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Prized headland not just a pretty place

Pretty Point is a tranquil spot in the middle of suburbia, and perhaps that’s why so many people hold it dear. Just south of Malua Bay, the 7.5 hectare headland has been prized by the surrounding community for decades.

In the late 80s a group of willing workers from the surrounding neighbourhood banded together to transform Pretty Point from a barren dumping ground into an oasis for nature and people; offering walking tracks, bird and whale watching, and picnics with an ocean view.

Sheila Box is a long-time local and current coordinator for the McKenzies Beach Landcare group and would often walk out on the headland “to dream”.

“Our original vision was to create a haven for birds and animals, a place where the trees being planted would one day be full of life,” said Sheila.

“We had the reserve closed to vehicles and got started tackling the blackberry, with helpers coming from as far as Canberra to lend a hand. There was also early help from our neighbours from Lilli Pilli/Malua Bay Landcare.”

Unfortunately, the headland haven was hard hit by intense bushfire on New Year’s Eve, with almost all vegetation lost. Just a few eucalypts still stand, bright green leaves bursting from blackened trunks – a last testament to the visionary community who planted them 30 years previously.

Now seedlings are emerging through the ash.

Sheila said the McKenzies Beach Landcare group would again pick up their tools and restore the natural haven of Pretty Point, with funds recently provided from Landcare Australia’s Bushfire Recovery Program. They will focus on replanting vegetation that provides food and habitat for endangered species in the area, installing nest-boxes for shelter while the headland recovers, and assisting specialists contracted to control the many opportunistic weeds that have erupted from barren earth.

Sheila knows the reserve will again be a pretty as a picture, and she still walks out to the point to dream.

“Even though it’s burnt, there are still nooks and crannies where you can find beauty, and quiet, and enjoy the view.”

For more information on the Pretty Point restoration project contact Eurobodalla Council’s Landcare Coordinator Emma Paytus on 4474 1000 or

Above: Eurobodalla Council’s invasive species coordinator Paul Martin with Sheila Box of McKenzies Beach Landcare group at Pretty Point.

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