Tucked away behind Kendall is an almost forgotten green wonderland, the Big Fella Gum Forest Reserve. Under the management of the Forestry Corporation, it is neither easy to find nor to find your way once inside it. There are small decaying timber markers at ground level, marked with arrows, once red… and an occasional red tape marker, but you have to find them. We were being guided by someone who knew this rainforest and its hidden treasures.
And there were many.
Like the strange narrow plate buttresses of the Yellow Carabeens (Sloanea woollsii).
Some of these were wavy-edged, knuckled, undecided.
There were many palms here, and many vines, some as thick as the palms…
…and some so festooned with searching roots that they seemed bearded.
Surprisingly, some of the looping vines bore epiphytes, as if they were actual tree trunks.
A stunning feature tree was this ancient Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys), where the gnarly convolutions of its base denoted its age and secured its position.
Another giant was this Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) whose bark bore scorch marks but it had not burnt, being one of the most difficult timbers to ignite. Highly durable, it is much sought after for poles and wharves, as it resists marine invertebrates and termites.
Apart from the famed Big Fella Gum, once deemed the tallest tree in NSW, there were other impressive Flooded Gums (Eucalyptus grandis).
This forest is impressive in itself, keeping these mighty survivors safely ensconced in their green realm for us to marvel at today.