Project : 101 Koala Road, Gnarwarre

101 Koala Road Gnarwarre tree planting site


“Once, there would have been at least 101 koalas living in the Barrabool Hills around Gnarwarre, west of Geelong. Now there’s only a handful. Nearby the beautiful Barwon River longs for koalas to doze in its ancient Red Gums, eat their leaves, and sing through the summer nights. But she needs more of those Red Gums before koalas will return. This project will plant 4,200 koala trees, and help bring koalas back to the Barwon, hopefully, in time, in the hundreds.”

Janine Duffy, President, Koala Clancy Foundation

Location: Barrabool Hills, Gnarwarre.

Status: Complete

Total project cost: $45,000

Seeking funding for:

We are running a community fundraiser to fund this project. Help out here.

Thankyou to Fifteen Trees for a grant to help this project.

Thankyou to Oxford Pharmagenesis for supporting this project.

Number of trees/shrubs: 4,566

Size of planting site: 5.2 hectares


Female koala Pat in a River Red Gum tree


The Barwon River was once prime koala habitat, and once had a broad forest of River Red Gums hundreds of metres wide. Koalas, each of which needs thousands of trees to survive, could live in the broad river forest enjoying the sweet, moisture-rich leaves and the cool breezes off the river on hot days.

Over time the river forest was reduced to a single line of River Red Gums. They are beautiful, and delicious to koalas, but alone they are not enough. A koala would need to walk for 5km back and forth, just to get her basic food, and having done that she would have no energy left for breeding.

To restore koalas to the Barwon, we need to plant blocks of river forest as wide as we can. This project promises just that: a 300 metre wide block of forest, with Red Gums on the river, Manna Gums on the slope and a full suite of plant species beneath. Not only koalas will benefit either.

Read more about this project here.

The current river forest is not broad enough for a koala to live. But after we plant a wide block of 4,200 trees here, it might be!


What species will we plant:

Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata
Late Black Wattle Acacia mearnsii
Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon
River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Swamp Gum Eucalyptus ovata
Manna Gum Eucalyptus viminalis
Lightwood Acacia implexa
Wirilda Acacia retinoides
Black Sheoak Allocasuarina littoralis
Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata
Silver Banksia Banksia marginata
Sweet Bursaria Bursaria spinosa
River Bottlebrush Callistemon sieberi
Giant Hop Bush Dodonea viscosa
Prickly Tea-tree Leptospermum continentale
Woolly Tea-tree Leptospermum lanigerum
Heath (Silky) Tea-tree Leptospermum myrsinoides
Tree Violet Melicytus dentatus
Gold-dust Wattle Acacia acinacea
Prickly Moses Acacia verticillata
Berry Saltbush Atriplex semibaccata
Golden Daisy (Lobe-seed daisy) Brachyscome dentata
Cut-leaf Daisy Brachyscome multifida
Lemon Beauty Heads Calocephalus citreus
Common Everlasting Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Clustered Everlasting Chrysocephalum semipapposum
Small-leaved Clematis Clematis microphylla
Button Everlasting Coronidium scorpoides (Helichrysum)
Rock Correa Correa glauca
Common Billy Buttons Craspedia variabilis
Smooth Flax-lily Dianella longifolia
Nodding Saltbush Einadia nutans
Ruby Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa
Blue Devil Eryngium ovinum
Spreading Eutaxia Eutaxia microphylla var diffusa
Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata
Rosemary Grevillea Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Scaly Buttons Leptorhynchos squamatus
Wiry Buttons Leptorhynchos tenuifolius
Spiny-head mat-rush Lomandra longifolia
Minnie Daisy Minuria leptophylla
Tangled Lignum Muehlenbeckia cunnninghamii
Sticky Boobialla Myoporum viscosum
Twiggy Daisy-bush Olearia ramulosa
Tree Everlasting Ozothamnus ferrugineus
Grey Everlasting Ozothamnus obcordatus
Showy Podopelis Podolepis linearfolia
Woolly New Holland Daisy Vittadinia gracilis


What & who will benefit?

Koalas! The current river forest is only one tree wide, and just too narrow for koalas to live. But we will plant a huge 270 – 380m wide new forest, which will create a node of quality habitat, protected from edge effects, safe for many species to thrive.

Can you help? Just $10 plants a tree.


What’s exciting about this:

We hope 101 Koala Road will be the beginning of the restoration of large blocks of koala forest on the lower Barwon River. We’ve already planted one large 300m wide river block at Stonehaven – could we make a koala forest all the way to Inverleigh? We welcome other landowners in the region to join this movement.

Opportunities are available to become involved with this project as a funding partner or volunteer. Contact

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