So where is Kooragang Wetlands? Who looks after it?

You can see it here on Google Maps.
Access is by crossing the Hunter River using the concrete bridge at Hexham (opposite Shamrock Street and Hexham McDonald’s). Kooragang Wetlands is open to the public and is now part of Hunter Wetlands National Park, which is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Standard park regulations apply.

The Friends of the Schoolmasters House Inc. occupy the historic cottage once home to the headmaster of the local Ash Island school. Amongst the projects they are working on they are currently digitising a library of books, photos and other important material they have relating to the area’s history to make sure it is protected for the future.

Conservation Volunteers Australia occupy and manage the community garden, which was formerly part of a City Farm demonstration site. Kooragang Wetlands is also a site of value to many other conservation groups.

Hunter Local Land Services have a works facility and volunteer program and are involved in supporting revegetation and natural resource management on and beyond Ash Island.

Fantastic footage of birds at Hexham Swamp by Lene Parashou

What type of birds can you find around Hexham Swamp? Click here to see the video prepared by Lene Parashou, it is well worth watching.
Also, here is a list of all the birds featured in the video (by order of appearance). ←

Volunteer Newsletter Archive:

We have Volunteer Newsletters (going back over ten years) that are now available in the Volunteer Newsletter Archive for you to discover. ←
If you are interested in learning more about KWRP’s history, our newsletter is a good place to explore!

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Events from 2016:

Visitors enjoyed a fun filled day out on 17th April with free activities for all ages, including: mangrove boardwalk tours, fishing clinics, reptiles and native animals, weaving workshops, kids craft and activities, horse and cart rides, live music, facepainting, island bus tours, and more.
Check out our Events from 2016 page for more photos. ←


Learn more: Flying for your life

“Millions of shorebirds fly between Australasia and the Arctic every year. They navigate over oceans using stars and magnetic fields, they sleep with half their brain at a time while they’re on the wing. But for some of them, this will be the last…”
Find out more about the migratory species that gather and feed in the saltmarsh and mud flats of the Hunter Estuary. ←

Hunter Landcare Links – A monthly update into Landcare news across the Hunter:

Hunter Landcare Links was a monthly update provided by Hunter Local Land Services that offered updates on Landcare news in the Hunter region. It gave information about recent and upcoming events and also highlighted grant and funding opportunities within the Hunter.
Find out more by joining the Hunter Local Land Service mailing list or by looking through previous issues on our website. ←


Marine Debris Clean-ups:

There were several marine debris clean-ups in 2016 to prevent debris from entering our waterways and ocean.
To find out more about them, have a look at our Marine Debris page. ←


Events from 2015:

Budding photographers of all ages were invited to enter the Shorebird Snapshot Photography Competition 2015, which ran 15-22 November.
The inaugural competition aimed to highlight the importance of Stockton Sandspit, a vital habitat for migratory shorebirds which fly across the globe every year to spend the summer in the Hunter. If you are interested in learning more, click here to see the Events from 2015 page. ←

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What is the Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project?

The Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project (KWRP) covers 1590 hectares on three sites in the Hunter River estuary adjacent to a major port and industrial complex as well as a large urban area (Newcastle) in New South Wales. One of the largest active coastal rehabilitation projects in Australia,  KWRP was initiated in 1993 to compensate for the loss of fish, shorebird and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter estuary caused by 200 years of draining, filling and clearing. The wetlands feature expanses of mangrove and saltmarsh, and in non-tidal areas, riparian woodlands, remnants of lowland floodplain rainforest and ephemeral, freshwater wetlands.
KWRP focused on adaptive ecosystem management.


Out and About:

Find out about some of the interesting projects and experiences we have been involved in, are watching with interest, or are impressed by.
If you would like to find out more, visit the Gallery page by clicking here. ←


Marine Debris:

The Marine Debris Video Challenge is well worth checking out.
See how six high schools from the Throsby Catchment Area bring attention to the serious issue of rubbish in our waterways and ocean here. ←

Marine Debris Video Challenge

Orchids of the Hunter Region:

Over 150 orchid species were found while collecting orchid specimens from the Hunter Region for the herbarium at the Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney. Elisabeth Burton has been a life-long naturalist; a botanist, bushwalker, photographer and bush regenerator.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Orchids of the Hunter Region, click here. ←

Butterflies and Bushland:

Butterflies and Bushland is a 124 page illustrated guide to the butterflies of Ash Island, the first edition in 2011, second edition in 2018. Copies of the illustrated guide can be purchased  in the Schoolmaster’s House on Ash Island and at MacLean’s Booksellers .
It was written and compiled by Julia Brougham and illustrated by Rosie Heritage.
If you are interested in finding out more about the guide, click here. ←


History of the Hunter Estuary:

The history of the Hunter River estuary is the history of the Kooragang Wetlands.
For more information on the History of the Hunter Estuary, click here. ←


Our vision, aims and objectives:
Our vision is for an estuary in which healthy, restored fisheries and other wildlife habitat is in balance with a thriving port, the whole providing opportunities for research, education and recreation for people. Our aims are:

  • To help redress the loss of fisheries, shorebird, threatened species and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter Estuary due to clearing, draining and filling over the past 200 years by conserving, restoring and improving Kooragang Wetlands for nature conservation.
  •  To link applied research to wetland management and develop complementary opportunities for research, environmental education, recreation and nature-based tourism and demonstrate that local industry and conservation can work together for their mutual benefit.