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Explore an enchanted paperbark forest

By Lawrie Smith, Brisbane

Come and explore with me an enchanted paperbark forest.

This is nature’s handiwork at its best, a garden like no other! I want to share this walk with you, through the magical environment on the Central Queensland coast.

It is located near Agnes Waters and the Town of Seventeen Seventy. Seventeen Seventy is a coastal town in the Gladstone Region. It is built on the site of the second landing in Australia by James Cook.

enchanted paperbark forest
Specially designe boardwalk, image Lawrie Smith

This unique all-encompassing experience will enchant you. Thousands of closely spaced Paperbark trees, rarely seen in such pristine condition, are thriving there.

Stop to wonder if Joseph Banks was equally impressed when he came ashore here in 1770 in the HMS Endeavour. This was Cook’s second landing on Australia’s east coast.

enchanted paperbark forest

We penetrate the decorative lush undergrowth via the specially designed enticing 400 metre walking trail and boardwalk.

We carefully balance on stepping stones that wind through the wetlands (without getting our feet wet). Within the forest, thousands of white paperbark trees of Melaleuca quinquenervia completely surround you.

Melaleuca quinquenervia generally grows in poorly drained sites down the east coast of Australia. It has beautiful white, papery bark. And birds and insects are attracted to the nectar in the flowers.

The membrane-thin, filmy, climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum festoons the majestic trunks and green fronds of the cabbage palm, Livistona decora.

Seasonally a kaleidoscope of butterflies swarm around the forest, and richly coloured fungi wait to be discovered. Everywhere frog calls provide nature’s soundtrack as you weave your way around this amazing trail in Reedy Creek Reserve. This is truly an enchanted paperbark forest to explore.

enchanted paperbark forest
Paperbarks festooned with membrane-thin Lygodium microphyllum, image Lawrie Smith