Flat Rock Island via Strangled Tree Forest

Sunday 17 June 2018

Photos by Mary

Although bereft of our nominal leader (Joan was on a vital quest), stand-in leaders Mary & Karen led us through the coastal forest as far as Myrtle Beach passing Emily Miller Beach, Dark Beach where morning tea was had in the sunshine and on to the view point overlooking Flat Rock Island in the Murramarang NP.

This forest is notable for the many small, distorted Spotted Gum trees. We theorised on the causes, and my theory is that, decades earlier, the area had been logged & grazed, and then when the area was closed to form the NP, many saplings had sprouted. As the coastal winds from SE & NE are usually strong and carry salt, I feel that may have caused the directional leaning, distortions, dwarfing,  and the many dead branches.

Upon arrival at Flat Rock headland, we found that our leaders had, as usual, arranged a show for us, this time being several Humpback whales.  Some were broaching, others just travelling, and one appeared to be feeding. This theory was supported by a large slick which formed after the whale moved on. Two brave fishers who had crossed the tricky wash to the island then showed us how to land a fish, even after it had fouled in weed in its attempts to escape.

Delighted by the floor show, we returned through other parts of the Strangled Forest, feeling satisfied with our entertaining & interesting excursion.