Big Scrub Rainforest Day

And Rous Water Open Day

                                                      Now in its 16th year!   
Sunday the 12th of October 2014

Big Scrub Rainforest Day is the largest event in Northern NSW with a focus on the natural environment. In 2014 we’re returning to Rocky Creek Dam and will incorporate the Rous Water Open Day to make a bigger and better event.  

Join us in a celebration of our rainforests and the natural environment where we live on Sunday the 12th of October at Rock Creek Dam. 


Over the past 16 years Big Scrub Rainforest Day has grown, thrived and revived and best of all we’ve continued our purpose to educate and engage people in the care and restoration of our rainforests. The Lowland Subtropical Rainforests of Northern NSW are special places. More species of plants and animals are found here that in any other ecosystem in NSW, yet less than 1% of our rainforests remain. Across the region thousands of people are actively involved in restoring our rainforests. 

Big Scrub Rainforest Day is community spirit, volunteers and a gathering of likeminded people. Established in 1999 and held every year since, it’s provided a focus for community involvement through education in a festival environment of entertainment and fun. As with previous years the 2014 event program will be packed with rainforest walks and talks, workshops and presentations along with the community and business market stalls (including food and coffee) and family activities.  

Keep up to date by following our Facebook page.


The 2014 event is presented by the Big Scrub Landcare Group and Rous Water with the assistance of local and regional community organisations and individuals. It has wide support from many landcare groups, local government, local businesses and state government agencies. 

Volunteer involvement

Presented by the Big Scrub Rainforest Landcare Group the event is entirely facilitated and run by local landcare volunteers who will be teaching and demonstrating skills such as bush regeneration techniques and weed control, plant identification, seed collection and tree planting. Local groups of volunteer landcare workers will also have the opportunity to meet with national and regional experts to gain new skills and expand their knowledge of rainforest restoration.

Volunteers are also needed to manage parking and help with many tasks on the day. If you would like to volunteer please email and we will be in touch with you to provide information. 

We are currently working in the program for the day. Check back in here closer to the event and we'll add a details program of the activities. Types of activities include: ·         

 o   Rous Water Rainforest Reserve
 o   Birds of the Big Scrub Rainforest
 o   Plant use at Rocky Creek Dam
 o   Ecology
 o   Water Gratitude Ceremony on the Dam Wall ·         

o   Rous Water’s newly opened Water Laboratory at Dorroughby Field Centre
o   Nightcap Treatment Plant ·         

o   The Future Water Strategy
o   Techniques for Rainforest Restoration
o   Biodiversity & Ecology o   Current Projects ·         

o    Flag making
o    Roving performance
o    Live music
o    Forest playground
o    Catchment model
o    The Water wise house ·         

o   Information stalls (aligned organisations)
o   Food stalls
o   Shops (environmental books & rainforest nursery).


About the Big Scrub Rainforest:

The Big Scrub Rainforest, before European settlement, was the largest continuous expanse of lowland sub-tropical rainforest in Australia extending over 75,000 hectares between Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore. The Big Scrub was cleared, mostly for agriculture and today less than 1% of the original rainforest remains as small remnants scattered across the landscape.  

The Big Scrub remnant vegetation is now part of an Endangered Ecological community (lowland rainforest in the New South Wales North Coast and Sydney Bioregions) listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.  

The remnants have the highest recorded diversity of plants and animals in New South Wales and the trees we’ll be planting to restore the Big Scrub will provide habitat for 50 threatened species.  

Rous Water: Water from the Big Scrub! 

All of the key existing and proposed water sources of Rous Water (Rocky Creek Dam, Emigrant Creek Dam, the Wilsons River source and Proposed Dunoon Dam) are located within the Big Scrub landscape. In this way, Rous Water represents ‘water from the Big Scrub rainforest.’ 

The quality of these water sources in the future is dependent upon the prevailing conditions in these water catchment areas. Management of catchments is important for improving the quality of water flowing from the hillsides and into our streams. Big Scrub conservation and restoration protects water at the source and provides for water quality improvement through ecosystem processes. 


How does the Big Scrub help protect water?

Vegetation plays many important roles in the water cycle, particularly in the maintenance of good water quality. Rainforest regeneration in our water catchment areas serves a range of functions that improve the quality of the catchment, and have a beneficial effect on water quality, one of the key management goals of Rous Water. Rous Water is managing water in partnership with nature by regenerating rainforest and other natural habitat areas in the catchment. An effective rainforest riparian zone has been demonstrated to result in a wide range of water quality and catchment health benefits including the following: – protects water quality
– provides a continuous corridor for the movement of flora and fauna
– provides extensive habitat (and connectivity between habitat nodes) for terrestrial and aquatic fauna
– maintains the viability of native riparian vegetation
– manages edge effects at the riparian/urban/rural interface
– provides bank stability. 

Big Scrub Conservation and Restoration

Rainforest regeneration in the Big Scrub landscape serves a range of functions that improve the quality of the catchment, and have a beneficial effect on water quality, one of the key management goals of Rous Water. Big Scrub restoration is considered critical for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in the Big Scrub landscape. Big Scrub Rainforest Day strengthens the capability of the local communities and Landcare groups working in our water catchment areas to improve the condition of riparian areas, and therefore provides for overall improvement in catchment health and water quality.

Check out this 30 second video of the Big Scrub rainforest with wonderful bird calls.