An incredible opportunity has come up for backpackers who would like to be involved in some conservation work during their Australian backpacking adventure.
Grab the chance to experience special conservation projects in iconic Queensland landscapes with the added bonus of a tantalizing glimpse of National Parks en route. Two teams will leave Cairns on a 17-day journey of discovery and a chance to help on habitat restoration projects in central Queensland Koala reserves and a mainland island just off Gladstone.
Koala Reserves: Springsure is a characteristic Queensland outback countrytown nestled in below the Capricorn Highlands, 60 km’s south of Emerald.The Springsure region is not only known as an area rich in mineral resourcesbut is also rich in biodiversity with a good chance of seeing iconic Australian native animals including koalas, kangaroos, emus and an abundance of reptiles and birds.Koalas were once seen regularly in and around the Springsure region – and have even been reported wandering through town. The population was particularly abundant in the forest and woodlands along Springsure Creek.
Unfortunately these koalas have largely disappeared and the stream fringing forest has died back in the face of severe droughts. Isolated koalas remain and can still be seen, but habitat restoration projects will provide improved source of food trees and the chance of expanded corridors to support, and possibly allow expansion of the current koala population.
CVA volunteers have previously planted thousands of trees in the Springsure region and during September and October we have the opportunity again to help out the koalas with re-vegetation plantings of large seedlings of drought resistant trees.
Curtis Island: Curtis Island is a mainland island a short 45 minute ferry ride from Gladstone with wind-sheared scrublands, diverse birdlife and pristine beaches. The endangered yellow chat has been recorded in remnant wetlands to the island’s north and threatened flatback turtle nests on the island's southern beaches. The main project site is on the fore-dunes of the eastern beach. The teams will have an awesome view out over the ocean, with the possibility of spotting whales, dolphins, dugong and turtles. The project will involve removing Siratro, Mother of Millions, Mossman River Grass, Passionvine and some lantana – with plantings of native species helping to stabilise the fore dunes, reinstate dune vegetation and ultimately allow vine thicket to re-establish.
The road trip starts and finishes in Cairns and there are flexible arrangements to allow participants to join or leave the conservation team between Cairns and Gladstone or participate in one or other of the conservation projects. The journey down or back incorporates the chance to visit Carnarvon Gorge National Park, and breaks that allow you to explore outback scenery, goldrush towns and coastal scenery.
This trip involves some long distance travel and involves a range of accommodation from Backpacker dorms to camping in two-man tents – come along, join us on a trip of a lifetime and the chance to get involved in some great conservation projects!