Pitfalling at Scotia Sanctuary – November 2011

Close-up of a Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus levii).  We saw plenty of these gorgeous geckos.

Anyone who has read our blogs over the past year would know that we love the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Scotia Sanctuary.  Needless to say, we were excited to have the opportunity to assist during the annual pitfalling survey there in November 2011.


Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary – mammal trapping and other adventures

Close-up of a Boodie joey.

Our first stint as volunteers at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary was last summer, in often stifling conditions.  How’s 46.6 degrees sound?  Despite those conditions, and maybe even partly because of them, we loved our first stay there.

We are happy to report that our second visit, in altogether cooler conditions (in fact, often cold), was just as interesting, rewarding and enjoyable.  The main reason for this visit was for us to assist with the night-time mammal trapping, one of the many survey techniques employed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) to estimate the populations of re-introduced native mammals on the sanctuary.


Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary – a ray of hope

Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong), seen during night-time distance sampling.

Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary, in the mallee country of far western New South Wales, offers a step back in time to an era when Australia’s medium-sized marsupials hopped freely across the landscape.  Nowadays, these beautiful creatures have all but disappeared in the wild, due to land-clearing and predation by foxes and feral cats.


Blog 3 Supplement – The Story of T.A. Mathews & The Monument of Louth, NSW

The monument at sunset.

The following article was inspired by the CD “Firestone” by Tonchi McIntosh and Andrew Hull and the present-day people of Louth.  The material is derived largely from a paper written by John Huggins following the “Back to Louth” Reunion of 1985.  It also draws on discussions with Wally Mitchell, a long time resident of Louth, and material and articles provided by Shindy’s Inn. Information concerning the fate of the ship “The Great Britain” was sourced from Wikipedia.

Our experiences of Louth have been constantly blessed by a sense both of serendipity and synchronicity.  Time and again we’ve had chance encounters with people connected to the story of Louth.  The latest occurred as I prepared to upload my photos of the Louth monument, to this site.  With perfect timing, we received a kind message from Sue Huggins, a complete stranger to us, but whose research had gone into her husband John’s booklet, which formed the basis of most of the following information.  John is a direct descendant of TA and Mary Mathews.  Sue has been most generous in providing us with some early family photos, sketches and letters relating to this fascinating story about some of our pioneers.  Thanks Sue for your help, generosity and very kind words of encouragement.


Blog 3 – Outback NSW, here we come! – December 2007

View of Breadknife formation from Grand High Tops - Warrumbungles

Hello everyone.  We are sitting in our camper trailer on a cool day, writing to you from the Red Banks Conservation Park in South Australia, near Burra. It is trying desperately to rain, but so far not with any great success.  Rain would be somehow appropriate, because it was while sheltering from torrential rain at the Warrumbungles that we wrote our last blog entry.


Blog 2 – South Eastern Queensland, then we return to NSW – October 2007

Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby,  Crows Nest Ntl Pk, QLD

We’re not quite sure what happened.  We had great intentions of updating the blog more regularly after a belated first entry.  Then we blinked, and somehow nearly two months had passed!

So, where do we start.  We are writing this entry in the Warrumbungle National Park after a day of torrential rain, with rivulets running through our campsite and at times our living area. This was  followed, thankfully, by late afternoon sunshine that revealed sparkling clifftops through shrouds of mist.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves.


Blog 1 – Our Journey Begins – July 2007

Sunset on Ridge Walk, Mutawintji Ntl Pk, NSWOur first bush campsite in our Adventure Camper Trailer, at Cocoparra National Park NSW.

We’ve been on the road now for 5 weeks and felt it about time to give everyone some news about our adventures.  After a pressing time to get away from Canberra, packing and storing the house contents, re-housing our cats, finishing work, etc, etc we finally got on the road.  We were overwhelmed by the level of support we received from our family and friends before our trip and have appreciated your emails and SMS’s on our travels.  It is always great to hear from home.