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Colin Officer Flora Reserve

Where:
Broadford (See map)
Dog rules:
On-leash

The Colin Officer Flora Reserve is noted for its diversity of orchids, lilies, other herbs and shrubs.

History

The Taungurung were the earliest inhabitants of the area around Broadford. The area holds strong social and cultural values including the native fauna and flora that exists on the Sunday Creek and its surrounds. Places near water were chosen for campsites in the warmer months. Rivers and creeks were abundant in birdlife, fish, eels and shellfish. The area would have provided Aboriginal people with meat for food and materials for other uses.

The Reserve is named after the belated Dr. Colin Officer who served as a local doctor for many years in the district and was a dedicated conservationist in the region. The area was surveyed by Dr. JH Wills, a well-known botanist, and Dr. Colin Officer in 1985. Dr Willis described the area as "a significant representation of the original vegetation cover at Broadford before it was created as a district in 1869".

Conservation covenant

On 11 October 2012, Colin Officer Flora Reserve was placed under the permanent protection of a conservation covenant. The conservation covenant is an agreement between Trust for Nature and Mitchell Shire Council to protect and enhance natural, cultural, and scientific values of the land, in perpetuity.

Wildlife

Robins, honeyeaters and thornbills are just some of the birds that forage and shelter in the bushland of the reserve. The large dam adjacent to the reserve attracts a wide range of aquatic birdlife.

The reserve also provides shelter and food for eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), and nocturnal mammals such as brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps).

Many species of skinks and frogs can also be found throughout the reserve.

Significant flora

There are two main plant communities within the Colin Officer Flora Reserve.

Healthy Dry Forest

Red box (Eucalyptus polyanthemos), red stringybark (Eucalyptus macrorhyncha), long-leaf box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx) provide the over-storey, whilst the under-storey has a diversity of wattles, sweet bursaria (Bursaria Spinosa), parrot-peas (Dillwynia glaberrima) and other shrubs.

Tussocks of silver-top wallaby grass (Rytidosperma pallidum), little grass trees and mat rushes provide ground cover sheltering many different orchids, lilies and other herbs during spring.

Grassy Woodlands

Lower down the slope to the main gully, the soils are deeper and absorb much more moisture. Grey box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) and yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora) dominate with an under-storey of native grasses such as wallaby grass (Austrodanthonia caespitosa), kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra), and weeping grass (Microlaena stipoides).

Trees are larger and further apart, which is a common feature of woodlands, but also a result of past clearing.

Highlights and facilities

  • diverse range of wildflowers, orchids and lilies
  • bench seats and picnic table
  • bird watching
  • walking tracks
  • interpretive signage

How you can help

  • keep dogs on a leash and clean up after your pets
  • please take all rubbish with you
  • keep to trails to protect the native vegetation
  • firewood collection is not permitted
  • camping or campfires is not permitted
  • unauthorised vehicles or motorbikes are not permitted

Visiting for the day

Walking entry to the reserve from either Water Trust Road or from the Broadford Golf Course car park (walking track begins near the CFA water tank).

Parking is available at the Broadford Golf Course, Horwood Road. There is an information shelter produced by the former Broadford Land Management Group near the CFA water tank at the Broadford Golf Course car park.

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Location

Parks Nearby

This page was last updated on 8 July 2022.