The Hummock Reserve

Welcome

Bundaberg Regional Council welcomes you to the Sloping Hummock (click to open brochure)– part of a dormant volcano offering panoramic views around Bundaberg to the ocean.  The largest remnant of Woongarra Scrub, a dry rainforest plant community is located here.  The nearby Maureen Schmitt Park contains regenerating rainforest. It is about 10km east of Bundaberg and accessible from Bargara Road or FE Walker St.


History


The Taribelang Aborigines were the first people to inhabit this area.  Later, in 1799 Lieutenant Matthew Flinders sailed past the coast and named this hill “The Sloping Hummock”. Today it is more commonly called “The Hummock.” 


Woongarra Scrub


Before white settlement, around 4000 ha of Woongarra Scrub grew on the rich red and brown soils formed from the basalt flow of the ancient volcano now known as The Hummock.  It was very dense rainforest known as microphyll vineforest.  In the 1860s, explorer Nugent Wade Brown walked into the Woongarra Scrub attempting to reach the summit of The Hummock and said “the scrub was so dense we could scarcely make headway and ultimately got lost and spent the night there.”


As Bundaberg developed, the Woongarra Scrub was logged for timber, however white settlers were mainly interested in clearing for agriculture. By the late 1870s, most of the Scrub was gone.  The 4 hectares of Woongarra Scrub on The Hummock is the largest remaining example.  It contains over 120 native plant species and is vitally important as a “seed bank” for replanting efforts in other locations.  The trees are stunted due to the windy location and the very thin layer of soil over volcanic rock.  Woongarra Scrub on more fertile soil grew much taller. 


Exploring the Rainforest


A well maintained timber boardwalk takes you through the Woongarra Scrub remnant.  At the end of the boardwalk, a lookout on top of a water reservoir offers views of the surrounding district.   Can you imagine what this area must have looked like before white settlement?


As you walk along, listen for the sounds of birds which visit the Scrub.  Figbirds, Silvereyes and Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes are common.  In summer you might hear the distinctive call of the Common Koel, also known as the Stormbird.


Botanists are particularly interested in several species in this reserve.  The Wedge-leaf Tuckeroo is listed under legislation as “vulnerable” but is common here.  An unusual form of Rose Mahogany (Dysoxylum fraserianum) is found here.  It is quite rare in the Bundaberg area and a large specimen grows near one of the water reservoirs.  A plant called Balanophora fungosa flowers here after heavy rainfall.  It lives under the leaf litter, is a parasite on roots of rainforest trees and does not need sunlight.  The flowering structure looks like fungi and consists of a globe covered with thousands of tiny female flowers surrounded at its base by a much smaller number of male flowers.


Amongst the native trees and shrubs are exotic weeds such as Asparagus fern, Ochna and Coral Berry.  Council manages these infestations with the assistance of local landcare groups and nearby residents.


Maureen Schmitt Park was named after local conservationist Maureen Schmitt who has been instrumental in community conservation efforts, has greatly improved local botanical information and worked tirelessly to plant thousands of trees on The Hummock and throughout the region.  During the 1990s Maureen was the driving force behind the 4 hectare revegetation project and still maintains an interest in the Park.  She collected seeds from the local area, propagated the rainforest trees and arranged for their planting and maintenance.  The land had been almost totally cleared many years ago, and the rocky, windswept conditions made it a challenge for the trees to survive.  A network of mown tracks winds through the Park.


Access

As Bundaberg’s only hill, The Hummock is quite visible.  The timber boardwalk starts at Heathwood Park on Bowden St.  The walking tracks at Maureen Schmitt Park are best accessed from Finemore Crescent.  An established lookout at Turners Way offers stunning views and is very popular with visitors.


Facilities for your convenience
Toilets, picnic tables and water taps are located at Bowden St.  Water taps are also located at the entrance to Maureen Schmitt Park.

 
 
 


Caring for the Reserve
• Remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but your footprints
• Please do not dump garden waste which could spread exotic plants
• Domestic animals are not permitted


For further information please contact Council's Natural Resources Department on 1300 883 699.

 

 

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