This is a page within Roger and Linda's Bunhybee Grasslands Web-Site.
Bunhybee Grasslands is a 49 hectare / 120 acre conservation property 35km south of Braidwood, in southern N.S.W.
You can follow through the internal links, or you may find it easier to use the Site-Map.
The story starts in the early 1950’s when my father, Raymond Spinaze, bought a block of land at what became 1 Park St, behind the sandunes in the small NSW coastal town of Sawtell.
Dad had to climb a tree to assess the views, which were stunning in all directions. East across Sailor’s bay to the island and ocean (where we later watched whales blow as they passed), south past the headland, and down a long beach, and west across the estuary to the Great Dividing Range.
He and my mother built a holiday house comprising upstairs and downstairs flats, and our family spent many holidays enjoying the virtually deserted beach, headland,estuary and rock-pools. We later took our own families to experience this special place, and spent late afternoons watching the reflection of the sunset in the estuary.
Over the years Dad was involved in establishing a reserve to protect remnant rainforest on the escarpment from being logged. That reserve eventually became the Dorrigo National Park, located here. Ray was always interested in conservation. So when my siblings and I, after much soul-searching, could finally bring ourselves to sell our Sawtell haven, I felt I had lost a patch of land that was my spiritual home, and I began wanting to buy something else.
During my life I have never wanted to buy a "holiday house", as I could see that it was often a burden rather than a joy to many people. But suddenly that seemed to change!
We first were introduced to Bunhybee at an Open Day of the Kosciosko to Coast project, held at Ingelara (south of Canberra, near Colinton), in April 2008. The Nature Conservation Trust had a stall there, with brochures advertising two properties that they had for sale. Rainer Rehwinkel was also there, and during his woodland walk I was impressed yet again with his enthusiasm for grassland ecology. I had been on a walk with him on the south-western end of Lake George a few weeks previously, and looking at the many tiny plants had been a revelation to me.
Roger and I took the brochures, agreeing between us that the blocks did not suit our requirements. If we did buy something (and at this stage I still wasn’t sure I needed to buy a "patch"), then we would both prefer woodland as we love trees. Neither of us have any botanical education, but I am a keen gardener, and one of my recent passions is wildflowers in the European alps.
The next weekend we decided to drive to Captain’s Flat for breakfast, and while we were in the area we could have a look at the two properties. At least this would give us an idea of what we wanted to buy. As we walked over the grasslands from the south side, across the Parlour Grasslands, we weren’t terribly impressed. We had no knowledge of grassland flora, and apart from kangaroo grass, we couldn’t see much to get excited about (although the black snake I almost trod on did get the heart rate up!)
We walked northwards through the grasses towards Bunhybee Hill, and on to the other property, Bunhybee Grasslands. The sun broke through the clouds, and the views were spectacular, and the grasslands looked much less boring. We were now definitely interested!
We looked at a few more properties after this, but none of them made the same impact as Bunhybee.
So we decided to go ahead with the purchase in mid-July 2008. We have had a few delays due to some adjustments in the contract, but this delay has given us time to become familiar with some grassland species, and to possibly be able to identify serrated tussock!!
We look forward to being the stewards of Bunhybee, to look after it so that "it will be preserved in its natural state, so our children’s children might enjoy nature in her ageless glory ... that succeeding generations would protect and defend these sacred areas, so that they will be subject only to the changes wrought by nature" (quote from Raymond Spinaze, Dorrigo Park Trust 1967, used in the display at the Park Centre c. 2000-2010).
This is a page within the Bunhybee Grasslands Web-Site, home-page here, and site-map here
Contact: Linda or Roger
Created: 8 November 2008; Last Amended: 31 May 2009