Flora and Fauna of Herberton

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. But 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. Slighty smaller are the numerous oaks and the cypress trees.

Ironbark open forest (Eucalyptus crebra) photo from Dr Andy Gillison

Some of the Many Trees and Shrubs:

Herberton Peppermint Gum - Eucalyptus exserta
Bushmans Clothespeg - Grevillea glauca
Irvinebank Wattle - Acacia leptoloba
Lemon Scented Gum - Corymbia citriodora
Burdekin Plum - Pleiogynium timorense
Rock Fig - Ficus platypoda
Weeping Paper Bark - Melaleuca leucodendron
Mt Morgan Silver Wattle - Acacia podalyriifolia
Watsonville Bloodwood - Corymbia erythrophloia
Lemon Scented Tea Tree - Leptospermum petersonii
Pumpkin Gum - Eucalyptus pachycalyx
Bats Wing Coral Tree - Erythrina vespertilio
Native Gardenia - Gardenia ochreata
Weeping Bottlebrush (Wild River Bottlebrush) - 
Callistemon viminalis

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.

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.

Local Goanna photo from Dr Andy Gillison

Birds of the Herberton Area

While Herberton is uniquely situated in a sharp vegetation transition zone that results in special assemblages of plants, the biodiversity also extends to the birds.

The following bird list of over 100 species was compiled over a five year period 1996-2001. It is based on regular observations, predominantly around the Battunga B&B, a 2 acre property on the Wild River, Wondecla, 4 kms from Herberton. Other good locations for birdwatching are the Lions Park in Herberton and Wondecla Oval.

Click here for the bird list (PDF 434Kb.)

Fan Tail Cuckoo from Stuart Harris