Fauna and Flora
Because it is bounded on three sides by National Park, the Brindabella Valley is home to a wide variety of native animals. The Retreat itself is rich in lyre birds, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, flying foxes and dingoes. Bird life is extensive with a number of eagles and Bower birds having permanent residence in the area. Rare and endangered species such as the Pygmy Possum, the Powerful Owl are also found in and around the Retreat while platypus have been observed in the Goodradigbee River.
In 1995 the Retreat and the property adjacent were assessed by Earth Sanctuaries Pty Ltd as a potential site for a major endangered species regeneration program. While the terrain was found to be too steep in parts to maintain the elaborate and expensive electrified fencing needed for these programs, Earth Sanctuaries officers immediately identified a number of rare species of fauna and flora in the area – mainly flying foxes and alpine orchids. They recommended the establishment of a number of simple living structures (hides) that would allow owners to live comfortably for short periods of time while studying fauna and flora on their property but which would have minimal impact on the surrounding environment. These ‘hides’ were to be linked by walking tracks that allowed access to the natural features of the block. Rare and endangered flora and fauna habitats were to be located and logged onto maps using GPS satellite technology so a system of sensitive walking paths around habitat sites could be generated.
In 2006 rangers from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service conducted an official audit of healthy flora and fauna markers following the devastating bushfires of 2003. They concluded that the Retreat had been well managed and had recovered extremely well, scoring highly on all parameters.