This is a delightful walk in the heart of Port Macquarie. There are a number of access points, we chose to start from Kooloonbung Close, immediately heading over Brokey Bridge to the other side of the creek. Brokey bridge is on the site of a bridge built for Major Innes back in the 19th century, so he could get from his country mansion on Lake Innes to the penal colony of Port Macquarie. Ironically, Brokey bridge is broken, but after watching some locals brazenly cross it, we took our chances too. Hopefully the Council can repair the bridge soon.
The Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve contains diverse eco-systems, including mangroves, saltmarsh, swamp casuarina, dry sclerophyll forest, regenerating rainforest, and broad leaved paperbarks with an understory layer of sedge and ferns. Bolwarra trees grow here too, an ancient Gondwana tree.
A community of flying fox roost in casuarina trees near Wrights Creek. They nap during the day, and feed in the forest at night. The bats are a keystone species for Australian forests, assisting in pollination and dispersal of seeds. There are large grey headed flying foxes, black flying foxes as well as little red flying foxes.
Near Gordon Street is the historical cemetery which dates from 1824 when Port Macquarie was a penal settlement. Next to the cemetery is the Cath le Page Arboretum with native trees such as corkwood and silky oak, all with identification labels. Le Page OAM was a local environmentalist who fought for the protection of Kooloonbung Nature Reserve.
Crossing the creek on the road bridge, we returned to our car up the opposite bank, where the forests were different again: moist sclerophyll, rainforest, flooded gum. And here we were delighted to see a koala with her baby amble through the forest next to the path.
You can take your dog on this walk, but please keep them on leash and under firm control. Koalas have very limited defences against a dog.