Maxine Godley is the owner of Hilltop Haven, a property located approximately 20km northwest of Mackay not far from the coast. The property is a residence and dedicated wildlife sanctuary and it is Maxine’s intent to continue to preserve wildlife habitat present, as well as further enhancing the property’s capacity to provide for native species through the installation of various sizes and styles of customised bird and micro-bat breeding boxes. The property is additionally registered with the Land for Wildlife program.
The fan-shaped hilltop sanctuary covers approximately 2 hectares with the broadest section returned to native vegetation. The predominant vegetation type present is classified as high vale regrowth of the endangered Queensland Regional Ecosystem 8.12.27a (Eucalyptus tereticornis, Corymbia tessellaris, Livistona decipiens open forest on low hills on Mesozoic to Proterozoic igneous rocks). Freshwater mangrove (Carallia bractiata) has been planted to attract 4 o’clock moths (Dysphania numana) and the rare Omphalea celata is being planted to attract the zodiac moth (Alcides metaurus).
Examples of wildlife species known to occur on the sanctuary include agile wallabies (Macropus agilis), northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus), brush turkeys (Alectura lathami) and short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), as well as a variety of frog, toad, snake, lizard, gecko, flying-fox, native mouse, butterfly, bee, snail, spider, dragonfly and grasshopper species. Formerly plentiful birdlife has become significantly less abundant on the sanctuary, which is of great concern to Maxine.
The visiting wallabies provide particular joy as they bring their joeys and come close to the house for water, grass and native figs. Snakes are also very welcome regular visitors.