Caravan Head, New South Wales

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Caravan Head is a locality in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located in the north-eastern part of the suburb of Oyster Bay. It is situated on the southern bank of the Georges River.

Caravavan Head Nature Reserve[edit]

Caravan Head Reserve contains a diverse array of native ridgetop native vegetation due to the fact the land was put aside for a proposed school that was never built eventually its ownership was transferred and a development proposal was put forward in the 1990s after local uproar and political support the land was bought by the state government and it was turned into a nature reserve. During the reserves early history it was severely damaged when the centre of the site was gutted of vegetation and bike tracks cut the remaining vegetation into smaller fragments. After over a decade of regeneration efforts by the local Bushacare volunteer members the site has been nearly restored to its former glory even though it will always need constant attention into the future.

On the eastern side of the reserve a dense Callitris woodland exists (Callitris rhomboidea/Port Jackson Pine) under which grow extensive native pasture and an open shrubbery. The majority of the site consists of semi-disturbed woodland dominated by Red Bloodwoods(Corymbia gummifera), Sydney Rosegum (Angophora costata)and Scribbly Gums (Eucalyptus haemastoma).

The majority of the site is on a very slight slope with few exposed rock and deep sandy soils except for the northern edge where massive sandstone boulders protrude from a more steep hillside which has acted to preserve a more diverse groundcover. The southern edge and the center of the site have all been revegetated by Bushcare to a near natural state with a variety of species and other species from the surrounding bushland are re-colonising these areas. A total of nearly 150 species of native flora have been recorded in the reserve.

Some common shrubs found in the reserve include; Silky Hakea (Hakea sericea), Broad-leaved Hakea (Hakea dactyloides), Pink Spiderflower (Grevillea sericea),Waxflower (Philotheca scabra), Conesticks(Petrophile pulchella), Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis), Sweet Scented Wattle (Acacia suaveolens), Flax-leafed Wattle (Acacia linifolia), Trunkless Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea arborea), Dwarf Apple (Angophora hispida), Riceflower (Ozothamnus diosmifolius), Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosus), Laurel Geebung (Persoonia laurina), Broad-leaved Geebung (Persoonia levis), Native Pea (Dillwynia sieberi), Blueberry Ash(Elaeocarpus reticulatis), Cheese Tree (Glochidion ferdinandi)and Black She-oaks (Allocasuarina littoralis).

Some common understorey herbs include; Pomax umbellata, Platysace linearifolia Purple Twining Pea (Hardenbergia violacea), Native Sarsaparilla (Smilax australis), Dusky Coral Pea (Kennedia rubicunda), Blue Flax Lily (Dianella caerulea, Dianella revoluta), Screw Fern (Lindsaea linearis), Guinea Flower (Hibbertia riparia), Raspwort (Gonocarpus teucrioides), Zieria tridentata, Native Parsley (Lomatia silaifolia), Plectranthus parviflorus, Lesser Flannel Flower (Actinotus minor) and Glycine clandestina.

Some common grasses include: Weeping Meadow Grass (Micrloaena stipoides), Native Panic (Entolasia sp.), Juncus usiatus, Hedgehog Grass (Echinopogon caespitosus), Aristida vagans, Barbed-wire Grass(Cymbopogon refractus), Dichelachne crinita and Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra).

Several species of tiny orchids grow in this reserve, their leaves are so tiny as to be mistaken for a piece of grass when not in flower and often die back to a tiny little bulb in hot weather. Orchid species recorded include; Theylmitra pauciflora, Cryptostylis erecta, Calochilus paludosus and Pterostylis sp.

Native birds that frequent or inhabit the reserve include; Pied Currawongs, Australian Magpies, Noisy Miners, Laughing Kookaburra, Pied Butcher Birds, Rainbow Lorrikeets, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Magpie Larks, Koels, Tawny Frogmouths and Australian Ravens. Birds that once did use the site but are now recently extinct from this locality include Superb Fairy Wrens, Spotted Pardalotes and Silver-eyes.

Native mammals that inhabit or visit Caravan Head reserve are more or less limited to Ringtailed Possums, Brushtailed Possums (Threatened Species), Grey-headed Flying Foxes (Threatened Species), native rodents as wells as a variety of micro-bat species many of which are threatened with extinction.

Weed species found in the reserve include: Panic Veldt Grass (Erharta ercta), Paspalum Grass, Ochna, Pittosporum undulatum (technically a native which is out of control due to changed conditions), Lantana camara, Fishbone Fern, Asparagus Fern (Protoasparagus sp.)and Paddys Curse. Feral animals present in the reserve include Red Foxes, Domestic Cats, Domestic Dogs and Indian Miners.

Coordinates: 33°59′50″S 151°05′16″E / 33.99724°S 151.08772°E / -33.99724; 151.08772