Friends of Freycinet

Friends of Freycinet have held another productive and enjoyable October working bee with volunteers and Freycinet National Park staff.

Here’s what they got up to:


Volunteers (Ian, Joan, Mal, Catherine, Chris Peter, John, Ros) met at the Parks workshop at 10:30am where we were greeted by Ranger in Charge Alena and briefed on safety and working bee plans by Field Officer Nick.

Late in the morning we travelled to Bicheno and spent the afternoon weeding sweet pittosporum and bluebell creeper vines around the beginning of the Lookout Rock track.

We removed:

  • Sweet pittosporum = 2234 plants
  • Bluebell creeper vine = 545 plants


On a fine sunny day, we met at the workshop at 0830.

First task was a stop at John and Ros’s place at Swanwick to assess the rescue of a wombat which had fallen into a gap between a retaining wall and water tank under the house overnight and was unable to get out. A ladder was set up for the wombat to climb (hopefully). We found at the end of the day, that this was indeed successful. Apparently, wombats can climb a near vertical aluminium ladder out of a 1.5M hole (as per Alena’s earlier advice that wombats are “horizontal koalas”)!! ��

After this distraction, we drove to the Apsley waterhole carpark, with Parks staff member Nathaniel.

On the circuit track we:

  • Cleared the track sides of debris for drainage improvement with Nathaniel on the blower and others clearing with rakes, shovels, secateurs and hands.
  • Pruned overhanging foliage.
  • Cleared small chain-sawed logs from the sides of the track.
  • Lunch at Bicheno.

In the afternoon we drove to the end of Harvey’s Farm Road and spent a couple of hours
weeding along the scrubby shoreline beyond the carpark.

We removed:

  • Mullein = 232 plants
  • Tobacco plant = 400 plants
  • Spanish heath = 22 plants
  • Thistles = 6 plants

Most of the volunteer group enjoyed a meal and drinks at the Iluka Tavern in the evening.

DAY 3 (AM only)

The whole group, (with Parks staff member Jonno) drove to the River and Rocks
campground and split into 2 groups.

Group 1:

  • weeded a large patch of banana passionfruit at the northern end of the campground then
  • collected approximately 2 bags of rubbish around the campground.

Group 2 picked up approximately

  • 5 bags of rubbish in the main campground and at the edge of the lagoon area.

Morning tea on the edge of the lagoon was very pleasant in the sunshine and calm weather.

On the way back to the workshop, the group stopped at the entrance to the Rita and Doris reserve on the northern boundary entrance to remove:

  • a large patch of banana passionfruit and
  • approximately 500 sweet pittosporum seedlings and bushes.

The group then moved to the other side of the Coles Bay Rd to remove:

  • another patch of banana passionfruit
  • sweet pittosporum = 50

All volunteers returned to the workshop just after midday for lunch, and the collection, cleaning, counting, and tidying of the FoF gear.

Thank you to all the volunteers for their valued contributions over the three days.

Many thanks as always to Parks staff (Nick, Alena, Nathaniel and Jonno on this occasion) and to Jenny Baulis (overseas during working bee) for her remote organisation contribution.