Welcome …. to the natural jewel of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Mary Cairncross Scenic reserve comprises hectares of subtropical rainforest, overlooking the Glass House Mountains National Landscape. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the Reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which will delight with its tranquillity and beauty. Take a journey through 144 million years in the Rainforests Through Time diorama, walk a long our rainforest tracks, enjoy a picnic or barbecue, or relax at the cafe.
FLORA: The Reserve is a rich remnant of subtropical rainforest which once covered much of the Blackall Range. Plant diversity has changed little despite some logging for the prized red cedar early last century.
Home to an impressive range of flora – more than 100 tree species have been recorded in the rainforest. These include red cedar, black bean, and towering strangler fig trees, many covered with vines.
Piccabeen palms dominate in wet areas while the understory features a diverse array of shrubs, herbs, palm lillies, ferns, orchids and palms. Fungi, lichens and mosses decorate decaying wood on the forest floor.
The rainforest contain two wetland areas and a remnant of ecotonal forest, indicative of a drier past. A number of old flooded gums survive from this era.
FAUNA: A diverse range of wildlife thrives in the Reserve. More than 100 bird species are found including the paradise riflebird, regent bowerbird and noisy pitta. The critically endangered Coxen’s fig parrot was also reported. There are also many mammals and nocturnal marsupials including sugar gliders, red-legged pademelons and echidnas. Carpet pythons, southern angle-headed dragons and green tree snakes are among the many reptiles in this sanctuary.
A colony of rare mountain freshwater crayfish (Euastacus urospinosus), only found in the Blackall and Conondale Ranges, live in burrows in the muddy creek bank. The diverse insect life includes the beautiful Richmond birdwing butterfly and the endangered Southern pink underwing moth. Spot the burrows of the giant earthworm by the supply of leaves protruding from the entrance, while the hinged door of the primitive trapdoor spider can also be found among tree roots.
After spring and summer rains, the calls of the great barred frog, striped marsh frog and the red-eyed tree frog can be heard.
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