Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve

Where is it?: Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve is about 13km S of Williamstown in the Mount Crawford Forest area. It is accessible from either Watts Gully Road via Rocky Creek Road, approximately 3km from Warren Road/Forreston Road junction, or Watts Gully Road via Little Para Road, approximately 7km north of Kersbrook.

Owner: ForestrySA

Property summary: Total area 342 hectares. Hundred of Para Wirra – Sections 106, 107 and part 1111.

Landscape Management Region: Northern and Yorke

History:  The name Watts Gully is likely to have come from Mr James Watts, who in 1884 discovered gold in the area. He was a Norwegian sailor who settled in the hills west of Forreston in the 1850’s1.

Habitat: The following broad vegetation associations have been identified within the reserve:

  • Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) Woodland with an understory comprising Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Myrtle Wattle (A. myrtifolia), Flame Heath (Astroloma conostephioides), Yacca (Xanthorrhoea semiplana), Hakea (Hakea carinata), Guinea-flower (Hibbertia exutiacies), Dusty Miller (Spyridium parvifolium), Common Flat-pea (Platylobium obtusangulum) and Wire Rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma semiteres).
  • Messmate Stringybark (E. obliqua) / Pink Gum (E. fasciculosa) Woodland on the gentle slopes over a sparse to moderately dense and diverse understorey of Golden Wattle (A. pycnantha), Myrtle Wattle (A. myrtifolia), Yacca (X. semiplana), Hakea (H. carinata), Cone-bush (Isopogon ceratophyllus), Flame Heath (A. conostephiodes), Heath Tea-tree (Leptospermum myrsinoides), Coast Bush-pea (Pultenaea canaliculata ) and Wire Rapier-sedge (L. semiteres).
  • Long-leaved Box (E. goniocalyx) +/- Messmate Stringybark (E. obliqua) Pink Gum (E. fasciculosa) Woodland – Messmate Stringybark occurs both as pure stands on some north facing slopes and in a mixed association with Pink Gum. The understorey comprises Golden Wattle (A. pycnantha), Kangaroo Thorn (A. paradoxa), Myrtle Wattle (A. myrtifolia), Hakea (H. carinata), Flame Heath (A. conostephiodes), and Native Cherry (Exocarpus cupressiformis).
  • South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon) / River Red Gum (E. camaldulensis) Grassy Woodland occurs in the southern part of the reserve. 1

Total Species Recorded to Date: 66 (non-passerines 22, passerines 42)

Common Species: Superb Fairywren, Crescent Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Adelaide Rosella, Grey Shrikethrush, Striated Thornbill

Less Common Species: White-browed Babbler, Common Bronzewing, White-browed Scrubwren, Rufous Whistler, Brown Thornbill


 1  ForestrySA. 2016. Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve Management Plan. Forestry SA, South Australia. 

Updated: 28/07/2021


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