Deep in the Monga National Park are the headwaters of the Mongarlowe and Buckenbowra Rivers. Whilst the Mongarlowe River flows behind the Budawangs into rugged country covered by snow gums, the clear Buckenbowra flows down the escarpment into a rainforest wilderness before finally reaching the Tasman Sea.
Between the headwaters of these rivers, near the edge of the escarpment are forests of tree ferns and plumwoods. Plants so ancient that pollen spores have been found in Antarctica, from when Australia was once joined to it in Gondwanaland. One of these magnificent stands of tree ferns and plumwoods is known as Penance Grove.
It seems that once, thieves would cut and steal ferns from this forest, when it was unprotected, to sell in nurseries to grace suburban gardens.The stumps of cut ferns can still be seen in Penance Grove.
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