North Head Sanctuary Foundation
is working with Government agencies
towards the establishment of
Car-rang-gel Sanctuary
on North Head
at the gateway of Sydney Harbour
- a flagship for Australia's
environmental resolve
and a celebration of
our natural and cultural heritage.
Car-rang-gel Sanctuary on North Head, Sydney
Aboriginal Heritage
Car-rang-gel Native Plant Nursery

1. Our beginnings
2. What we do?
3. Where the plants go that are raised in the nursery?
4. Providing protection for bandicoots

5. Join us

Our beginnings

North Head Sanctuary Foundation agreed with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust a Business Plan for Car-rang-gel (North Head) Native Plant Nursery for propagating North Head species that can be used for bush regeneration in the Sanctuary and nearby areas.

The Nursery Group is a part of the North Head Sanctuary Foundation. We are a group of volunteers, working with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to improve the grounds of the North Head Sanctuary.  

Much of the Sanctuary is Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS), an endangered ecological community, and we aim to showcase in particular the plants that belong in the ESBS. 

The group started by constructing the nursery itself, and started propagating in February 2009..

This is the former truck wash-down area.  The bays inside the concrete block
walls have been
enclosed with wire-mesh and shade-cloth for use as a Nursery.

The Nursery construction was undertaken by volunteers under guidance from a licenced builder. As you can see, seedlings and plants are now growing in the nursery.

What do we do?

* Collect seeds – we have a licence to collect within the North Head Sanctuary

* Prepare and grow the seed material

* Collect and grow cuttings – some plants are not easy to grow from seed

* Grow the material on until it is ready to be planted out

* Prepare areas for planting

* Plant in the areas agreed with the Trust

* Plant out

* Weed as necessary

* Maintain our planted stock

* Maintain the nursery

* Keep a record of what we do

* Tackle challenges – plants that we find difficult to propagate for one reason or another

* Enjoy working at North Head

* Get great satisfaction when plants that we have grown start to bloom

Where the plants go that are raised in the nursery?

Where are we planting?

We source material from all over the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust North Head site, and plant in a number of locations. 

Check them out as you walk around the site:

1. Opposite the nursery and semi-circle to the north of that area

2. North Fort

3. Beside the gym

4. Steep bank to the south of Building 1

5. Scenic Drive road edge

6. Berm along Scenic Drive

7. Gunners Road carpark

8. Oval – bandicoot habitat

Here are some photos of the progress of planting out opposite the nursery.

The view opposite the nursery at the end of 2009 before planting began.

The grass was poisoned, the mulch arrived and volunteers spread it around.

Volunteers planted seedlings that had been grown in the nursery.

By 2011, the area looked like this. 

By mid 2012, the protective plastic surrounds were no longer needed and the trees were well over an adult's head.

Providing protection for our Long-nosed Bandicoots

There is an endangered population of long-nosed bandicoots at North Head.

We have been working with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and Australian Wildlife Conservancy to develop some “vegetative links” - small areas of dense foliage where the bandicoots can take refuge, forage and hopefully soon start to nest.

Producing these links means that the bandicoots can forage in the mown grass and mulched areas and never be far from a safe haven.

Our first area was planted early in 2010 – the photo shows two volunteers planting out the bandicoot refuge and putting a protective mesh around it. By early 2012 the area was thriving, the protective mesh had long since been removed and the bandicoots were using the area for refuge and to forage.

We are trialling a number of different plants for these links, but we do already know that they love to forage under the Acacia longifolia which are fast growing native trees that we have planted near the refuge circles. The plants shown in this circle are mostly Lomandra longifolia which is also a relatively fast-growing native plant.

In the photo to the right you can see the same area in early 2012 with the
Lomandra longifolia already offering a hiding place for bandicoots and some of the surrounding grass has been removed and replaced with leaf litter and new plantings.


Invitation to join us

We, in the Nursery group together those who help with weeding and planting, enjoy what we are doing and can see that our work is having a positive impact in the surrounding environment.

If you would like to join us, call Toni Stevenson 9948 8448 or

We normally meet Tuesday and Friday mornings, but we sometimes have weekend sessions.

Aboriginal Heritage
North Head Sanctuary Foundation, P.O.Box 896, Balgowlah, NSW 2093


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