Rose Gums became a Nature Refuge in 2007 ie listed with the Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency. No trees can ever be removed by law. The vine forest & 'of concern' eucalypt woodland is protected; and is a refuge for the endangered Southern Cassowary, the vulnerable Macleay's Fig-parrot, the rare Grey Goshawk, the blue-faced Parrot-finch and tapping green-eyed frog.
The Retreat buildings at Rose Gums Wilderness Retreat are all built on previously degraded areas, and blend into the environment and are positioned to take advantage of the cooler aspects in summer. The roofs are fully insulated and being pole homes little disturbance is made to the contour of the land so rainwater flows naturally.No tree was removed during the building process.
Over 25,000 trees have been planted since 1995. There is a notable difference in the bird life appearing, including sightings of Southern Cassowary. Where once was weed, such as lantana & tobacco bush, is now forest. The management is ongoing with further weed eradication programs and rainforest trees being replanted.
We use 240 volts mains electricity to operate the lights and appliances. Gas powers the instantaneous hot water services and cook tops. For heating there is a slow combustion fireplace using local fallen timber with off-cuts from the local sawmills for kindling.
Water is pumped from 92 metres under the ground off the granite. This gives us clean, sweet spring water all year round. The bore taps into a spring which trickles out of the ground where the soil types change from basalt to metamorphic.
Our domestic waste is taken to the Malanda transfer station run by the Eacham Shire Council. Presently they recycle glass, paper and only soft plastics as in milk bottles. Dry and wet waste is then buried. All food scraps are kept at Rose Gums for disposal. The treehouses have septics systems for the toilets. These are carefully monitored. The closest creeks are over 700 metres away from the trenches. Vegetable-based soap and eco-shampoo & conditioner are provided.
Fire extinguishers are located outside the front door & fire blankets are in the kitchens.
We do not put up feeding stations at the treehouses. Apart from interfering with the animal’s natural foraging behaviour for food, the feeding stations could cause a hygiene problem. Wildlife viewing is at Reception every morning at 8 am.