Garden inspiration: the Dharawal State Conservation Area

We've been going walking in the Dharawal State Conservation Area since we moved to Wollongong, and always come away with ideas for plants to grow in our new garden. It's located north-west of Wollongong, between two large water catchment areas and contains a network of creeks punctuated by rockpools and the occasional waterfall. The vegetation ranges from eucalypt forests to swamps and sedgelands, and it's also home to a population of koalas. 

Here are just a few of the local plants, photographed around the Maddens Falls area.

Myrtle wattle (Acacia myrtifolia). Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Pine-leaved Geebung (Persoonia pinifolia). Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus sclerophylla) and Crimson Bottle Brush (Callistemon citrinus). Image by Emma Rooksby. 
The landscape around Maddens Falls in the Dharawal is stunning, and the falls are easily accessible via a short walking path. It's not the sort of thing that could be recreated in a suburban garden (if only!), but it's worth visiting regularly to see how the plants change with the seasons.
Maddens Creek. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Maddens Falls. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
Information about the Dharawal State Conservation Area is available at: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/parkHome.aspx?id=N0627

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