family. The yellow carabeen grows slowly up to 55m, and can live for 800 years.
The path starts at the edge of the Coramba Recreation Ground on Orara Way. An early morning or late afternoon walk is a good time to enjoy the birdsong. Maybe you will hear or see noisy pittas, wompoo and rose crowned fruit doves, fig birds and rainforest pigeons. Look up at the towering tree canopy, and down to spot some colourful fungi.
Originally a camping reserve, the area was first set aside to protect the native flora in 1900. Ulitarra Conservation Society advocated for the area to be formally established as a Nature Reserve in 1982, to protect the endangered ecological community. It is a regional habitat corridor, known as the Orara Valley Corridor, linking Bagawa, Nana Creek and Lower Bucca State Forests. The Coramba rainforest is an island surrounded by pastoral lands and under threat from weed invasion.
Interpretive signage at the entrance to the Coramba rainforest walk highlights how the rainforest was regenerated by a group of school children from Coramba Public School working with NPWS field officers. Privet trees growing on the western boundary were poisoned and native seedlings were planted. Dense weeds in the understory were controlled which allowed native rainforest species to germinate and thrive. Our Living Coast occasionally run guided tours of Coramba rainforest walk with discussions on bush regeneration, flora and fauna.
This area was known to the Gumbaynggirr people as Burrigarriga plains, a place for camping and meeting. Eugene Rudder, the first selector in the area, held a sports day here in the 1880s, some 600 local aboriginal people attended (source).
Coramba is the Gumbaynggirr name for the nearby mountain and means “sight of the sea”. The name of the river Orara means “home of the perch” (source). At the end of the short and pleasant Coramba rainforest walk is a steep bank down to the Orara – a good spot to view the river but not ideal for a swim or spotting fish.