Gloucester Environment Group explores the Copeland gold mine

The Gloucester Environment Group explored all the hidden treasures within the Copeland Tops rain forest. Photo supplied

The Gloucester Environment Group explored all the hidden treasures within the Copeland Tops rain forest. Photo supplied

For our May walk, the Gloucester Environment Group (GEG) asked the Gloucester Visitors Information Centre (VIC) to arrange one of their Copeland Hidden Treasure tours before we explored the trails of Copeland Tops State Conservation Area.

The tour was ably led by volunteers Peter Maddox and Rachelle Worth.

It was fascinating to learn the history of the mine, to imagine the regenerating rainforest area as a busy mining town and the hardship of the miners searching for gold on their leases.

Gold was first discovered in 1875 by the cedar cutters harvesting the red cedar trees.

We peered into the darkness of a mine entrance, home to the Eastern Bentwing Bat.

The spider living behind his round trap door stayed hidden, as did the endangered stuttering frog.

However, we walked among their rainforest habitats and saw the long domed nests of the yellow throated scrub wrens delicately hanging on the ends of fine branches, safe from any snake marauders.

It was impressive to see the conservation efforts made to preserve our history, and our flora and fauna.

After the tour most of us walked the Hidden Treasure Trail to the giant fig tree.

Sadly, it had lost its top to the winds but it was a lovely spot to eat our lunch before six of us climbed up and up to 600 metres and the open forest on the Basin Loop Trail.

It was there we saw the rare Craven Grey Box trees, as well as groups of grass trees, before we descended down the Old Copeland Road leafy track towards the car park.

It was a perfect day, so do join a tour through the Gloucester Visitors Centre, or join the Gloucester Environment Group on their next walk to the Barrington Tops Plateau. Contact Alison Lyon on alisonlyoninoz@hotmail.com or 0409 718 795 for more information about the GEG walk.

Did you know?

Copeland Tops State Conservation Area is home to the most accessible tract of rare dry rainforest in the Gloucester district, It offers walking tracks, picnic areas, birdwatching and guided tours at the historic mine.