Nestled in the Nepean River valley in the lower Blue Mountains, Euroka campground is surrounded by virtually untouched eucalypt forest. It is a popular picnic and camping spot and one of the best places to see Blue Mountains wildlife at close range.
Eurika clearing is one of the best places to see Blue Mountains wildlife. In the past, it was well- known for the friendly mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroo that could be seen grazing at the edge of the forest almost every afternoon. Unfortunately, it appears that in recent years kangaroos have dispersed over a larger area and the sightings have become much less frequent.
Laughing Kookaburras at Euroka
Mornings at Euroka are dominated by the comings and goings of Laughing Kookaburras. Largest members of the Kingfisher family, these birds prey on snakes, lizards and small birds and mammals. They are brazen, bold and loud birds.
I found out exactly how bold when I attempted to eat a bbq lunch at Euroka. I had a piece of meat on the fork that I was holding in my hand while talking to a friend. There were quite a few birds sitting on lower branches around our spot.
Suddenly one of them was flying straight past me – I could feel the rush of air on my face as it beat its wings inches away from me. And only when the initial surprise was over, did I realize that it lifted the piece of meat off my fork. The boldness and the precision of the ‘attack’ left me duly impressed. Though, the fact that the bird continued to compete with me for my lunch – didn’t.
Nepean River walking trail
There is a trail that starts at the clearing and meanders through the forest down to the Nepean River It’s a reasonably easy 1.8km loop that desends quite steeply into Fairlight Gorge before arriving at the river, where you can take a swim. At the beginning of the trail, the vegetation is dominated by ferns and mosses which give the area an unusually primeval feel.
We saw a few birds along the trail – Superb fairy-wrens, Rockwarbler, Eastern yellow robin, and a large colony of Bell miners, which in fact were the reason for the uncommonly low diversity of birds. Bellbirds are communal breeders that aggressively defend their territory from intruders, which leads to dramatically decreased species diversity in areas of their colonies.
Eastern grey kangaroo at Euroka
As the late afternoon approaches, it is a good time to start looking for kangaroos and we were lucky to spot one. A big shaggy animal with an impressive set of biceps –clearly a dominant male was grazing in the forest.
A recent study linked the size of arm and shoulder muscles in male kangaroos to their attractiveness to females. It is as if he is saying – ‘look at me, I managed to invest so many resources into growing to this size and developing such impressive musculature because I have good genes that make me immune to sickness and infection’. And the fact that testosterone suppresses immune system makes this claim true.
Cockatoos at Euroka
The bird activity also changes in the afternoon. Kookaburras retreat into the forest and Sulphur-crested cockatoos descend on the clearing in large flocks to feed on grass seeds and to generally fool around. On closer inspection, it appears that there are a few Long-billed corellas in the flock.
A short drive from the clearing along the main road there is a well-signposted turn off to the Tunnel View Lookout. This lookout offers spectacular views of the Fairlight Gorge and the Nepean River.
Visiting Euroka Campground
Euroka Campground is located near the town of Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains. To reach it from Sydney, follow the Great Western Highway to Glenbrook and take the Ross Street turnoff. At the end of Ross Street turn left onto Burfitt Parade that will eventually become Bruce Road. Follow this road for 4.2km following the signs for Euroka campground.
Euroka comprises of five different camping areas and there are toilets, BBQ and picnic facilities provided for convenience.