Bill and Norma Osbourne are the owners of Broken Gum Country Retreat, a property situated in Hartley, approximately 55km southeast of Adelaide, South Australia. The property is a guesthouse and small sheep farm as well as a dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and it is Bill and Norma’s intention to maintain it for these purposes. The property is not currently formally protected, however Regional Development SA have shown interest in preserving the rare native orchids growing on the site.
The property covers approximately 60 hectares of undulating countryside. Approximately 30 acres of the land is dedicated to regenerated eucalypt woodland, with a further 50 acres consisting of 15,000 native trees and scrub regenerated as part of a Canopy Project. Virgin native bushland covers approximately 35 acres of the property, and the remaining 35 acres consists of paddocks interspersed with native trees.
Vegetation is dominated by blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) and pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa), with mallee box (Eucalyptus porosa) occurring on the shallower soils. She-oaks (Casuarina spp.) and golden wattles (Acacia pycnantha) are also abundant, along with a range of native orchids, kangaroo thorns (Acacia paradoxa) and other acacia species. Native grasses consist mainly of limestone saw-sedge grass (Gahnia deusta) and wallaby grass (Austrodanthonia caespitosa).
Wildlife found on the property includes western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax) and various hawks. Mallee ringnecks (Barnardius barnardi) are prolific on the property. A wide range of reptiles including sand goannas (Varanus gouldii), eastern bearded dragons (Pogona barbata), eastern bluetongue lizards (Tiliqua scincoides), geckos, eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and yellow-faced whip snakes (Demansia psammophis) are also present. Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), although once present, have not been seen in the area for 30 years.