I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published December 16th 2019
Flowers and Fauna
The vibrant wings of the little butterfly are quite beautiful against the backdrop of pink, blue and yellow blossoms. It flits between the flowers stopping momentarily on one then fluttering on to the next using the light breeze to work its way across the garden. I follow it with the camera lens and finally capture an image as it pushes its delicate proboscis into a tubular flower.
The gardens at Carrick Hill are just one of the many attractions this glorious, early twentieth-century property, has to offer. At the time of writing, the house is being renovated and will not be open until mid-2020. However, the grounds including bushland, formal gardens and various other historical areas are currently open on weekends and public holidays. There is no entry cost.
Near the stately mansion, there is a small kiosk that sells a variety of drinks and snacks. A group of Australian Magpies is strutting along a dry stone wall that serves as a boundary between a small rotunda and some garden beds. Luckily people are not feeding them scraps but an older woman notices me taking some pictures and informs me that there is a nest in the scrub near the car park. I duly take a stroll in that direction and locate the nest with an adult bird just visible incubating a clutch of eggs.
The building itself supports a range of wildlife from Swallows perching along the eaves as they pause their aerial dogfights after insects to some Ravens that seem to have chosen the chimneys as their own personal vantage points.
On my way back to the car I take the back route through a lovely water garden complex towards the small dam that sits amongst the scrub. There are both Eurasian Coots and Maned Ducks on the dam and a pair of the ducks are feeding between the rusted skeletons of farm machinery that serve as a kind of artistic reminder of days gone by. Above them I can see a pair of White Cheeked Rosellas feeding on eucalyptus blossoms. A nice way to end my walk around Carrick Hill's glorious gardens.
Additional notes This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, and parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly. There is wheelchair access to the main house that overlooks the gardens.