Located just off the Pacific Highway, 20 minutes north of Taree, Cattai Wetlands has been described as a ‘hidden gem in our Valley’. Cattai is a beautiful coastal wetland that provides a sanctuary for over 180 different species of birds, kangaroos, wallabies and goannas. The wetlands are recognised as an international bird watching spot.
As well as the environmental values of the site, we are also keen to promote the educational and recreational values of the wetlands and its potential as a regional tourist attraction. A range of visitor facilities have been built on the site including toilets, car parking, boardwalks, viewing platforms and interpretive signage.
Once farmland suffering the effects of acid sulfate soils, land clearing and weeds, we purchased the property in 2003 to restore the natural beauty and ecological value of the wetlands.
While the primary goal was on improving the water quality of the Manning River through the remediation of acid sulfate soils, a range of other environmental benefits have also been achieved including the rehabilitation of coastal wetlands and other endangered floodplain communities.
Through extensive plantings and weed control, Cattai Wetlands now also provides an important habitat link between Crowdy Bay National Park and the Lansdowne escarpment. All this has been achieved in partnership with various organisations and government agencies, the indigenous community, green groups and community volunteers.
Three walking tracks are available including a 2km stroll around the wetlands, a ramble through coastal blackbutt forest and a short hike to the look out on Spring Hill, where you can see as far south as Cape Hawke, Crowdy Head to the east and the Three Brother Mountains to the north. A self-guided walk is available around the wetland loop with the help of markers and a brochure, which gives information on points of interest along the way.
Keep an eye out for the unusual Bladderwort species, an aquatic carnivorous plant that captures insects in its vacuum-like bladder trap, as well as the endangered Giant Dragonfly, which has a wing span of up to 13cms.
With 500 hectares now secured for future generations and the project hailed a success, we are very proud to be able to share these wetlands with the community for their enjoyment and exploration. The map above shows the location and extent of the wetlands.
Spring Hill Road, COOPERNOOK 2426 View Map