All the waterways in the Hunter were once surrounded by East Coast Native Rainforest. A remnant of rainforest vegetation has survived here adjacent to Ironbark Creek. This has been rehabilitated by volunteers to reflect what would have grown here for thousands of years. It is amazing to have a little piece of rainforest so close to a residential area.
The Awabakal people sourced food, tools, weapons and medicines from the rainforest.
The early settlers gathered the timber and floated the harvested logs down the Hunter River.
Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) was used for piers as it survived very well in water and Red Cedar (Toona ciliata) was highly valued for furniture construction.
All of the waterways in the Hunter were once surrounded by Littoral Rainforest. The trees growing here provided valuable timber for many uses and the early timber gatherers quickly decimated these vegetation communities.
The species growing in local rainforests were all alike as the seeds would wash down the creeks and rivers in times of flood, anchor and germinate along the margins. As the rainforest was cleared, the floods eroded riverbanks as they were no longer protected by tree roots.
The shallower, wider rivers made ideal conditions for Mangroves to establish.