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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Urmenyhazi

Unearthing Golden Wattle Facts and Sydney's Whale Migration

Updated: Apr 19

yellow flowers

In my recent course on the captivating world of bush foods, I stumbled upon some truly intriguing golden wattle facts that had remained hidden from me until now.

Guiding us through this exploration was Jake Cassar, a font of wisdom when it comes to the flora and fauna of the region. Jake’s expertise extends to the edible and medicinal treasures nestled within the Sydney region, both native and introduced. His profound understanding of these hidden gems owes much to the wisdom passed down by the Aboriginal people.

As we went on our slow-paced foray into the heart of Sydney's wilderness, Jake’s encyclopedic knowledge revealed itself with each step. Every few meters, he would pause, his keen eye unearthing yet another delectable morsel from nature.

Amidst the botanical wonders we explored, the iconic Sydney golden wattle emerged as the highlight of the day. This species, not only revered as a gold and green symbol of Australia, but also cherished for its multifaceted utility, showcased the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.

Indigenous communities across Australia harnessed the Sydney golden wattle's bounty, using a concoction of gum and honey soaked together to produce a sweet, toffee-like delicacy. The wattle's bark, rich in tannin, offered valuable antiseptic properties that proved indispensable in traditional healing practices.

Colonial settlers, too, recognized the golden wattle's worth. They cultivated it industriously, utilizing its bark in the tanning industry, its gum for crafting glues, and its blossoms for their nectar, which yielded a distinctively delectable honey.

In a captivating demonstration, Jake Cassar unveiled yet another facet of this remarkable plant. By merely mixing its leaves with water and briskly rubbing them in one's hands, the foliage frothed into a cleansing lather similar to soap.

However, it was the revelation of a time-honored Aboriginal gem of wisdom that left a mark on me. An ancient belief held that when the golden wattle adorned itself in radiant blooms, it signaled a breathtaking spectacle off the shores of Sydney - the annual migration of majestic whales.

Humpback whales, southern right whales, and occasionally, blue whales, migrate along the coast of Sydney typically during during the southern hemisphere's winter and spring months, which means you can often see these majestic creatures off the coast of Sydney from late May to early December.

Koala close-up


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