Chris and Matthew Johnson are the owners of Karawatha, a property situated in South Bowenfels, approximately 10km southwest of Lithgow, New South Wales. The property is a wildlife sanctuary, also used for agriculture and to temporarily agist cattle. The owners intend to maintain it as a wildlife-friendly property, with plans to establish an eco-friendly tourist accommodation in the future. They have utilized several government grants to manage invasive weeds such as serrated tussock, broom and blackberry on the property, and are interested in continuing this work.
Karawatha spans 198 hectares on hilly land, with frontage to the Cox’s River. Approximately half of the property is virgin bush, with the remainder comprised of cleared and partially cleared land. The dominant vegetation type is eucalypt woodland.
Wildlife is abundant and includes eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), swamp (Wallabia bicolor) and red-necked (Macropus rufogriseus) wallabies, common wallaroos (Macropus robustus), bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), greater (Petauroides volans) and sugar (Petaurus breviceps) gliders, microbats, red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus), eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and carpet pythons (Morelia spilota).
An array of birdlife is also present including wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), kestrels, laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) and red-tailed (Calyptorhynchus banksii) and yellow-tailed (Zanda funerea) black cockatoos.