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Sorry, there are no restaurants here. You still can have an excellent feed though, depending on your culinary skills and provided you bring along the makings of your own barbecue. The Parks people have kindly provided a good gas powered barbecue which is free (as is now common in Australia). Don’t forget to do the right thing and clean the hotplate when you finish, so the next users aren’t facing a mess.
With your lunch cooked, head for the picnic tables to enjoy it – and watch the various kinds of birds come by to see if they can persuade you to share it with them. Feeding the wildlife is never recommended, but I suspect most people throw out at least a few tidbits! The birds in the second and third photos are Eastern Yellow Robins (Eopsaltria Australis), a reasonably common species in forest areas, which soon arrived when we had lunch.
Also in the picnic area is a large information board (photo 4) with details of the area and maps which seem more representational than accurate! Maybe the best idea (which I would strongly recommend, in fact) is to pick up a brochure on the Monga National Park from the Braidwood Tourist Information Office – I think brochures also are available at the Visitor Information Centre in Batemans Bay.
Favorite Dish: This dining experience is about the setting, more than the table setting or the food!
Written Aug 29, 2008
Address: Monga National Park
Not all local customs are to be recommended. Let’s have another look at tree ferns. They’re very popular features in many Australian gardens. Most people buy them from garden shops or plant nurserys, where they are sold under government permits, each plant carrying an identification number.
But they can be collected by cutting the top from a happily growing tree fern in the forest, then transplanting it while keeping it moist to enable re-establishment. Taking tree ferns from the forest is illegal and the reason why nursery plants carry identification. Remember that I mentioned the “trunk” is just dead vegetable matter with the roots passing through it ? Once the top is removed, the trunk is finished. So people who remove tree ferns from the forest are destroying them in their habitat.
Sadly, at some time in the past, tree fern collectors have removed many tree ferns growing in Penance Grove, so you will see dead fallen or standing tree fern trunks with no tops. I am unsure whether this damage was caused prior to the area being declared National Park or not, but it is a crying shame and the reason this area is known as Penance Grove.
Written Aug 29, 2008