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Blackbutt Reserve


Since I was unable to visit Gap Creek Falls the other day, I decided I might pop in to have a look at the new animal enclosures at Blackbutt Reserve near Newcastle. I will say straight off the bat that I do have something of a prejudice against Blackbutt Reserve, as I see the place as nothing like a natural bush setting, it being far too ‘corrupted’ by human activity, weeds and the like. Having said that it is a good place for a family or group outing/event. It certainly has its place, but it is not a true nature reserve (in my opinion).

Visitor Centre

ABOVE: Visitor Centre

I do think that some well designed animal and bird enclosures at Blackbutt could lift the value of the reserve dramatically and make it a really great place for families, especially young families. There are opportunities for educational visits for kids, possible environmental activities and the like there. So the potential is certainly there for Blackbutt.

The enclosures of my youth are giving way to those that are much better and up to a more modern standard, which is great to see. Certainly the improvements I saw are great and some of them are outstanding. The Quoll enclosure, with nocturnal habitat viewing was brilliant. Some of the other enclosures are getting there also, though I was disappointed with the size of some of the aviaries and poor vegetation choices they appeared to have. They didn’t look to great for the birds, which I think is not a good look. Still, they are a major improvement on what had been there before.

Some of the other enclosures for snakes and amphibians were really good also I have to say and overall the place is going ahead and improving all of the time. So I think it has a place into the future, if it can continue to improve along the way. Just some thoughts…

Modern Enclosures Koala

ABOVE LEFT: Modern Enclosures  ABOVE RIGHT: Koala BELOW: Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Nocturnal Quoll Enclosure

Newcastle Cathedral


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Being a Protestant and a Particular Baptist, I don’t go much for the building as far as it being essential for worship. Don’t get me wrong, having a dedicated building to meet in is very helpful and useful, but if you are to have a building it needs to lend itself for the purpose, being completely functional as such and efficient in terms of the funding for it (it is far more profitable to use what money you have in carrying out the mission, than building a facade of religion).

Having said all that, the building in this picture is certainly an impressive one. It is a grand old building (as far as ‘old’ goes in relatively young Australia), rich in history, as it contains many historical items of interest.

The building pictured is that of the Newcastle Cathedral (Church of England). As grand as it looks, it is hardly the bastion of Evangelical Protestantism that one would have hoped for. Any true semblance of Evangelical Christianity that it may have borne witness to has long gone from its walls.