Tallong is a cold climate area with an average annual
rainfall in the village of 650mm, increasing to about 900 mm in the east of the
Tallong district. The land is spread over an elevated tableland etched to
varying degrees by the Shoalhaven River and its tributaries foremost of which
is Barber’s Creek. The village is 620 metres above sea level with the highest
points in the district being Sugarloaf Hill at 720 metres and Warrima Hill at
717 metres above sea level. The Shoalhaven Gorge cuts through the elevated area
dropping down to approximately 100m above sea level on the river bed.
Tallong has long been of interest to geologists, naturalists
and bush walkers with its ancient geological formations, interesting soil
structures, preserved bushland habitats and scenic vistas.
Tallong bushland is made up of dark and light barked
Eucalypts like Brittle Gum Eucalyptus mannifera;
Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus rossii, Cassurina littoralis, Acacia elongata, Banksia spinulosa and the blue toned Argyle Apple, Eucalyptus cinerea. Apart from the
inevitable wombats, kangaroos and dark wallabies, the lyrebird and its
imitative call is most noticeable in the adjacent bushland. Other birds that
give the bush a flash of colour are the red tails of the endangered Glossy
Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus lathami
that feed on the local Casuarina and the Gang Gang Cockatoo, Callocphalon fimbriatum with their grey
and coral colouring.
At Tallong village,
Barbers Creek was dammed in the late 19th century, to provide water
for the steam trains running between Goulburn and Sydney and this now provides
a wetland habitat for many waterbirds and wildlife .
The Tallong Midge Orchid Genoplesium
plumosum, listed as endangered under Federal and State conservation laws is
now found only in the Tallong area and
the community has adopted it as its emblem. The orchid is limited to
sites around Tallong characterised by very shallow soils overlying flat to
gently sloping sheets of sandstone. Surrounding vegetation consists of low
heath like plants like Kunzea parvifolia.
Midge orchids in general die back after flowering and exist as a dormant tuber
in the ground for much of the year. Flowering occurs in either spring or more
usually autumn after reasonable rain. The species produces a single flowering
stem 10-20 cm tall which bears 1-8 small flowers clustered at the top of the
stem. Flowers show green and purple stripes and have a reddish purple tongue.
A view from Badgery’s Lookout