PARK WATCH Article June 2023 |

Jonathan Starks reports that in 2023 Project Hindmarsh is heading to Rainbow

Project Hindmarsh, which VNPA members and supporters have been attending for decades, will this year be restoring a section of the Rainbow Rise, a lunette west of the township of Rainbow. The Rise was once covered in a myriad of different wildflowers of all colours of the rainbow, and is said to be the reason the town got its name.

Project Hindmarsh, the Big Desert to Little Desert Biolink, is a long-term initiative of the Hindmarsh Landcare Network and aims to re-connect the Big Desert and Little Desert regions in Victoria’s wild west with a series of corridors, stepping stones and revegetated remnants.

Among the list to be planted is Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium purpurea), the food plant of the endangered Golden-rayed Blue Butterfly (Candalides noelkeri sp. nov.). In partnership with Zoos Victoria, we will be planting 200 Creeping Boobialla in the hopes of establishing another population of Golden-rayed Blue Butterflies in the area.

Another plant on the list is Austral Scurf-Pea (Cullen australasicum), listed as Threatened in Victoria, and the favoured food plant for the migratory Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demolius). Two amazing butterflies we hope to attract back to Rainbow.

One of the other wildflowers we will be planting is the Poached-egg Daisy (Polycalymma stuartii), long gone from the area but such an iconic desert bloom and a great species to bring back. To encourage the wildflowers to grow, and to restore soil microbial activity, we will be adding worm castings to the soil around the plants.

Volunteers needed!

The Project Hindmarsh planting extravaganza will be held over the weekend of 7–9 July 2023, based at Rainbow Recreational Reserve. We are looking for volunteers to join us for the weekend and plant 7,000 trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses at two sites on the southern edge of the Rainbow Rise.

If you like getting away for the weekend, helping the environment, getting your hands dirty and making a difference, visiting historic rural towns and enjoying that famous country hospitality, come along, we would love you to join us.

For more information, contact Jonathan Starks, Hindmarsh Landcare Facilitator 0429 006 936, [email protected]

Registrations for Project Hindmarsh are now open via Eventbrite:

Further details about the planting weekend at

This project is supported by funding through the Victorian Government’s Victorian Landcare Program.

Zoos Victoria program to save the Golden-rayed Blue Butterfly: