Friends of Freycinet

Friends of Freycinet December 2020 working bee

We may have to change the name because with all the work done we did not have the time or the energy for shenanigans (at least that I know of).

Adverse boating weather meant we spent a day undertaking all manner of jobs within the Park, including weeding Great Mullein, dismantling an old garden structure, helping to trim an Ironbark log for a seat on the new shared track, and completing our gear storage area in the workshop. Then the next day we could start work!

removing old garden structure

preparing tools for Schouten Island

Three boatloads of gear and 8 eager workers travelled to the island in still lumpy seas, all the stuff was lugged up to the Morey’s Huts area and all the summer caretakers gear set up. We hope they appreciate it.

loading Aqua Taxi at Coles Bay

unloading PWS boat at Morey’s Beach

erecting the caretakers tent






As the vegetation around the huts and all over the tracks etc. has gone gangbusters we sent an urgent request for two brushcutters to be sent down in the last boat.

After settling in we set about our two main tasks, gorse eradication and control of blue periwinkle.

We pulled or cut and pasted over 25 000 gorse plants, yes, 25 000, a mighty effort in five days. There were lots of small ones but they ranged in size up to shrubs and we covered all the usual areas including as far as the Sandstone Bluff area.

heading off weeding

removing gorse shrubs on western side of island

The periwinkle was sprayed with 160 litres of Roundup. This weed is notoriously hard to eradicate and while there has been some success it is still quite lush in some areas. We will need to change our herbicide and make it our main focus next time.

I need hardly say that as the start of the peak summer holiday season is about us we spent time erecting Covid safety signs in all the right places and placing hand sanitizer and cleaning materials about the place.

We still managed to take time off from weeding to scale Bear Hill and another trip to the waterfall and back via the Mt Storey track.  Then while waiting for the boat to take us off the island we had a competition to find the last gorse in the sand dunes so I suppose that was our shenanigans for this trip.

on the summit of Bear Hill

A huge thank you to Nathan, Susan and the crew from Freycinet Adventures for once again transporting the group back and forth to the island.

the group

yeah no more gorse! (for this year)

(article by Dave Harris)