Tamala Park Conservation Reserve

Northern Suburbs Branch GOLLY WALK – 26 July 2023

Golly, how lucky were we? The weather Gods smiled at us. The rain stopped five minutes before we were due to set off at 8 am, and two hours later, only a few minutes after settling in for our coffees at the Burns Beach café, the heavens opened again.

Unfortunately, the forecast of rain and even hail put a few of our regular Golly walkers off. Still, the five of us who made the trip to the starting point at Catalina Estate enjoyed a delightful 4km stroll along the newly opened coastal path which meanders its way through vegetated and bare dunes with occasional glimpses of the ocean.

A group of people standing on a path

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The newly opened coastal path at Catalina Estate – Image by Don Poynton

In addition to the many stops to examine plants, our stops included the three information plaques, which outline the indigenous explanation for the dunes and provide information about the seasons, bush tucker and native plants.

While most of the plants and shrubs nearest the fence were due to post-construction rehabilitation and therefore immature, the layers behind presented us with a wide range of plants typically found on the Quindalup dunes: purple Native Wisteria draped over white flowering Basket Bush was common, Old-man’s Beard was just coming into bud; red Cockies Tongue was nearing the end of its flowering period. Elsewhere the cream-coloured Coastal Honey Myrtle was spotted amongst the Sword Sedge and the several wattle species which dominate the vegetation. In places, Tuarts have survived the harsh conditions, with the dead branches of one providing the ideal spot for Galahs to observe the five of us who invaded their territory. We also stopped to examine two root parasites, Quandong and Broom Ballart, which bear fruit that ripens from green to yellow to orange to red by Christmas.

As we came around the final bend, we were greeted by a view of Burns Rocks, which Don explained was the current northern boundary of the Marmion Marine Park.

A sandy hill with a body of water in the background

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Burns Rocks – Image by Don Poynton

However, there is a proposal under consideration to extend the border to Two Rocks and westward to the State boundary, three nautical miles beyond the shoreline.

This stop also allowed Don to advise that the coastal vegetation between the path and the beach was one of the seven sectors along the City of Joondalup’s coastline, currently the subject of a draft Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaption Plan. Should this sector be eroded, the proposal was to allow nature to take its course, whereas groynes and sand replenishment were proposed elsewhere.

The last 300m of the walk was planned to be along the beach, but due to the weather, the water was washing up to the base of the dunes, so we stuck to the path and made our way to the beachside café for a warming drink.

No doubt, due to the weather, the wildlife, particularly the number of birds we spotted, was well below the total that would be observed on a sunny day. The New Holland Honeyeaters were the most numerous.

Don Poynton

A complete list of birds and animals sighted plus repeat walk footnote
is provided on page 2 of this report.