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Wetlands at sunset Photo: Peter Morris
Wetlands at sunset Photo: Peter Morris





14,400 ha


150km north-west of Bourke

Traditional Custodians:

Budjiti people

Naree is a former pastoral property found in one of the least disturbed parts of the Murray-Darling Basin in north-western NSW.

A Kangaroo amongst the dry wetlands. Photo David and Sue Akers.

Naree lies in the Mulga Lands bioregion, 150km north-west of Bourke, on the Cuttaburra Channels that connect the Paroo and Warrego rivers. Its southern boundary is the Cuttaburra Creek, and Yantabulla Swamp adjoins the property to the west.

These wetlands are special. They sit in a flood zone where rainfall is very erratic, which means they’re often dry for long periods. The land’s ecology reflects the boom and bust cycles of wet and dry that are typical of the rangelands of inland Australia.

Average yearly rainfall is only 300mm, but highly variable. Floods are unpredictable but when they arrive Back Creek Swamp on Naree becomes a key water bird breeding site.

Reserve Support Officer Greg Carroll looks out over welcome floodwaters. Photo Vanessa Westcott.

Local rainfall and run-off also supports a wide variety of wetland types, which provide habitat for many different species.

Water bird populations have been surveyed on Naree and surrounding areas for years by Professor Richard Kingsford. Our own surveys have documented over 187 bird species, and a comparable number of plant species since 2013, several of them vulnerable or endangered under NSW legislation.

We’ve also recorded 15 mammal species, including the vulnerable (in NSW) Striped-faced DunnartSandy Inland Mouse and Little Pied Bat. All this is protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Yantabulla Station

In 2015 Yantabulla Station, a property adjoining Naree, was bought for conservation by the South Endeavor Trust.

With skilled land managers already on the ground at Naree, it made sense for us to form a partnership and to manage the land as one consolidated reserve with Naree.

This more than doubled our conservation footprint in the area and provided major efficiencies.

The Holy Cross (crucifix) Frog in reeds at Naree. Photo Victoria Brockfield.

What Naree protects

Naree helps protect nationally significant, arid-zone ephemeral wetlands, considered among the top 20 for waterbirds in Australia.

Relatively mild winter temperatures, compared with the rest of NSW and Victoria, make it a refuge for migratory birds forced to leave breeding areas in the cold season.

The rich mosaic of vegetation, including grasslands, mulga woodlands and mixed woodlands of Belah, Ironwood and Leopardwood provides refuge in dry times for many native animals including reptiles, small mammals and birds.

Key habitats include:

  • Alluvial floodplains and swamps with semi-permanent waterholes, floodplain woodlands and lignum swamps. Species associated with these include the Freckled Duck, Pink-eared Duck and Golden Perch. Nectar production attracts many birds.
  • Local basins and channels with ephemeral wetlands including cane grass wetlands, coolabah swamps, open shallow lakes, marshes and clay pans, that provide habitat for species such as the Brolga, Spotted Harrier, Crucifix Frog, Peron’s Tree Frog and unique aquatic animals such as Shield Shrimp.
  • Mulga woodlands of soft loamy soils and hard rocky soils. Their numerous tree hollows provide breeding habitat for birds such as the Major Mitchell Cockatoo and White-browed Treecreeper, and numerous species of bats.
  • Mixed woodlands of Belah, Ironwood, Leopardwood, Rosewood and Whitewood. 

A Spotted Harrier, is among the birds to enjoy the habitat on Naree. Photo Jane Blackwood.

Budjiti elder Phil Eulo. Photo from SBS program Living Black.

Cultural values

The Budjiti are Traditional Owners and have close personal connections to the property. Since our purchase of Naree, Budjiti elder Phil Eulo and his family have been helping us understand the property’s history, natural values and cultural connections.

They’ve helped with our environmental and heritage assessments and with our conservation planning. We’re tremendously pleased to have the Budjiti so intimately involved in our conservation work on Naree.

To promote an understanding of their culture, the Budjiti people have produced a booklet describing the traditional uses of local plants.

“Bush Heritage is doing what we wanted to do all along – keep our country natural. Now we’ve got the opportunity to bring this back to its natural state... for the new generations, white and black.”
– Phil Eulo on SBS program Living Black.

What we’re doing

Our aim is to reduce total grazing pressure on the property, allowing the natural wetland and woodland habitats to regenerate. High priorities include:

  • repairing and upgrading fences to manage stray livestock and feral animals
  • pig, goat, fox, cat and rabbit control
  • fire preparation and use as a management tool
  • buffel grass control
  • developing a property-wide monitoring plan to measure our impact.  

Where there's water, there's life

Species at Naree


Stories from Naree

BLOG 04/11/2022

Surveying birds at Naree and Yantabulla

Field report from the Naree and Yantabulla reserves bird survey. Now Birdlife Australia and Bush Heritage have 5 years of data, including 126 species recorded in this survey.

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BLOG 21/06/2022

Governmental support in landmark conservation deal

A landmark conservation covenant with NSW Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Trust will provide additional permanent protections to our Naree Station Reserve – and neighbouring Yantabulla Station, which is owned by South Endeavour Trust. The deal underscores the importance of private land conservation in Australia.

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BLOG 18/05/2022

Connecting with Budjiti Country

During the Easter holidays, a Budjiti Cultural Camp saw 20 Budjiti people on country. A trip to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies also marked a significant step towards reviving language and culture.

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BLOG 01/07/2021

Red dirt and Wanda!

Being presented with a wire winder wouldn’t excite everyone but knowing that we were in for a week or two of fence removal at Naree Reserve, we thought it was pretty good!

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Waterbirds flocked to Yantabulla Swamp after flooding and  rains in March 2020. Photo by Kylie Fisher.

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

Soundtrack of the bush

Australian scientists, in collaboration with Bush Heritage and other conservation groups, have built a world-first acoustic recording network that will change the nature of ecological monitoring forever.

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BLOG 07/01/2021

A summer fire near Naree

On Monday 28 December a fire, caused by a lightning strike from a recent thunderstorm, started on a neighbouring property to the west of Naree Station Reserve on Budjiti country in north​ western New South Wales. Thankfully, it was quickly contained.

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Drone's view of a swan's nest with eggs. Photo Roxane Francis.

BUSHTRACKS 25/09/2020

Birds of a feather

Pelicans in the driveway, thousands of kilometres from the sea…what exactly does Naree Station Reserve look like when birds come to breed?

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BLOG 24/04/2020

The biggest rains in 30 years

The rains have come to Naree, on Budjiti country in far western NSW. In fact, in March we had 116ml in a single day, which is one of the single biggest falls in the area in over 30 years. On top of that, floodwaters have been flowing in down the Warrego River and Cuttaburra Creek.

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BUSHTRACKS 17/12/2019

My happy place (Greg Carroll)

Mulga is one of those unusual plants that sheep and cattle will eat, so it has disappeared from a lot of the old cattle properties. We’ve owned Naree for seven years now — before that it was a sheep station — and we’re trying to allow the Mulga here to regenerate but it takes a long time to grow.

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BLOG 16/12/2019

Annual spring bird surveys at Naree

Good birding; important work; challenging and harshly beautiful environment; a very companionable group – the core elements of a really rewarding expedition.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/12/2019

Smart country

At Naree Station Reserve, water is as precious and rare as gold. Our job: to make sure that when the water comes – either from the sky or down the rivers – the land is ready.

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BLOG 25/10/2019

Jord's outback adventure to Naree

'Back o’ Bourke' as a metaphor for a place very far from anywhere was coined for a reason. It took an hour long flight and a four-hour drive just to get to Bourke, and then another two hours on mostly dirt roads to get to the 'back' of it – Naree Reserve. But although Naree is literally 'back o’ Bourke', it rewards those with the determination to get there with a rich experience.

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BLOG 28/07/2019

Naree - now and then

Naree, in Northern NSW, holds beauty and life in both the dry and the wet. But the wet helps us understand how well our management strategies are working. A recent visit has let me see a side of Naree that shows the life that sits dormant in between drinks.

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BLOG 26/04/2018

Back where they belong

Last Tuesday, around 30 members of the Budjiti community travelled to our Naree Reserve in New South Wales to return a collection of cultural artefacts back on country.

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BLOG 20/02/2018

Small mammal research at Naree

Natalie Caulfield recently volunteered at Naree to help Justin McCann with his PhD research. This trip involved recording the abundance of small mammals - specifically dunnarts.

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BLOG 11/10/2017

Volunteer awakening

Bush Heritage volunteering opened my eyes to a landscape that I could never have imagined. As we turned through the gate, I felt like we'd landed on the moon. We'd been driving for six hours, having refuelled at Bourke before the final 170km of dirt road to Naree Station.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

Come rain or shine

Braving monsoonal rains and searing heat, PhD student and Bush Heritage Environmental Research Scholarship recipient Justin McCann is unlocking the secrets of Naree Station Reserve.

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BLOG 21/12/2016

Volunteers answer researcher's call

Kathleen Davies and Brian Redman answered the call to volunteer at Naree Station, helping UNSW PhD student Justin McCann in his studies.

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BLOG 29/08/2016

Mulga magic

Naree and Yantabulla stations have many iconic symbols of the Australian bush, and one of the most noticeable as you drive around the two properties is 'the mulga' – silvery grey acacia shrubs and trees growing on brilliant red sandy soils.

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BLOG 27/07/2016

Endangered Ringed Brown Snake found

Our volunteer botanists, John and Vanessa Hunter, found more than interesting plants on their last visit to Naree Station in April this year – pictured is a Ringed Brown Snake (Pseudonaja modesta) encountered during a monitoring trip. Listed as an endangered species in New South Wales the snake's habitat has suffered severe fragmentation, degradation and loss, and the species on which it preys – skinks – are declining for the same reasons.

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BLOG 02/05/2016

Artesian connections

Phillip Eulo, his daughter Kiara and grand-daughters recently visited extinct artesian spring sites at Yantabulla station with Bush Heritage manager David Akers. The Eulo family are from the Budjiti people, recognised Traditional Owners of the Paroo-Warrego region, which overlays the Qld-NSW border. The site pictured is especially poignant for the family as Phil's aunty Ruby Eulo was born under a bloodwood tree at a camp on a sand hill about 500 metres from where the family are seen standing, more than 80 years ago.

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BLOG 03/07/2015

Celebrating with the Budjiti People

The Traditional Custodians of Naree Station are the Budjiti People. Their ancestral lands along the Paroo River span two states – far western NSW and over the border into Queensland. Last Tuesday was a momentous day as the Budjiti, or Paroo River People, celebrated their native title determination in Queensland over 11,000 square kilometres southwest of Cunnamulla.

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BUSHTRACKS 21/06/2015

Double the impact in outback wetlands

Through an innovative new partnership with South Endeavour Trust, Bush Heritage Australia has begun managing Yantabulla Station adjacent to our Naree Reserve. These properties sit at the heart of the Paroo-Warrego wetlands – the last remaining free-flowing river catchment in the Murray-Darling Basin.

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