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It was a very small but happy group that arrived for our first walk of the year.

At Kennett River we began with morning tea and leisurely reading the new interpretive displays. The signs are attractive and cover many topics to inform walkers and visitors to the area.

We observed lots of birds eventually having a list of 30 species. The family of Swamphens was interesting to watch the four young who seemed to have large bills for their body size. Many Wood Ducks sheltered in the shade of the river-side trees and lots of Satin Bowerbirds were calling and feeding on blackberries, and apples in the neighbouring garden. The Silvereyes were feeding on Kangaroo-apples. Only one koala was sighted in what seemed a very suitable habitat with tall healthy trees.

The area is so attractive being lush green with tall tree ferns, currant-bushes still fruiting, glimpses of the rock walls of the narrow gorge and clear running water. We looked carefully for Rakali, the water rat, in small pools and running water but were unsuccessful. Where the track petered out we sat for a while listening to the babbling water and bird calls high above us – a beautiful natural environment.

kennet riverKennett River

Growing alongside the track was the Forest Hound’s-tongue with tiny white flowers, and when we looked closely we could see, and feel, the sharp spikes on the stem.

thornsThorns of Forest Hound’s-tongue

After lunch back at the picnic tables we headed for Cumberland River.

In contrast to Kennett River there were many more people walking and enjoying the forest, and the campground was full. The tall cliffs bordering the river were impressive.

cumberland river cliffsCumberland River cliffs

Birdlife was less apparent possibly due to the time of day. A snake was seen sunning itself on the side of the track but was shooed away by a thong-wearing family before we could identify it. We tasted white Native Elderberry fruits which were quite bitter- not as tasty as the smaller and sweeter Native Currants.

After a creek crossing, we reached Jebb’s Pool and enjoyed the ambience, the icy cold water and surrounding tall trees. Lizards sunned themselves on the rocks and golden-coloured dragonflies were flitting over the water.

jebbs pool cumberland riverJebb’s Pool, Cumberland River

It was a very pleasant day discovering two lovely river valleys in our park.

Alison Watson