Nardoo Hills

Last updated: Friday 27 May, 2016
Location of Nardoo Hills Reserves.

Established: 2004
Area: 1,007 ha
Location: 210km NW of Melbourne

Detailed map >

Visiting Nardoo Hills >

It's almost impossible to imagine the Australian bush without the sound of a laughing kookaburra or flashy show of colour from a passing lorikeet, robin or honeyeater.

View from our Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo James Cowie.
View from our Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo James Cowie.
But that's what we face if temperate woodlands (the most threatened wooded ecosystem in Australia) aren't better protected.

Since European settlement Victoria has lost 83% of its woodland ecosystems to land clearance.

Combined with drier weather patterns, this has led to a dramatic decline in woodland birds, with recent research suggesting even common birds such as the Red Wattlebird, Spotted Pardalote and Rufous Whistler are in trouble.

A juvenille Rufous Whistler <em>(Pachycephala rufiventris)</em> on Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo Jeroen van Veen.
A juvenille Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) on Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo Jeroen van Veen.
Such harrowing data is one of the main reasons we bought Nardoo Hills – one of the few places left in Victoria where you can still find healthy Grassy Box and Box-ironbark Woodlands, the sort of country loved by our woodland birds.

We hope Nardoo Hills Reserves, which include Judith Eardley Reserve and the Barnett Block, will help ensure our woodland birds are heard long into the future. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What we’re doing

A Western Grey Kangaroo on the reserve. Photo Peter Morris.
A Western Grey Kangaroo on the reserve. Photo Peter Morris.
Our volunteers have helped us all but rid Nardoo Hills of wheel cactus – a noxious weed. We use a rather unusual technique – ‘stabbing' them with herbicide. Thanks to volunteers, we've killed nearly all adult plants, though follow-up to control seedlings is needed.

A huge effort has also gone into controlling rabbits, whose population has been massively reduced by warren mapping, control and monitoring. That said, we must be vigilant to ensure numbers are kept under control.

Nardoo Hills is now free of grazing sheep, which in the past damaged the area's native vegetation.

Extinct orchid rediscovered

A Western Grey Kangaroo on the reserve. Photo Peter Morris.
A Western Grey Kangaroo on the reserve. Photo Peter Morris.
Everyone was astonished when the Robust Greenhood Orchid was discovered at Nardoo Hills in 2009. Last identified in 1941, it was presumed extinct.

Grazing by rabbits and livestock had previously limited opportunities for many plants at Nardoo Hills. By ending this and bringing experts onto the reserve, we're able to recognise and catalogue the full range of species present.

‘After years and years of slogging away and restoring natural bushland, these are the kinds of things that keep you going'.
– Reserve Manager, Jeroen van Veen

Remarkably, this was the second rare orchid to turn up at Nardoo Hills. A few years earlier, the Northern Golden Moths, a small yellow orchid, also made an unexpected appearance. Nardoo Hills is now home to the largest protected population of Northern Golden Moths in Australia.

More on the Robust Greenhood

Reserve Manager Jeroen van Veen. Photo Peter Morris.
Reserve Manager Jeroen van Veen. Photo Peter Morris.
Tour Nardoo Hills

Sunday 18 September 2016 – 10.30am to 3.30pm

Bring your picnic and put on your walking shoes as exploring on foot is the best way to absorb the delights of Nardoo Hills Reserves. This tour is FREE, but bookings are essential. More on our walking tour

Cultural values

This is the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people, who've shared some of their knowledge on the cultural significance of their country, including identification of more than 20 scar trees.

The Paterson family has owned much of the Nardoo Hills for three generations, spanning more than 100 years, so the present generation has a wealth of local historical knowledge.

Protect Hamelin Station
Leave a legacy