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Watching over our rehabilitation sites.
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Our rehabilitation sites

Two sites being restored to their former natural beauty for our guests to enjoy

At Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat we regard the protection of our unique ecosystem as an important environmental opportunity – hence our ongoing investment in to restoring the site to its natural flora and fauna for future generations of Australians and overseas visitors alike.

On the Retreat is an area of land degraded by agricultural activity prior to 1967 and then left to the weeds – which is now undergoing rehabilitation and development. So far we have planted over 1000 native rainforest trees endemic to this area, including some threatened species that thrive on this property.

This area will extend the present facilities of the Retreat with additional cabins proposed to be constructed in two separate locations:

  • Mountain site – 4 more Luxury Mountain View Lodges
  • Fruit orchard site – 2 lodges

Please note that at present there is no construction activity at the Retreat.

  • 132 flora species were recorded at the site.
  • 1 threatened flora species, the Green-leaved Rose Walnut (Endiandra muelleri ssp. bracteata) was recorded within the Mountain site.
  • 2 threatened flora species, the Red Bopple Nut (Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia) and Fine-leaved Tuckeroo (Lepiderema pulchella) were also recorded but were in areas that will not be affected by the proposed development.
  • Other threatened species located on the property include a Davidson's Plum (Davidsonia pruriens) which has been propagated in the past rehabilitation of the site.
  • 2 ROTAP species (Briggs & Leigh 1996) were recorded: Blunt Wistaria (Milletia australis) along with the Long-leaved Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis newmanii).

Vegetation communities present on the site

Five vegetation communities were identified on the site:

  1. Scattered trees (Acacia melanoxylon)
  2. Tall wet sclerophyll forest (Lophostemon confertus)
  3. Mid-tall closed Rainforest (Geissois benthamii)
  4. Orchard
  5. Tall sclerophyll woodland (Lophostemon confertus)

Community 1 – Scattered Trees (Acacia melanoxylon)

Location and area

This community occurs in the centre of the Mountain site and is where the four new lodges will be built. Community 1 covers an area of approximately 1.7 hectares


This community has been highly disturbed. The area has been used, in the past, to grow bananas and then left to the weeds for about forty years – to be covered in thick Lantana.

The isolated trees are predominantly Blackwood wattle (Acacia melanoxylon), with scattered occurrences of Red carabeen (Geissois benthamii), Macaranga (Macaranga tanarius) and Red cedar (Toona ciliata). The ground cover is comprised predominantly of bare ground as a result of recent large scale Lantana removal.

Significant species

No significant species were recorded in this community but we did discover two huge Red Cedar trees which was a real bonus.

Conservation status

This vegetation community is not considered to be analogous with any of the Forest Ecosystems described by the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA). The conservation status of this community is considered to be low due to the level of disturbance in the past.

Community 2 – Tall wet sclerophyll Forest (Lophostemon confertus)

Location and area

Areas of closed forest dominated by Brush box (Lophostemon confertus) occur throughout the site. The most significant areas occur in the south of the Mountain site and on the south-eastern portion of the Orchard site.


This community consists of a Brush box/rainforest canopy with the emergent Flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis), the midstorey consists of Red carabeen, White bolly gum (Neolitsea dealbata) and Guioa (Guioa semiglauca). The ground cover is comprised of Bracken fern (Pteridium esculentum), Lantana, Basket-grass (Oplismenus aemulus) and Mistflower (Ageratina riparia).

Significant species    

Two ROTAP species were also located within this vegetation community - Blunt wistaria (Milletia australis) and Long-leaved tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis newmanii).

Location and area

Areas of closed forest dominated by rainforest species occur throughout the site. The most significant areas occur in the north of the mountain site and on the north western portion of the orchard site.


The canopy of this community consists of a mixture of rainforest species. Red carabeen is dominant, with Bangalow palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), Macaranga, Native tamarind (Diploglottis cunninghamii), Guioa and Foam bark (Jagera pseudorhus) also occurring.

Smaller trees and shrubs that comprise the mid-story include Green bolly gum (Neolitsea australiensis), White Bolly gum, Scrub turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens), Common lilly pilly (Syzygium smithii), Coffee bush (Breynia oblongifolia), Red kamala (Mallotus philippensis) and Rose myrtle (Archirhodomyrtus beckleri).

The groundcover layer includes areas of Lantana, Bracken fern and Mist weed, with regenerating rainforest species. Common climbers include Burney vine (Trophis scandens), Snake vine (Stephania japonica), Climbing guinea flower (Hibbertia scandens), and White passionflower (Passiflora subpeltata).

Significant species

One (1) threatened species, Green-leaved rose walnut (Endiandra muelleri ssp. bracteata) was recorded within this community. This species is also listed as being significant (Sheringham & Westaway). Two (2) stems of the Green leaved rose walnut (Endiandra muelleri ssp bracteata) were found, one of the stems has a height of 2.5 metres.

Three (3) ROTAP species were also located within this vegetation community - Blunt wistaria (Milletia australis), Smooth scrub turpentine (Rhodamnia maideniana) and Long-leaved tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis newmanii).

Community 4 – Fruit orchard

Location and area

The fruit orchard covers an area of approximately 0.9 hectares and is located approximately 400m to the south-east of the main office. The site has a north-easterly aspect.


This community is comprised of grass and various fruit trees including mango, blueberry and lemon, other citrus and avocados.

Significant species

There are no threatened or ROTAP species that occur within this community. No significant species were identified.

Conservation status

This vegetation community is not considered to be analogous with any of the Forest Ecosystems described by the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA). The Tweed Vegetation Management Strategy (TVMS) (Kingston, Turnbull & Hall – 2004) classifies this vegetation type as an exotic plantation.

The conservation status of this community is considered to be low.

A search of the NPWS database revealed 26 threatened flora species within 10km of the subject site. Whilst not many of these threatened species were found in the immediate new development site due to the past agricultural disturbance, some of these are common on other parts of the property. We actively propagate and source local varieties of these threatened trees and plant them out in our reafforestation programs. These species are:


Common name

Botanical name

Ball nut Floydia praealta
Bog onion Owenia cepiodora
Border mallee Eucalyptus microcodon
Brush cassia Cassia brewsteri var. marksiana
Davidson's plum Davidsonia jerseyana
Durobby Syzygium moorei
Fine-leaved tuckeroo Lepiderema pulchella
Floyd's walnut Endiandra floydii
Green-leaved rose walnut Endiandra muelleri subsp. bracteata
Hairy quandong Elaeocarpus williamsianus
Isoglossa Isoglossa eranthemoides
Marblewood Acacia bakeri
Onion cedar Owenis cepiodora
Ravine orchid Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii
Red bopple nut Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia
Red lilly pilly Syzygium hodgkinsoniae
Red-fruited ebony Diospyros mabacea
Rough-shelled bush nut Macadamia tetraphylla
Rusty plum Amorphospermum whitei
Rusty rose walnut Endiandra hayesii
Small-leaved hazelwood Symplocos baeuerlenii
Small-leaved tamarind Diploglottis campbellii
Southern fontainea Fontainea australis
Southern ochrosia Ochrosia moorei
Spiny gardenia Randia moorei
Yellow satinheart Bosistoa transversa

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