- Mobile Reception (Telstra)
Straddling Chingarrup Creek to the west of the road is Chingarrup Sanctuary, owned by Eddy and Donna Wajon.
Back in 2002 it was the very first property purchased for ecological restoration as part of the Gondwana Link program.
Since then, Eddy and Donna estimate that over 1000 people have visited their property as volunteers in an ongoing program of citizen science and ecological restoration.
Story of the place
Eddy and Donna Wajon with Barry Heydenrych from Greening Australia
Eddy and Donna Wajon
Conservationists and owners of Chingarrup Sanctuary, Boxwood Hill
“We were very interested in properties that were threatened, that were biologically diverse but that could be cleared at any time or had been cleared before and could be again. We wanted rare species both of flora and fauna… the most important was this land was under threat, or it was part of some program – it was connected to other bush so that it had a linkage – it was part of a corridor.
And this is part of such a biodiversity hotspot as well. We have more than 550 species of individual plants on this property. But you just have to go five kilometres away and 25 percent of the plants are different and then another five kilometres away and another 25 percent are different so you’ve got already a 50 percent different suite of plants… even on our property we have some plants that only grow in a certain area. There might only be 10 plants there and that’s the only place on the property we find them. They each have their little niche.”
Centre for Citizen Science
An impressive team of people have been involved in helping Eddy and Donna discover the biological richness of Chingarrup Sanctuary including of the 550 plant species identified so far.
Identifying the full range of birds, insects and mammals on the property takes a great deal more work, and particularly with the help of Dr Nic Dunlop from the Conservation Council of WA, there has been an enormous citizen science effort over many years to identify or recognise more than 730 animals including:
- 7 marsupials (including honey possums and echidnas)
- 5 bats
- 9 frogs
- 29 reptiles
- 123 birds (including the endangered mallee fowl which are now spotted regularly)
- 24o moths
- 46 spiders and scorpions
- 60 ants
- 58 bees
- 23 aquatic macroinvertebrates
See & Do
It is not possible to see much of Chingarrup Sanctuary from the road or visit it independently, though you can see from the vegetation along the road reserve what it looks like.
If you have a keen eye, you can also see vegetation with a different shade on the hill on the west side of the road as you drive north and down the hill towards Chingarrup Creek. This is an area that was revegetated in 2005 and is therefore still young and darker green than the surrounding vegetation.
However, there are citizen science outings and other events held there regularly where you can explore the property fully – look out for news of upcoming events on the Gondwana Link Facebook page.
Giving back and getting involved
Gondwana Link plays a key coordination role in the ecological restoration work in the Fitz-Stirling area.
There are many other sites to visit nearby including:
Chingarrup Creek Crossing
All the brooks and creeks in this area are tributaries of the Pallinup River, the largest river system on the South Coast.
Corackerup Creek Crossing
Like nearby Chingarrup Creek, Corackerup Creek is also deeply incised into the surrounding landscape, and is part of a substantial sub-catchment of the Pallinup River.
Boxwood Hill - Ongerup Road
This first stretch of road will take you into the heart of one of Australia’s most important ecological restoration areas.
Boxwood Hill crossroad
The intersection on South Coast Highway that leads to the Fitz-Stirling area.
Carbon Neutral restoration site
This property was purchased and replanted for ‘Carbon sequestration, biodiversity and habitat restoration.’
The pullover area adjoins the now privately-owned conservation property that was initially restored by Carbon Neutral. The Corackerup Nature Reserve is over the road.
Nowanup is a special place. A centrepiece of ecological restoration in the Gondwana Link, it is also a centre for the Noongar community for healing country and healing people.
This is a remote area and there are limited facilities available. There is a roadhouse at the Boxwood Hill intersection.
See Visitor Information from the Shire of Jerramungup for accommodation, eating and camping options in Jerramungup and Bremer Bay.