From the start of the Moonpar Forest Drive at Bostobrick, we headed to the Norm Jolly reserve and our first stop to admire the giant tallowwoods and stroll along the Coachwood Track.
From there, we went down to the beautiful Platypus Flat camping area on the Nymboida River, parking near a large monitor that was sunning itself on a rock. This is traditional country of the Gumbaynggirr people – the name of the park Nymboi-Binderay reflects their name for the river.
The 2019 bushfires swept through this area, and their impact can be seen everywhere. Caro Ryan at Lotsafreshair describes how to use the GEEBAM (Google Earth Engine Burnt Area Map) on the SEED Portal to view the intensity of the fires. I’ve previously used SEED for understanding understanding geology and soil, and found the fire layer is fascinating.
About one kilometre beyond Platypus Flat is a turn off that takes you to the 300m Red Cedar Track. Subtropical rainforest and cedars grow on this outcrop of basalt soil, rich in iron (red soil, red cedar). The fire damage is stark here, intensely burnt trees and burnt understory with no epiphytes, vines or orchids. Pink tape marks the track across the charred forest floor. And then there are the large red cedars that didn’t burn – we wondered how they protected them? Its a short walk, but worth the detour.
We continued on, past the Tramline Track (closed, another victim of fire?), stopping at the picnic area at Welcome Gully for lunch in the little picnic area, then on to Cascade to explore the Box Ridge Track.