Mount Kaputar National Park

Native vegetation

Rainforests

Areas of closed dry rainforest occur in very restricted areas of the park due to their need for extreme shelter and moist conditions. Trees include:

 

  • lilly pilly (Acmena smithii)
  • rusty fig (Ficus rubiginosa)
  • sand-paper fig (Ficus coronata)
  • hard alectryon (Alectryon subdentatus)
  • native peach (Trema aspera)
  • sweet pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum)
  • native poplar (Omalanthus populifolius).

 

Understorey species are dominated by ferns (Adiantum and Blechnum species) and dense vine growth.

Patches of dry rainforest can be found at Sawn Rocks, Yulludunida and Waa Gorge.

Dry eucalypt forests

View from summit lookout showing flowering alpine vegetation. (Image: J.Stokes/DECC)Higher than 1350 m above sea level the sub-alpine Kaputar Plateau area is dominated by an open eucalypt forest of snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), ribbon gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) and mountain gum (Eucalyptus dalrympleana), with an understorey consisting of mountain silver wattle (Acacia dealbata), blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and Coprosma hirtella. The forest floor is carpeted by a soft mantle of snow grass (Poa sieberana).

The best place to see these trees, which often reach 20-30 m high, is on the Dawsons Spring Nature Trail.

The mountain slopes from 1000-1350 m above sea level are dominated by silver-top stringybark (Eucalyptus laevopinea) and rough-barked mountain gum (Eucalyptus aff. Cypellocarpa), with an understorey similar to that in the subalpine area. This type of community is best visited around Bark Hut.

The mid-altitude slopes (800-1000m above sea level), such as in the Grattai Wilderness Area in the northern end of the park, are dominated by New England blackbutt (Eucalyptus andrewsii) or white box open forest (Eucalyptus albens).

Mountain slopes below 800m are drier and dominated by low altitude open forest of narrow-leaved ironbark (Eucalyptus cebra) and black cypress (Callitris endlicheri), with an understorey of wattles (Acacia decora, A. cheelii, A. deana) and hop bush (Dodonaea viscosa). This can be seen on the drive up to the Kaputar Plateau on the slopes below Ningadhun and Yulludunida.

Heathlands

Heaths occur in a mosaic pattern on the high plateaus and peaks and their distribution is determined by the amount of exposure to high winds and the relative depth of the very shallow soils. Heath plants include species from these genera:

 

  • Leucopogon
  • Kunzea
  • Dodonea
  • Helichrysum
  • Asterolasia
  • Mirbelia.

 

A tea-tree scrub can be found on damper, poorly drained rocky areas. Dominants include Leptospermum brevipes, Leptospermum aff. flavescens, and Kunzea aff. ambigua. The Bundabulla circuit walking trail around Kaputar Plateau will take you through some of these communities.