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Friends of Tomaree National Park

Friends of Tomaree National Park

The Friends of Tomaree National Park is a newly formed and growing community-based group of the National Parks Association (Hunter Branch), an affiliate of EcoNetwork.

We are dedicated to advancing the integrity of Tomaree National Park. We carry out regular bush regeneration, helping to manage significant weeds. We support threatened species work, undertake some wildlife surveys and care for special plantings. And we like to enjoy ourselves. All our activities within the national park are with the support and oversight from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 

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News Flash

Throughout 2024 we are Celebrating 40 years of Tomaree National Park. Yes, Tomaree turns 40 later in the year, and we’re celebrating with a range of long and short walks, wildflower walks, night walks, a celebratory picnic with varied activities, and some talks.

We are also asking community to share their most cherished features of Tomaree National Park. Read more about our celebrations and be sure to check out our activities.

When and where are our bush regen work bees?

Zenith Beach, Box Beach, Fishermans Bay, Kingsley Beach … yes, Tomaree National Park definitely has the most glorious places to do bush regeneration! 

Join one of our regular morning work bees:

Upcoming Working Bees

— in North Tomaree, in the Zenith / Tomaree Headland areas or at Box Beach, on the 1st Tuesday, 2nd Saturday and the 3rd Thursday each month.

— in Central Tomaree, around Kingsley / Boat Harbour areas, generally on the 2nd Monday or Tuesday and the 3rd Saturday each month.

— at South Tomaree/Fishermans Bay on the 1st Sunday or 3rd Tuesday each month.

Some people participate in many of the work bees at one or more localities, others try to attend one session a month. We’re happy for your help when convenient for you, regularly or casually. You’ll find more information here about when and where of our work bees and what you need to wear or bring.

Please contact Sue for North and Central Tomaree work bush regen at or Josephine for Fishermans Bay at to get involved. You do not need to be an NPA member to participate — of course you’re welcome to join.

What happens on work bees?

During our work bees we’re gradually learning the coastal native plants and weeds. We’re building a handy resource of Coastal dune plants – natives and weeds and native-weed look-a-likes.

In North Tomaree we regularly work at Zenith Beach and sometimes Tomaree Headland. 

At Zenith Beach we focus on Bitou bush, Chrysanthemoides monilifera, a predominately Autumn yellow flowerer and highly invasive shrub that out-competes native vegetation.

We’ve achieved a once-over ‘cut and paint’ of the central block between the beach access paths, from our first work bee in October 2020 to May 2021. We returned early 2022 for about five workbees removing new seedlings and managing any plants we’d missed. Our focus now is managing bitou north of the north Zenith beach access track. We’ve planted pigface to help stabilise a sand blow, and tea tree, wattle and smaller plants in Zenith’s bare dune areas where bitou bush once stood >>

<< We’ve significantly impacted Myrtle-leaf milkwort, Polygala myrtifolia, a spring-summer flower as our focus at Zenith in late 2020, along with small bitou bush, with follow-up check early 2022. Now in mid 2022, we’re tackling Myrtle-leaf milkwort and other weeds on Tomaree Headland. 

On Tomaree  Headland we’re also removing Bidens pilosa, commonly called Sticky beaks, Farmers friends or Pitch-forks, to minimise dispersal of its annoying needle-like seeds that stick in your clothes.

Over summer 2021 we reduced the prevalence of sea holly, Eryngium maritimum, a prickly weed on the strand line area and nasty to encounter with bare feet. We’re experimenting with the best way to eradicate it >>

Our group is from all over the Tomaree Peninsula, and some beyond, as we enjoy Tomaree National Park and want to give something back.

In Fishermans Bay we regularly work on the gully and beach zone nearest the visitor area. We’ve removed bitou, blackberry, agapanthus and more — we’re encouraging new plants to re-establish and developing plans to replant and regenerate this riparian zone and its beach area.

Our group is mainly Fisho locals but everyone is welcome.

Beyond the work bees, assisting with threatened species

Villous Mint-bush Prostanthera densa a threatened species, listed Vulnerable

Once widespread between Tomaree and Sydney, only a couple of tiny pockets remain in each of Nelson Bay and the Sydney area. We’re supporting this Save Our Species project (SOS) by ensuring two translocated populations planted in the park are kept free of overgrowth.  We’ve networked and shared with SOS the discovery by local naturalist, Philip Diemar, of the only known natural population in Tomaree National Park, further reinforcing the important connection between scientists and community in increasing knowledge and understanding of this species. In May 2021 we planted a small area to help regenerate this species. We’re fortunate rains followed and now we watch anxiously to monitor growth and survival.

Threatened donkey orchid surveys

We help with surveys of some of the threatened donkey orchids in the park. The Sand doubletail or Tomaree donkey orchid Diuris arenaria is an endangered species found only on the Tomaree Peninsula. We’ve also shared knowledge of another donkey orchid, Diuris praecox, listed Vulnerable, that extends the range and known habitats of this threatened species on the Tomaree Peninsula.

We hope to be involved with other interesting projects too.

We’re just beginning — come along on our journey and help in improving the integrity of our wonderful Tomaree National Park. Please contact Sue at

In the News

Past Events

As well as our regular work bees, from time to time we hold special events

Join us for Cleanup Australia in Tomaree National Park at a couple of fantastic beach sites in Tomaree — more information under ‘Special activities‘ or click on the dates below

Saturday 2 March at Box Beach
Sunday 3 March at Fishermans Bay

Saturday 29 July 2023, Morna Point (Boat Harbour) helping hand near the lookout

Around 20 enthusiastic volunteers attended our special workbee on Saturday morning 29 July around the Morna Point (Boat Harbour) lookout area and scenic walkway along the Tomaree Coastal Walk. With wow views, wildflowers and occasional whales, this was a great spot to work on the bitou and help the coastal vegetation along the rocky headland to thrive.

We spent a couple of hours removing new bitou seedlings and some larger invading bitou from this scenic spot. Thank you everyone.

Saturday 15 April 2023 The PLANTING! Rejuvenating Kingsley Headland, Boat Harbour

Check out our recent EcoUpdate article Rejuvenating Kingsley headland, highlighting the fantastic work of the Friends of Tomaree National Park and community supporters in our efforts over the last 12 months, helping repair environmental damage on the headland leading to Kingsley Beach carpark. You can also read about the plantings and their role in rejuvenating this ecosystem.

Sunday 19 February…  a Crag & Bush Care morning

Our Crag Care morning is with the rock climbing fraternity. Everyone’s welcome — climbers, bushwalkers, surfers, land carers and lovers of our rocky coasts and crags. We’ll be tackling Bitou Bush on steeper slopes and flat areas near the climbing crag.

May 2022 Bush and Beach workshop: Coastal Native and Weed look-a-likes.

Our Anna Bay workshop to learn more about our common dune plants, easily-confused native and weed look-a-likes, and some minimal impact bush regeneration techniques.

See the presentation for our Friends of Tomaree NP 2022 workshop Coastal Native Plants and Weed Look-a-likes
From the presentation we’re gradually building a resource of Coastal dune plants – natives and weeds

Rejuvenate Kingsley Headland  — Over two mornings, Friday 8th and/or Saturday 9th April 2022, approximately 40 people came along to help repair some environmental damage. Read more at A helping hand at Kingsley Headland.

May – June 2021. Bush and Coast Care Workshops; Native and Weed look-a-likes.

Workshops to learn more about our common dune plants, easily-confused native and weed look-a-likes, and some minimal impact bush regeneration techniques. See the presentation for the North Tomaree 2021 workshop Native Plants and Weed Look-a-likes

North Tomaree’s single focussed workshop on Saturday 1 May morning with optional afternoon field trip more information here

Fishermans Bay series of small workshops before each work bee, from April to June more information here.


Tomaree Biodiversity Corridor letter to Matt Kean – August 2021