satellite map East Gippsland
White numbers -
1. Upper Snowy, dry rainshadow woodland
Red arrows - Biodiversity hotspots
1. Yalmy catchment - [under threat]
East Gippsland contains the most extensive areas of forest wilderness left in Victoria. Some still remain untouched or surveyed by biologists. It was only with the help of satellite photography that the largest extent of lowland rainforest was discovered in 1975.
Unique to almost any other forested area on the planet, East Gippsland still has a large unbroken chain of forest stretching from the alps to the sea. Goongerah is nestled in between two major National parks; the Snowy River and the Errinundra Parks (see circled area on satellite map). There are alpine and dry rain-shadow woodlands, tall wet mountain forests where the trees can reach 60 metres tall with a rich understorey of sassafras and ferns. There are mountain wetlands, coastal heathlands, and of course lily pily and vine dominated warm temperate and the ferny, moss-blanketed cool temperate rainforests. Many of the older trees began their lives around 1600AD and the understorey plants much earlier.
The forests support many species of animals from the huge hollow dwelling Greater Glider to the tiny Feather-tailed Glider. Brush-tailed Possums and a smaller Ring-tailed Possums are often seen at night in the spotlight. The Powerful Owl, Barking and Sooty Owls hunt in the forests by night, along with the Spot Tailed Quoll, mainland Australia's largest marsupial (pouched mammal) carnivore, which is similar in size to a large cat. Wallabies and Kangaroos are common but Bandicoots and Victoria's rarest marsupial, the Long-footed Potoroo are fewer and more secretive. They depend on these forests for survival.
East Gippsland covers just 4% of the state yet has over 300 rare and threatened species. This is seven times the state average. It has the largest remaining area of old growth forest (that is sadly being clearfelled for woodchips and plantation establishment). It is small, biologically unique and irreplaceable.
What you can do and see
Walks and car tours
Tall wet old growth forests and Mountain Plum Pine rainforests dominate the Errinundra, while the Snowy National Park can change within kilometres from the grand Alpine Ash forests to rugged dry rainshadow woodlands with native White-cypress pines. Both pines are remnants from Gondwanic times.
Closer in to Goongerah, short walks can be taken close to the cottage which includes a viewing site overlooking the central part of the valley which was first settled in the 1860s.
A circuit walk up nearby Mt Jersey would take an easy day.
Mt Ellery in the Errinundra Park gives a view from the Kosciusko ranges, to the coastal dunes. Huge round granite tors dot the mountain top like giant eggs (Goongerah is Aboriginal for egg rock). These are surrounded by Mountain Ash, Grey Gums and Messmate - a truly magical place.
There are many other walks into rainforest and old growth that are too numerous to mention.
Fishing and swimming
The Brodribb River flows through Goongerah. It begins life in the Brodribb Wilderness within the Errinundra National Park. There are trout, as well as native blackfish and the occasional platypus.
Deep pools for swimming, shallower rapids for paddling and even a 'spa pool' can all be found walking along the river.
Other green accomodation places to consider in the region: