The conservation area contains alluvial flats associated with Sportsman Creek. These are poorly drained and include a series of freshwater back swamps, lagoons and flood-outs. Adjacent to Sportsman Creek the flats contain riparian forests identified as Forest Red Gum-(Swamp Box) Forests of the Clarence Valley Lowlands. These forests are dominated by Forest Red Gums (Euc. tereticornis), (Swamp Box) (Lophostemon suaveolens), Pink Bloodwood (Corymbia intermedia), Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera), River She-Oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana), and emergent Small-leaved Apple (Angophora paludosa).
The understory is dominated by rainforest species such as Cheese Tree (Glochidion ferdinandi), Common Lily Pilly (Acmena smithii), Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa), and Jackwood (Cryptocaria glaucescens). Scattered stands of Port Jackson Pine (Callitris rhomboidea) also occur in these forests. Within the Northern Rivers catchment management area, approximately 60% of the original extent of this vegetation type has been cleared. The alluvial flats have been mostly cleared or have been highly modified further downstream and it is now rare to find these forests in a relatively undisturbed condition.
The conservation area contains a number of shallow, semi-permanent freshwater wetlands identified as Coastal Freshwater Meadows and Forblands of Lagoons and Wetlands. Within the Northern Rivers catchment management area, approximately 40% of the original extent of this vegetation type has been cleared. These freshwater wetlands are dominated by Snow In Summer (Melaleuca alternifolia), Willow Bottlebrush (Callistemon salignus), Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) and various Tea-tree species (Leptospermum spp.). Within the wetlands Grey Rush (Lepironia articulata), the Rushes (Juncus mollis) and (Juncus usitatus) and Wooly Frogsmouth (Philydrum lanuginosum) dominate. A diversity of other sedges (Cyperus spp.) and saw-sedges also occur in these areas.
Away from the creekline the conservation area contains Semi-mesic Dry Sclerophyll grassy open forest identified as Spotted Gum- Grey Ironbark- Pink Bloodwood Open Forest of the Clarence Valley. Within the Northern Rivers catchment management area, approximately 50% of the original extent of this vegetation type has been cleared. These forests are dominated by Large-leaved Spotted Gum (Corymbia henryi), Grey Ironbark (Euc. siderphloia), Red Ironbark (Euc. fibrosa), Forest Red Gum (Euc. tereticornis), Broad-leaved Apple (Angophora subvelenta), Pink Bloodwood (Corymbia intermedia) and Black She-Oak (Allocasuarina littoralis). Thickets of Paperbark (Melaleuca nodosa) and Acacia occur throughout these forests. The ground cover is dominated by Blady Grass (Imperata cylindrica) and Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra).
The conservation area contains Subtropical Coastal Floodplain Forest of the NSW North Coast Bioregion and Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains of the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner Bioregions, listed as Endangered Ecological Communities on Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Survey and Text courtesy of David Charley for the (Dept. Environment, Climate Change and Water). 2011.