To celebrate the safe end to the 2020 “Black Summer” bushfires, Richard and Trudi are offering a low-rate special for Easter 2020.
With all in our community, Richard and Trudi at Bunjaree Cottages are extremely grateful to the brave personnel of the NSW RFS, who kept our beloved Blue Mountains safe from the triple threat of the Ruined Castle fire, the Grose Valley fire, and the Erskine Creek fire. Through their efforts, we are delighted to say to the world that the Blue Mountains is open for business!
The recent rain has given a respite we all hope will last until the next fire season. To celebrate, we have a special low flat-rate offer for Easter 2020!
We’re very excited to be able to confirm something we’d suspected, but couldn’t prove: Bunjaree Cottages is home to at least one spotted-tail quoll!
The quolls aren’t endangered in NSW, but habitat loss has made them rare. Since they’re also nocturnal, sightings are even more uncommon.
Our first hint that there are quolls came in October, when a guest texted us to say “we had the pleasure of sighting a spotted-tail quoll just outside the entrance to Wattle Cottage! Ho took off fairly quickly when we opened the door … but I saw the hind and tail as he fled into the bush. Pretty amazing seeing one in the wild!”
A report is nowhere near as good as a photo, but a few days ago, a house-guest in Rosella Cottage (our residence) caught exactly that:
Thanks to @stilgherrian on Twitter for catching and posting the photograph.
The spotted-tail quoll is the largest marsupial carnivore on the mainland, and throughout Australia it’s second only to the Tasmanian Devil. They often climb trees in search of prey – often possums or birds.
We’re so happy to be able to share this news with Bunjaree Cottages’s friends and guests.
We’re coming into summer, and there’s going to be lots to do in the Blue Mountains. And even if the days are warm, the nights will still mostly be cool, and we have plenty of vacancies ahead of Christmas.
Plants with Bite and Little Shop of Horrors
December 5 to 13
Less than an hour from Bunjaree Cottages, the wonderful Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens is holding a festival of carnivorous plants from December 5 to December 13.
The festival includes plant sales, information sessions and documentary screenings.
And what better way to close out the festival than with a screening of Little Shop of Horrors on the night of December 12?
More information here.
Exhibition: Arthur Boyd, an Active Witness
At the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre until 3 January, this exhibition draws together works from the Bundanon collection to show how Arthur Boyd’s art and political life were intertwined.
“The exhibition includes works by Boyd’s contemporaries and is supported by loans from public and private collections, photographs and other documents.” More information here.
Friday, December 4
If you can take a Friday off, why not head up to the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre for the fourth Wollemi Artisan Market. It’s a curated market featuring artists and designers from the Blue Mountains, Sydney, and west of the Divide.
More information here.
December 2015 to April 2016
Bilpin (less than an hour from Bunjaree Cottages) is one of the treats of the Bell’s Line of Road, and is running its community markets through to April 2016.
More information here.
Shakespeare lovers, set aside time in January
In January, don’t forget the Leura Shakespeare Festival. This year’s festival pairs The Bard’s Love’s Labours Lost with a one-act curtain-raiser, Shakespearealism, by Australian actor and film director Josh Lawson, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Ticketing will soon commence here.
Bunjaree Cottages’ nearly-virgin bushland means there’s lots of birds year-round, but of course some of our birds are seasonal. Others we see but don’t identify, and that’s where it’s lovely to have guests that know more than we do!
Courtesy of a guest who was a keen bird-watcher, we have been able to add eleven new confirmed sightings to the Bunjaree bird list. Many thanks to Peter for his help and his keen eye! We’ll provide more information about each species in the coming months.
Buff-rumped Thornbill – a small flock was seen on the driveway, which is their usual feeding habit.
Channel-billed Cuckoo – sorry if you don’t like their habit of night-calling, but it is currently their mating season. They’re the largest brood predator in the world, according to Wikipedia.
Crested Shrike-tit – sighted on the Tea-Tree Cottage driveway.
Fan-tailed Cuckoo – A daily visitor at the moment.
Little Raven – Which we really should have listed ourselves; it’s funny how the things you see everyday escape your notice when you try to make a list!
Noisy Friarbird – Expertise from others is wonderful: we have never spotted this at all, and now we’re on the lookout!
Silvereye – Another bird it should have occurred to us to look for!
Southern Boobook – We were very pleased to have this identification. While Boobooks aren’t rare, we’re no good at identifying night-birds!
Striated Thornbill – Another one of the wonderful collection of small birds at Bunjaree. One reason they’re so hard to identify is that they don’t sit still that much, which means you have to know their calls as well.
Varied Sittella – Again: small, fast, and hard to follow!
Variegated Fairy-wren – A genuine beauty of the Australian bush, nearly as superb as the Superb Fairy-wren.
We’ve updated the Bunjaree Bird list with the new additions in the next few days. We’d also recommend the iPod app our guest used: Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe.
It is one of our great joys that we have so many avian residents and visitors, from tiny wrens to the Superb Lyrebird. And we hope that our guests agree!
We were particularly thrilled to have yet another sighting of the Gang gang cockatoo early this summer.
Bunjaree Cottages would like to thank the RFS volunteers, along with all the emergency services personnel and interstate volunteers, for their wonderful work during the recent bushfires.
Without their dedication and effort, the devastation from the three huge fires that threatened the mountains could have been so much worse.
Our hearts go out to those who have lost their homes, and we would like to direct your attention to the Blue Mountains Mayoral Relief Fund, which you can find here.
Many thanks to our friend Stilgherrian for this photo of one of Bunjaree Cottages’ more difficult-to-capture friends, the Red-Browed Finch (also known as the Red-Browed Firetail).
These are grass-feeders that like to stay near dense undergrowth so they can hide from danger. They live mostly east of the Great Dividing Range, but their territory reaches all the way around to South Australia.
They’re mostly sedentary, so there’s the chance to spot them all year around – and to hear their short, very high-pitched whistling calls.
The April school holidays will give you a great chance to say hello to the new Scenic Railway – with track upgrades and all-new carriages, in the familiar drop-into-the-unknown experience that’s made the former mining railway a Blue Mountains faviourite. More information here.
All things Argentinean are in vogue at present, it seems, and tango is no exception. As part of its acoustic music series, the Hotel Grand View at Wentworh Falls is hosting a contemporary tango concert on Saturday, April 6, featuring the five-piece group Alturas. The band will perform pieces from their debut CD, Cafe con Tango, including works by Astor Piazzolla and Pablo Ziegler. 4pm to 6pm, $25.