Natural landscape of Waverley


Waverley's natural landscapes are dominated by rugged cliffs, sandy soils and strong salt-laden winds. Tough coastal conditions resulted in local vegetation types that are generally low-growing, hardy and drought-tolerant. The unique qualities of our sedges, heath, scrub and patches of low woodland were not valued by early settlers who struggled to grow more traditional plantings.

Our natural landscape has undergone massive change over the past two centuries, with Waverley now one of the most densely populated local government areas (LGAs) in Australia. Past development and dumping has dramatically changed the soil profile and local environments. Increased hard surfaces such as paved areas, pathways and roadways, for example, means that less water naturally enters the groundwater system and surface water, which means that our stormwater has high levels of nutrients.

The pressures of coastal development within our 920 hectare LGA have resulted in our remnant vegetation being reduced to several small patches totalling 5.8 hectares. This means we have lost over 99% of our pre-European vegetation and habitat for native animals.

You can help to conserve and restore these precious bushland remnants and habitat areas by joining a local Bushcare Group.

Where is Waverley's Bushland?

Waverley Council cares for 5.8 hectares of remnant vegetation, scattered in patches along our coastline. Council has mapped these areas, and they can be viewed by clicking here.

Waverley contains small patch of an endangered plant community Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) which is protected under Commonwealth and State legislation. ESBS in our area is located on private and public land on the western side of York Road, and within Queens Park. These areas are managed jointly by the Centennial Parkland Trust and Waverley Council.

Waverley's habitat areas

Areas such as Thomas Hogan Reserve, Waverley Park, Tamarama and Bronte Gully have had most of the remnant bushland removed, however the plants growing in these modified landscapes, such a s taller trees have created alternate habitat, and natural character.

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