Flora and Fauna


Eden is blessed with an extensive range of trees, shrubs and wildflowers within the vast forests and National Parks which surround the town. Over a quarter of the eucalypts that grow within New South Wales can be sighted somewhere near here, and a diversity of blossoms and wildflowers can be seen during bush walks at most times of the year. Below are pictures of just a few of our more common flora.

BLACK WATTLE is the common name for a number of species of trees that are native to Australia.  (Acacia mearnsii) Black wattle flowers provide very nitrogen rich pollen with no nectar. They attract pollen-feeding birds such as wattlebirds, yellow-throated honeyeaters and New Holland honeyeaters. The protein rich nectar in the leaf axials is very sustaining for nurturing the growth of juvenile nestlings and young invertebrates, e.g. ants.

BLANDFORDIA NOBILIS, commonly known as Christmas bells or gadigalbudyari in Cadigal language, is a flowering plant endemic to New South Wales. It is a tufted, perennial herb with narrow, linear leaves and between three and twenty large, drooping, cylindrical to bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are brownish red with yellow tips. It is one of four species of Blandfordia known as Christmas bells.


Banksia integrifolia, commonly known as coastal banksia, is a species of tree that grows along the east coast of Australia. One of the most widely distributed Banksia species, it occurs between Victoria and Central Queensland in a broad range of habitats, from coastal dunes to mountains.

CORREA is a genus of eleven species of flowering plants in the family Rutaceae that are endemic to Australia. Plants in the genus Correa are shrubs to small trees with simple leaves arranged in opposite pairs, bisexual flowers with four sepals, four petals usually fused for most of their length and eight stamens.

CROWEA SALIGNA, commonly known as willow-leaved crowea, is a plant in the rue family, Rutaceae and is endemic to eastern New South Wales in Australia. It is a small shrub with attractive, pink, star-shaped flowers and is commonly cultivated.

BORONIA refers to a genus of flowering plants native to Australia admired for their strong perfumed scent and vibrant pink, white, and purple blossoms. Though there are dozens of different species, almost all share the same lush foliage and favoured growing conditions.

PATERSONIA OCCIDENTALIS – NATIVE IRIS An attractive strappy leaf perennial, it grows from an underground rhizome, making it a hardy and easy care plant. Flowering from spring through summer with purple-blue flowers held up above the foliage. The flowers only last a day but a well grown plant will produce good numbers over the season, making them worthwhile for landscaping and garden use. There are white cultivars available as well as the purple-blue. The Noongar name for this plant is komma.

GOODENIA OVATA, commonly called the hop goodenia, is a flowering plant endemic to Australia. It grows in all states except Western Australia and the Northern Territory, near the coast as well as in drier inland areas. The plant is usually a fast-growing groundcover, though upright shrubby forms also exist. As a shrub it grows to about 2 m high. Goodenia ovata has glossy green ovate (oval) shaped leaves, and yellow flowers. It flowers for most of the year, but especially from October till March.

Click here For more information on Flora and Fauna of the South Coast of NSW.  


If you choose to hike through bushland in one of our many National Parks and State Forests you are likely to come across wildlife species such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, ring-tailed possums, echidna, antechinus, dingoes and potoroos. Keep in mind that these animals, while they look cute and cuddly, all have very sharp claws.

Echidna, (family Tachyglossidae), also called spiny anteater, any of four species of peculiar egg-laying mammals from Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea that eat and breathe through a bald tubular beak protruding from a dome-shaped body covered in spines. Echidnas have beady eyes and mere slits for ears and at the end of their beaks are two small nostrils and a tiny mouth.

THE SWAMP WALLABY, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

THE RED KANGAROO is one of the most iconic Australian animals and the largest marsupial in the world. Large males have reddish fur and can reach a height of 2m, while females are considerably smaller and have blue-grey fur. Red kangaroos are herbivores and mainly eat grass.

THE BANDICOOT is an omnivore which means they can eat both plants and animals. Their normal call sounds like a bird but when they are annoyed they will make a ‘whuff whuff’ sound. The bandicoot can be a little messy when it comes to foraging for food. It’s not uncommon to see leaf litter tossed about or the odd hole in your lawn when there’s a bandicoot around.

One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, THE COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.


THE SUGAR GLIDER is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

The small, agile sugar glider is the most common glider in Australia. Similar to the squirrel glider, this nocturnal tree-dwelling marsupial has a square membrane that allows it to glide up to 90m between trees. Active at night, sugar gliders feed on insects, small birds and mammals.

With an insatiable sweet tooth, the glider seeks out nectar, tree sap and pollen for its sugar fix. Tree-top living is a communal affair, where they will often nest in tree hollows shared by other male and female sugar gliders and their young.

THE COMMON WOMBAT is a stocky Australian marsupial found in coastal forests, as well as the mountain ranges and western slopes of NSW and Victoria. With a blunt head, flat nose and powerful legs, wombats are expert burrowers, able to tunnel major warrens up to 30m in length. With sharp front teeth that grow continuously, the common wombat is well-equipped to eat a range of native tussocks such as snow grass, wallaby and kangaroo grass, and tree roots. Although quite slow and ungainly, a wombat can reach speeds of up to 40km per hour for short bursts. 

THE EASTERN BLUE-TONGUE LIZARD has a wide flattened head and a stout silver-grey body covered with blackish stripes.

Although generally a shy animal, the eastern blue-tongue lizard can put on an intimidating display when threatened, opening its mouth wide and sticking out its broad blue tongue. While these Australian animals aren’t agile, blue-tongues have strong jaws, so they can crush slow-moving prey such as beetles and snails.

The eastern blue-tongue lizard prefers open woodlands with plenty of ground cover or rocky areas.

THE COMMON WOMBAT is a stocky Australian marsupial found in coastal forests, as well as the mountain ranges and western slopes of NSW and Victoria. With a blunt head, flat nose and powerful legs, wombats are expert burrowers, able to tunnel major warrens up to 30m in length. With sharp front teeth that grow continuously, the common wombat is well-equipped to eat a range of native tussocks such as snow grass, wallaby and kangaroo grass, and tree roots. Although quite slow and ungainly, a wombat can reach speeds of up to 40km per hour for short bursts. 

Birds of Eden

With the ocean to the East, vast tracts of varied bushland in the other three directions and a full range of habitats from coastal marsh to high mountain cliffs, every type of bird that inhabits the temperate, eastern seaboard can probably be sighted somewhere close to Eden. Plus we have occasional ‘flying visits’ by the great ocean wanderers from much further south.

For those who wish to know more about the birds in this area the South Coast Birdwatchers Inc. provides publications, events, outings and details of self-guided tours of this area.

THE BELL MINER (Manorina melanophrys), commonly known as the bellbird, is a colonial honeyeater endemic to south-eastern Australia. The common name refers to their bell-like call.

WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLES can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

White-bellied sea eagles are often spotted by bird watchers in coastal regions, and sometimes around large lakes and inland rivers, throughout Australia. With powerful talons, a hooked beak and a wingspan up to 2m across, this Australian raptor is a skilled and deadly hunter. Also known as the white-breasted sea eagle, these powerful birds of prey feed on snakes, turtles, other birds and even flying foxes.

THE SUPERB FAIRY WREN, or blue wren, is named after the velvety blue and black plumage of the adult male of these unique Australian birds. A bird-watching favourite across south-eastern Australia, superb fairy wrens live in low-lying shrubs and grassy areas including coastal heath, forest understorey and urban margins. 
Both sociable and territorial, superb fairy wrens live in groups that include one adult male and a number of mouse-brown ‘jenny wrens’, which include females as well as several juvenile birds. The adolescent males have a tawny-brown colouring, similar to the female, and acquire their dazzling plumage in their first breeding year.  

THE AUSTRALIAN PIED CORMORANT, also known as the pied cormorant, pied shag, or great pied cormorant, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia.

THE RAINBOW LORIKEET is unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Both sexes look alike, with a blue (mauve) head and belly, green wings, tail and back, and an orange/yellow breast. They are often seen in loud and fast-moving flocks or in communal roosts at dusk.

CURRAWONGS are three species of medium-sized passerine birds belonging to the genus Strepera in the family Artamidae native to Australia. These are the grey currawong, pied currawong, and black currawong. The common name comes from the call of the familiar pied currawong of eastern Australia and is onomatopoeic. They were formerly known as crow-shrikes or bell-magpies. Despite their resemblance to crows and ravens, they are only distantly related to the corvidae, instead belonging to an Afro-Asian radiation of birds of superfamily Malaconotoidea.

THE EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN is an Australasian robin of coastal and sub-coastal eastern Australia. The extent of the eastern yellow robin’s residence is from the extreme southeast corner of South Australia through most of Victoria and the western half of New South Wales and north as far as Cooktown. 

During the breeding season THE ROYAL SPOONBILL develops a lush crest of white feathers, up to 200 millimetres long, which sprouts from the back of its head. During mating displays this crest may be raised and spread, revealing a patch of salmon-pink coloured skin beneath. Both sexes develop these crests, but the females’ crests are often smaller. Royal Spoonbills usually nest in simple pairs among the noisy breeding colonies of other waterbirds, such as ibis and Yellow-billed Spoonbills, and various species of egrets and herons.

THE SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER is a striking black shorebird with a long red bill, red eye and pink legs. Young birds are duller and browner. It is often seen with the similar Pied Oystercatcher and is only found in coastal areas.

There are few birds that are as familiar to Australians as the AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE. This striking black-and-white bird is, according to the experts, a large species of butcherbird. Apart from its widespread distribution — there are few places in Australia where magpies do not occur — the species’ familiarity is probably due equally to its pleasant carolling song, which is such an essential part of the Australian soundscape, and for its tendency to swoop at people during its springtime nesting season.

The raucous screech of the SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO can be heard in many parts of eastern and northern Australia. A flock of hundreds of snow-white birds with pale-yellow crests can be a spectacular sight when seen in the distance, but up close their calls can be deafening. Being a gregarious species, these cockatoos usually spend much time in flocks, foraging together on the ground (often with a few perched in nearby trees keeping a lookout for any sign of danger) or roosting together in trees.

Marine Life

The waters off the coast of Eden are rich in marine fauna.

From late September to late November each year, Humpback Whales make their annual migration southwards along the east coast, often stopping to feed in the krill rich waters of the South Coast. Other whales that may be seen in the area are Southern Rights, Blue, Dwarf Minke, and Bryde’s Whale, Orca, Pilot, Sperm and several species of Beaked Whales.

The whaling and maritime heritage of the town are celebrated each year by the Eden Whale Festival, a three day event held usually in the first week of November  during the annual whale migration.

Whales of course are not the only marine creatures that can be seen in the Eden area.  Those wishing to learn more about the marine environment of the area can visit the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

THE HUMPBACK WHALE is a species of baleen whale. It is one of the larger rorqual species, with adults ranging in length from 12–16 m and weighing around 25–30 metric tons. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviours, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time.

DOLPHINS are one of the most popular animals in the wild, with their beautiful streamlined bodies, friendly ‘smiley’ faces and intelligent behaviour.

Dolphins are the most abundant and varied of all cetaceans, and can be found in the open ocean, close to the coast in estuaries and in rivers. There are over 40 species of dolphins worldwide.

Dolphins are toothed whales and eat a variety of fish, squid and octopus. Dolphins are social creatures that live in pods of up to 12 individuals; however pods can be larger where there is an abundance of food.

AUSTRALIAN FUR SEALS can often be found basking on the breakwater at Snug Cove. They grow to a maximum length of approximately 230 cm. Dark grey-brown hairy coats, with adult females paler underneath especially on the throat and chest. Appearance varies depending on the cleanliness of animal and time since last moult. Head shape is triangular.

Eco-tourism is being considered as a future growth industry at Eden with an innovative project to invite FAIRY PENGUINS back to the town underway.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has placed recorded penguin calls at a strategic spot hoping to attract the fairy penguins which once lived at Twofold bay, back to nest and establish a colony.

And while there’s a long way to go NPWS has now recorded its first sighting of a curious fairy penguin, who has come in to see what all the fuss and noise is about.

MANTA RAYS have broad heads, triangular pectoral fins, and horn-shaped cephalic fins located on either side of their mouths. They have horizontally flattened bodies with eyes on the sides of their heads behind the cephalic fins, and gill slits on their ventral surfaces. Their tails lack skeletal support and are shorter than their disc-like bodies. The dorsal finsare small and at the base of the tail. The largest mantas can reach 1,350 kg (2,980 lb). In both species, the width is about 2.2 times the length of the body.

MARINE TURTLES, along with other turtles and tortoises, belong to the order known as ‘testudines’. They can be found in all of the Earth’s oceans except for Polar Regions. Marine turtles can live for up to 80 years and are very well adapted to their life in the sea.

Australian waters are home to six of the seven species of marine turtles found in the world: loggerhead turtle, olive ridley turtle, leatherback turtle, flatback turtle, green turtle and hawksbill turtle. Although marine turtles are found all along the NSW coast, they can be hard to spot. Due to their size, you’re more likely to see them in the water if you’re on a boat or kayak.

Check out these web sites for more information about Marine Life in Eden and NSW