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Environment

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Vegetation

There are three main vegetation types within the park:

  • Soap Mallee - featuring a sparse understorey, with Moonah (Melalueca lanceolata), Coast Beard Heath (Leucopogon parviflorus), Common Correa (Correa reflexa) and Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) being some of the main species. Isolated pockets of Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) occur throughout the park with the invasive Coast Wattle (Acacia longifolia var sophorae) providing cover in more open patches of ground.
  • Heath – consists mainly of a sparse canopy of Coastal Daisy (Olearia axillaris), Coast Beard Heath and Coast Everlasting (Helichrysum paralium) with Silver Banksia and Common Correa forming a very dense ground layer.
  • Wet Heath - dominated by the Dwarf Sheoak (Allocasuarina pusilla) along with other less dominant species such as Prickly Tea-tree (Leptospermum juniperinum), Bushy Needlewood (Hakea sericea), Flame Heath (Astroloma conostephioides), Silver Banksia and Chaffy Saw-Sedge (Gahnia filum).

Areas of Grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea australis) occur between the Soap Mallee and Wet Heath communities.

Apart from the rare Soap Mallee, Cape Nelson contains several other rare or vulnerable plant species, including:

  • Coast Ground-berry (Acrotriche cordata)
  • Mountain Daisy (Oxide achellaeoides ssp. arenicola)
  • Drooping Velvet Bush (Lasiopetalum schulzenii)
  • Bog Sedge (Schoenus deformis).

Animals

Native animals include rare and threatened species such as:

  • Heath Mouse (Pseudoomys shortridgei)
  • Swamp Antechinus (Antechinus minimus)
  • Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyornis broadbenti).

More common animals found include:

  • Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)
  • Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

Many bird species also frequent the park including wrens, honeyeaters, rosellas and Bronzewing Pigeons. They are particularly noticeable during spring when the rich smell of Soap Mallee nectar is in the air.

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