Sharon Gorge Nature Park is around 20 minutes from Bundaberg, with access available from the Bundaberg-Gin Gin Road. Sharon Gorge is a peaceful area with rainforest, ferns, palms and orchids. It is an important habitat area for flora and wildlife including vulnerable Wedge-leaf Tuckeroo.
Sharon Gorge was formed from the erosive action of flowing water cutting deep ravines and steep walls into the land. Once the gorge was formed riparian vegetation (vegetation growing by a waterway) grew stabilising the soil with its roots and slowing water runoff with its trunks. Watercourses and the associated riparian vegetation provide critical habitat and corridors for native wildlife.
The gorge's ecosystem is classically a wet one supporting a rainforest like environment. The deep ravine, vegetative cover and organic debris retain moisture even into the dry seasons. It has many attractive characteristics, including a diversity of tree species, a palm grove and a variety of epiphytes. Epiphytic plants, lichens and fungi, grow on a host plant but are not parasitic, instead harvesting water and nutrients accumulated in crevices on the host or from the air, examples of epiphytes in the gorge include mosses, ferns and orchids.
A distinct feature of the gorge is the subtropical rainforest community, endemic to the area, known as Woongarra Vine Scrub. This is one of Bundaberg's few remaining examples of this vegetation type due to extensive clearing in early pioneering days for farming or residential purposes. Conserving remnants of what remains and restoring areas of cleared vegetation is of upmost importance for survival of this endangered vegetation community.
Sharon Gorge also boasts a healthy stand of the vulnerable Wedge-Leaf Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis shirleyana). The Wedge-Leaf Tuckeroo is a small tree growing to a maximum of 10m tall. Its name is derived from the distinct leaf shape which is similar to a holly leaf but with a jagged wedge cut from the front. The leaves of the Wedge-Leaf Tuckeroo are glossy green on top and hairy on the underside, it flowers from April to June and its orange fruit capsules are spherical to egg-shaped. It is well adapted to the moist and sloping landscape of Sharon Gorge.
A well maintained walkway follows the gorge down to the Burnett River taking about 15 minutes each way depending, of course, on how long you stop to admire the plants and wildlife. Birds and insects are the main sounds on this otherwise quiet walk. At one point in the walk the shady enveloping Woongarra Scrub opens up to a towering grove of slender, white trunked, palm trees. This is definetely a sight to be seen. At the end of the walkway is a viewing deck and seat to sit under the gum trees and view the Burnett River.
The park has a shady picnic area surrounded by Bunya & Kauri Pines. There are regularly maintained toilets, barbeques and sheltered picnic tables as well as free camping (overnight only).
Sharon Gorge Google map can be found here»
Dogs on a leash in picnic grounds only
No fires, 4WD's or motorbikes
Please remember to leave nothing behind but your footprints.
For further information please contact Council'sNatural Resources Department on 1300 883 699.