Doing a Google search on Stackpoole State Forest is not the most rewarding research task I have ever undertaken.
I mean, I know where it is, but I thought that I would check up to see what the landowners think of it. You know, find the Plan of Management, find a map, find some history for the site. But no, nothing. A brief mention in the NSW Government Gazette from this year about the reserve being open to shooting game animals, but that is all.
But there is evidence, on the ground, of logging and perhaps milling and certainly evidence of grazing. None of this has happened for some time, and the land has had a chance to go on growing old in its own time.
Mixed woodlands like this one are becoming so much more rare with clearing pressures for agricultural lands. The mixture of old growth mallee, cypress, melaleuca and Bimble Box makes an enchanting little forest. All the usual suspects for mixed woodland birds are present, and following on from rain, the flora is magnificent.
There are no facilities there. And perhaps it is illegal to camp, but the urge to do so was too strong. So we did. The quiet stillness of the autumn night was wonderful. No night birds unfortunately, but we cant have it all.
If you are in the area, check out Stackpoole. 25 km north east of Goolgowi (which is 50kms north of Griffith NSW). You’ll be pleased that you did.
Not really within our realm, but of much interest anyway. With a long weekend and perfect weather what else would you do but go bush?
The Tilpa to Tongo road was open with water still flowing over it. And they are the exact conditions we were looking for. The bird life was amazing. We camped by the eastern edge of the channels, and the morning chorus was magnificent.
I cant begin to list all the birds. Just know that when the conditions are right, it is the place to be. We were also lucky with the weather. All our photos show glorious clouds. They did not rain on us, but there was evidence everywhere that we had not long missed the passing showers. Some of the roads would be impassable with much rain.
Peery Lake was full to the brim. The bird life was far less there than anywhere else on the weekend. But I guess that the birds want to wait until the water is receeding, exposing mud flats before they congregate in their large numbers. The day use area of Peery Lakes is the most exposed and uninviting place I’ve seen for some time. And there was nowhere else to camp. At least at night, with all the big lights out, it was beautiful.
If you get a chance, get out back in western NSW and take the time to see what water does to the arid inland.
What a journey the creation of the brochure has been. 18 months from initial idea to fruitition. There are always stops and starts in the development of any project, and projects for community groups staffed with volunteers are amongst the most difficult to complete. One of our main concerns was that we were duplicating effort by the regional tourism people. But their brochure still seems to be ‘in the works’.
It is so good to see ours finished and out there.
We had a version of the brochure for a while. It was an A3 page, double sided and photocopied when the boss was away. It was a prototype of the now published document.
For real commitment to quality, we needed to have it printed in full colour and have lots of them the hand around. The funding for the project has come from the collection and sale of seeds.
You can download a copy from our website (although there are no bird images on that version - copyright permission was only granted for print) or you can request it from the Griffith Visitor’s Centre. Copies will also, soon, be available from Vistior’s Centres in Leeton, Narrandera and Hay.
But its not over yet. In the works are similar publications for Narrandera and Leeton.
We’ll write about them when they are ready.