You are here :: Community :: Australia & Eco-Regions :: South Coast
Click here to download PDF of this article
Welcome to WA's South Coast!
The South Coast area of Western Australia is internationally renown for the diversity of its plants, animals and ecosystems. It has been recognised as one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots and has been highlighted for its significance and immediate need of protection and conservation.
A popular destination for those who like a variety in coastline and landscape, it is a naturally unique and extraordinary environment. Leave No Trace encourages a special consideration to the protection and care of all natural and cultural heritage places.
As you visit this special country, please take care to Leave No Trace!
A BIO-SECURITY THREAT!
Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil-borne organism known to cause root-rot disease of which almost half of Australian flora species are susceptible. Banksias, grass trees dryandras, leucopogons, hibbertias and many other plants of the forests, woodlands and coastal heaths and wetlands are destroyed by this form of dieback. The appearance of dead foliage is a sign of it’s progression in trees and other vegetation. An aggressive threat, it is a huge problem in the South Coast area. This vegetation loss destroys unique habitat for many mammal and bird species, which depend on the eucalypt forests and woodlands and the montane heathlands of the South Coast for their food and shelter. Phytophthora cinnamomi spreads through the transference of affected soil and invades plant roots and stems. We have spread dieback by transporting mud in our boots, tyre treads and other gear. Make sure you have checked each item and washed all mud before and after travelling through an area (even if it is not an identified affected area). Follow all directions on signage, use wash down stations where provided and avoid all known dieback areas.
DON’T GO SPREADING IT!
Check with the tourist bureau in Denmark, Albany and Esperance Visitor Centres for the most current information on all forms of activities and accommodation in the area. See website information and contact details on the back of this guide.
Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia (DEC) National Parks and Nature Reserves of the South Coast Region:
Mt. Lindesay NP, West Cape Howe NP, Torndirrup NP Waychinicup NP, Bald Island NR, Stirling Range NP Lake Magenta NR, Fitzgerald River NP, Frank Hann NP Stokes NP, Cape Le Grand NP, Cape Arid NP
DEC promotes the use of Leave No Trace principles in all of their parks. Please follow all guidelines to minimise your impact.
For more information online: www.naturebase.net
Rubbish Disposal Sites:
Visitors are encouraged to transport their rubbish back to major population centres such as Albany or Esperance. Plan Ahead by having a container and rubbish bags for storage in the back of your vehicle.
Check with DEC or the Leave No Trace South Coast Region Skills and Ethics Booklet for more area information or www.lnt.org.au/activities for specifics on minimal impact camping combined with bushwalking, 4WDriving, mountain biking, horse-riding, trail bike-riding, boating or fishing.
For more Information:
Leave No Trace Australia
P.O. Box 71, Cottesloe WA
Ph: 08 0564 8756
DEC (Dept. of Environment and Conservation)
South Coast Regional Office
120 Albany Hwy, Albany WA 6330
Ph: 08 9842 4500
Regional Fax: 08 9481 3320
District Fax: 08 9841 7105
Albany Visitor Centre
Old Railway Station
Proudlove Parade, Albany WA 6330
Ph: 08 9841 9290
Fax: 08 9842 1490
Email: [email protected]
Esperance Visitor Centre
P.O. Box 507, Esperance WA 6450
Ph: 08 9071 2330 1300 664 455
Fax: 08 90714543
Email: [email protected]
Denmark Visitor Centre
73 South Coast Road, Denmark WA 6333
Ph: 08 9848 2055
Friends of Fitzgerald National Park
Ravensthorpe Visitors Centre and Museum
Morgans Street, Ravensthorpe WA 6346
Tel/Fax 08 9838 1277
A Biodiversity Hotspot!
Due to the unique mixture of the regions geologic history and soil formation, the South Coast is home to a myriad of species of flora and fauna. This abundance in the variety of species, many of them endemic and threatened, combined with the current pressure from threatening processes has made the South Coast of Western Australia internationally recognised as one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots. We can ensure the South Coast’s bio-security by becoming knowledgeable of its threatening processes and participate in its recovery and protection.
The Western Ground Parrot is one of three endangered birds in the region. It spends its time walking on the ground, foraging for fruits and seeds. Respect this special wildlife by staying on established tracks and keeping well clear of nesting sites.
The Dibbler is a small marsupial, which until 1967 was thought to be extinct in the area. The Dibbler as well as several other small mammals such as the Pygmy Possum have declined rapidly since European settlement due to clearing of vegetation, predation by feral animals and altered fire regimes. Help protect these animals by making sure you have reduced your personal impact by following all Leave No Trace principles during your visit.
For more information on the Western Shield program which aims to protect these special creatures check online: www.naturebase.net
- Research the unique South Coast region before you travel.
- Know and follow the area's regulations and special concerns.
- Schedule your trip for off peak times and walk in small groups of 4–6.
- Prepare for isolation, weather hazards and emergencies.
- Carry and know how to use a map and compass. Have appropriate emergency equipment. (Sat. phone, EPIRB, First Aid Kit, signal mirrors etc.)
- Give a responsible friend your itinerary and notify them on return from isolated trips.
- Check that your vehicle is in good working condition.
- Check your vehicle for basic recovery tools. In an emergency don’t leave your vehicle.
- Take plenty of food and drinking water and repackage food to minimise waste. Carry some sturdy rubbish bags.
- Carry extra warm and wet weather clothing.
- Carry a small trowel for emergency toileting.
- Keep to durable surfaces which include established tracks and campsites, rock, gravel and dry grasses. (Sand dunes are not durable surfaces)
- Take care where you step and/or drive.
- Use only established vehicle access points. Park your vehicle at least 100m away from water.
- To avoid creating new impacts and reduce erosion, cross creeks at existing fords and use caution.
- Protect water sources by camping at least 20 metres from rivers and water bodies.
- Naturalise and disguise your campsite upon breaking camp.
In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing tracks and campsites. Do not create new tracks.
- Always travel on the track except if wet; then avoid mud to prevent the spread of Phtophythora dieback spores. (Phytophthtora cinnamomi) See www.dieback.org.au
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is already absent.
In natural areas:
- Carefully disperse footsteps to prevent trampling.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Stay only one night.
- “Pack it in, Pack it out.” Inspect your campsite and rest areas for rubbish and spilled food. Use sturdy rubbish bags and remove all rubbish, leftover food and hygiene products.
- When available use established toilet facilities.
- If 4WDriving, consider carrying a portable toilet.
- In other situations, carry a trowel and deposit solid human waste in cat holes dug 10-15cm deep and at least 100m from water, camp and tracks. Cover and disguise the hole when finished. Do not burn toilet paper.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 100 metres from streams and pools and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Strain dishwater and then scatter grey water.
- Carefully extinguish and carry out all cigarette butts.
- Minimise the potential spread of Phytophthora dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi) by keeping your boots and gear clean at all times. Use wash down stations where provided. See www.dieback.org.au
- Check clothing and all gear including your vehicle. Thoroughly remove of all hitchhiker type seeds before and after travelling in other areas.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not transport firewood.
- Know non-native species and report sightings of them to appropriate sources.
- Respect Indigenous art and other sites of cultural significance by seeking appropriate permission.
- Observe but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artefacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Leave nature natural. Do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.
- Check campfire regulations for where and when you are traveling. Avoid building campfires where possible. Campfires are not permitted in National Parks and Nature Reserves along the South Coast.
- Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle or gas lantern for light.
Where campfires are permitted:
- Only use established fire rings, a fire pan, or mound fires. Supervise all campfire activity as an escape can have devastating impacts on the environment and be a danger to others.
- Keep fires small. Wood is a habitat for fauna and birds. Use only small sticks that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash. Fully extinguish fire by appropriate means.
- Carefully extinguish and carry out all cigarette butts.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, and raising young.
- Know how to protect endangered area species like the Dibbler and Ground Parrot as well as many others.
- Never feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Store food and rubbish securely.
- National Parks do not allow pets. Leave them at home.
- Drive slowly and quietly. Avoid revving the engine.
- Take note of all wildlife-warning signs and be alert.
- Avoid driving at night, dawn or dusk.
- Slow down and let animals move off the track.
- Respect the wishes and regulations of all hosts like Indigenous, agricultural and government land managers as well as community locals.
- Never visit places where you have not obtained appropriate permission.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Give way to others on tracks and roads.
- Let everyone enjoy nature’s sounds. Keep noise to a minimum.
Funding for the South Coast Leave No Trace project generously provided by BHP Billiton Nickel West Ravensthorpe Nickel.
Valued contibutions made by DEC, the shires of Ravensthorpe, Jerramungup,Esperance, Albany and Denmark, and volunteer community groups and South Coast Natural Resource Management.