During Spring 2021, Callicoma Hill, on the northern mountains of the Hunter Valley, has experienced one of the most wonderful seasons in memory, with regular rain, cool days and lush plant growth. Native plants have been flowering including ground orchids, sundew and our favourite shrub Callicoma serratifolia.
Callicoma serratifolia shrubs in spring flower near our front gate, and a close up of the Callicoma flowers.
Our native animals have responded with much activity. Many kangaroos and wallabies have come and enjoyed our pastures, and birds have been nesting and breeding. We have observed a lot more wildlife than we have seen for a few years including the elusive Echidna, languishing Long-necked Turtles, and shy Swamp wallabies.
Fireflies in the moist gullies have surprised and enthralled some of our guests. These small beetles appear once per year in varying numbers to complement the sparkling starlit skies above.
Our 2021 guided walks program finished with a wonderful walk up Mount Royal in explorer Ludwig Leichhardt’s footsteps. This world class, world heritage listed mountain just up the road from Callicoma Hill is also described in early NSW maps with its probable indigenous name of ‘Dungletood’.
On this spring walk, arboreal and ground orchids were flowering, and the vivid shades of green the mist forest on top of the mountain were breathtaking after rain during the evening before. The moisture-laden breeze blowing from the coast pleasantly cooled walkers on the steep climb.
Near the top of Mt Royal on our spring 2021 guided bushwalk; and the view looking south over Pieries Peak, Lake St Clair and the Hunter Valley beyond.