Norm King Lookout - Ferntree Gully walk near Rylstone NSW

Ferntree Gully Reserve near Rylstone NSW was created in 1994 to conserve the special plant community which exists in and around the gully. A trust consisting of nine persons was appointed to administer the Reserve.

A series of grants allowed the Trust to upgrade facilities, including a mud brick toilet, improvements to the existing steps accessing the gully and a new track along the rim of the gully with two platforms at the Norm King Lookout, named after an early local environmentalist, and at Flat Rock Lookout. The two lookouts show the wonderful scenery which borders the gully itself. This track provides a round trip returning to the picnic area.

The Wheelbarrow Track is named after the wheelbarrows that were used to haul half sleepers to the site of the steps during construction. The track was made on the route that least affected the sensitive plants of the area and now provides an alternative entry to the gully.

A boardwalk is constructed in the sensitive rainforest area at the base of the gully to minimise damage to the soft rainforest floor while allowing visitor access.

Bird species in the gully include the lyre bird, the rare powerful owl, scrub turkey, glossy black cockatoo as well as pigeons, parrots and owls. Most animals in the Reserve, such as grey kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, as well as several species of gliders and possums are nocturnal and so are rarely seen. Echidnas, marsupial mice and several species of snakes are also found.

Interesting plant life is abundant along the walking tracks. Plants to look out for include large fig trees and the Pandora pandoreana with its entangled maze of roots. In the gully itself there are many species of ferns and other rainforest plants including rock orchids, some of which are unique to the area.