Original Landscape

Kooweerup Swamp

Natural Flora and Fauna

Native Species Photo Collection

Clyde and Cardinia Creeks

Railway Cutting and Bridge

Hawthorn Hedges

Cyprus and Pine Groves


History for Students

Land Features
Flora and Fauna - Early Descriptions

Early description of native animals and birds by Thomas Patterson son of Alexander Patterson.
The district abounded in game. Wild duck, quail, and snipe were plentiful, and there were other birds in great variety. kangaroos, opossums, native cats, “bears” and bandicoots were numerous, the opossums being the staple food of the blacks. Dingoes haunted the tea-tree scrub, and their howling was often heard at night. There were a great many snakes, particularly in the creek flats, and it was strange that that more stock were not lost from snake-bite. Wildflowers grew in profusion in the springtime.
Thomas Patterson Australiasian Post, December 24, 1932

Public Lecture About Australian Aborigines.
Thomas Patterson,
(I was ) very often about with the blacks, the vicinity of our station home in Westernport being a favourite camping grounds of the Boonerang tribe, with the result of learning a good deal of their tribal dialect, and gaining some knowledge of their customs and legends, of all of which it is now my -very great regret not to have acquired much more. At this stage of my life many wildflowers come under my notice, and in association with eerie surroundings awakened in me an indefinable way-, a sense of the weird and elusive spirit of the bush, which was destined later on under varying conditions again and again to hold me completely enthralled.

Such was the atmosphere of the favourite and much frequented portion of the territory of the Boonerong tribe and if the spirit of bush so intrigued and effected one of the white race, is it to be wondered (?) at that the untutored primitive blacks has stranger notions in relation to magic and mystery, as well as quaint traditions and superstitions as they unquestionably had. My earliest recollection of the tribe and it is marvellous how vividly one retains those old
time impressions mine right back to my being taken out for a walk along the timbered ferny ridge below the stockyards, when little more than a mere toddler, past the mia mias of about 20 or 30 of the blacks of which at that time I was somewhat afraid.

Jimmy made a boomerang for me from the cross (?) branch of a cherry tree growing on the bank of the billabong near his camp

The ordinary grey opossums (wallart) was very plentiful in their tribal territory, so the blacks never lacked food, and the little tea and sugar they occasionally received was not much missed from the station stores in those good old days"
Presented at the Royal Victorian Historical Society about 1931 by Thomas Patterson

Native Bird Sanctuary in Clyde
The Twyfords owned two properties of several hundred acres in size at Clyde. The one at Clyde Township was called “Hiltonwood” opposite the railway station and “Mallambool” called Aboriginal for reedy waterhole, abutting the railway line as it climbed up the Clyde Bank (banked up earth that lessened the gradient for the railway line). The “Hiltonwood” land had many trees and around the boundary fences were notices reading “Sanctuary for native birds”
Letter from Eric Thomas

Native plants and flowers may still be found on roadsides and along the disused railway line. In cases where market gardens have extended beyond their properties to roadsides native vegetation has been destroyed.

Endangered Species
Maroon Leek-orchid
(Prasophyllum frenchii)
Swamp Everlasting
(Xerochrysum palustre)

Wildlife observed by early settlers
  bandicoot native cats wild duck dingo koala
  lizard grey possum ringtailed possum stubble quail snipe
Vegetation observed by early settlers
  ferns kangaroo grass native cherry sheoak wattles
  heath lightwood peppermint gum tea tree wildflowers
  honeysuckle manna gum      
Wildlife observed in Clyde in 1950's
  crane echidna kookaburra tawny frog mouth water fowl
  egg and bacon plant ibis magpie starling pink heath

Readers- Please send your observations to the editor to be included on this page.

Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne
The most excellent resource on native wildlife, plant, reptile, mammal, and birds
Teachers' Resources ( Highly recommended)
Fauna in Cranbourne area

Further Reading:
City of Casey: Clyde is in the Inidgenous Plant Zones of 3 and 4
1. Indigenous Plant Guide

1. Digitised newspapers - The Argus, South Bourke and Mornington Journal 2. Articles by Thomas Patterson, son of Alexander Patterson . Australiasian Post, December 24, 1932
3. Sherwood Map 1857
4. Personal letter from Eric Thomas September 20, 2010

5. Thomas Patterson: From lecture notes.

With gratitude we acknowledge the traditions of the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation who cared for the land and preserved its flora and fauna.