24 C
Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

New hop(e) for frogs at the Castle

Latest News

New Greens team

Matthew O’Reilly President of CABS and a proud member of the NEW Byron Greens team It seems that some readers have...

Other News

Magic mushrooms

David Gilet, Byron Bay As noted in David Heilpern’s article (24 February), with drugs, whether medicinal or recreational, dosage is a...

Suffolk Park pump track for Cavanbah

Kathy Gleeson, Suffolk Park When I first heard of, and supported, the pump track at the Linda Vidler Park in Suffolk...

Missing teen located safe and well near Tweed Heads

A teen missing in the state’s North has been located safe and well.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Hospital staff want to park for free while they work

It seems that Lismore Base isn’t the only hospital whose workers would like to park their cars for free while they work.


Gimme shelter… federal MPs Justine Elliot and Janelle Saffin at the launch of the Macadamia Castle’s new facilities yesterday. Weatherproof shelters will soon replace the need for umbrellas for visitors to the attraction.


Eve Jeffery

The Macadamia Castle is preparing for major changes.

As the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Highway upgrade sets its eye on 2014, the tourist attraction is set to expand.

Tony Gilding of the castle yesterday announced a major expansion and refurbishment program. The program is in part funded by two grants from the federal government’s tourism industry assistance schemes. The total project budget is excess of $500,000 and the funding assistance from the federal government is $227,475. The balance will be funded by the Macadamia Castle.

The new highway is planned to open in late 2014, bypassing the castle, which is not taking this challenge lying down and will use these federal funds to continue its 38 year improvement program. Mr Gilding said that there had been worries as the highway upgrade got closer to its completion, but the expansion at the castle has help allay those fears. ‘It was a concern for us but now we feel very confident that we will be able to maintain the Macadamia Castle and continue to grow it over the next decade.’

Part of the grant money will go towards the construction of three undercover areas to increase comfort for visitors at the castle. The areas will strategically positioned throughout the six acre Animal Park. ‘They will allow us to guarantee all weather facilities to local school and community groups,’ says Tony. ‘One will be positioned near the pond and will be suitable for future free flight bird shows and educational presentations. The second is an inside/outside room with access to the cafe and the animal park, which will allow the Castle to host more functions and events. The third is the barbecue area, which will allow groups to lunch in comfort and will also double as an area for keeper talks.’

The other project is an educational frog conservation pod in association with Southern Cross University. It will serve the dual functions of education about the importance of saving our local frogs as well as being a program to breed and release local endangered frogs.

Southern Cross University amphibian expert Dr David Newel will oversee the froggy project. ‘The Frog Pod will be only the second of its kind in New South Wales,’ said Doctor Newell at the media launch held at the castle yesterday. ‘It will provide a vital educational and research facility to help promote and conserve the frogs of the northern rivers.’

Dr Newell say the pod will provide a quarantine facility that will greatly assist research on endangered rainforest frogs, while allowing for public display. ‘The project represents a significant financial investment by Tony in order to achieve conservation outcomes. While it is early days yet, the facility will also provide significant opportunities for students studying environmental science at SCU and ultimately may allow us to release captive bred frogs back into the wild.’

Federal MPs Justine Elliot and Janelle Saffin attended the launch of the Macadamia Castle expansion program. Ms Elliot said the Macadamia Castle is one of the north coast’s most iconic and exciting tourist destinations. In operation for more than 30 years, its animal park has provided exciting adventures for generations of kids. ‘I’m proud as the local MP to have delivered this important federal funding for an outstanding local business,’ she said. ‘This federal funding will help Macadamia Castle expand to provide more jobs and enhance their tourist attractions. I congratulate Macadamia Castle for their outstanding role as a major tourist destination on the north coast.’

Ms Saffin said she was pleased to support the application for federal funding as Macadamia Castle provides valuable employment and training opportunities to over 50 local people. ‘Many of his wonderful staff are my constituents, as are many of the local families that take advantage of the attractions wonderful facilities.’

Plans are underway to start the works soon. For more information visit the macadamia castle website: http://www.macadamiacastle.com.au.





Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Hard to believe a commercial business whose objective is to make a profit can get such a HUGE Government grant when not-for-profit organisations such as Northern Rivers Performing Arts or Byron Community Centre struggle to survive. The mind boggles.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Naming Ben Franklin

Cecily McGee, Mullumbimby It's very misleading for the Byron Shire Echo to repeatedly give Ben Franklin free media coverage,  as in the article about the Mullumbimby...

A little bit of COVID…

Mandy Nolan has stated in The Echo, ‘For 30 years I’ve fought to give a voice to the voiceless in our community, now I’m...


Jo Faith, Newtown Thank you all at The Echo for upholding independent journalism. For readers and activists concerned about the demise of democracy, do take the...

Rape, the law, and naming the man responsible

David Heilpern tackles key questions relating to the allegation of rape by a cabinet minister.