Black Bullock Hill, VK5/ SE-016

Thanks to Margaret, from the Yankalilla and District Historical Society, I have found out the origins of the name of Black Bullock Hill, VK5/ SE-016, on the Fleurie Peninsula.  See my previous post from a few days ago…..

The summit’s name actually comes from a plant, not an animal, as some of us presumed.  And that plant is ‘bull-oak’  Allocasuarina Luchnannii, which is part of the Casuarinaceae family.  The plant is also sometimes referred to as ‘buloke’.  It is reputed to the the hardest wood in the world, with a Janka Hardness of 5,060 lbf.  The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear.


Image courtesy of

It is a medium sized tree up to 15m high with a straight trunk, typically 30-70 cm in diameter.  Male and female flowers occur separately on different plants. Male flowers form in spikes up to 4.5 cm long , in September and October. The cones are short (5-12 mm long), cylindrical and broader than long, hairy when young and supported on a very short stalk. The winged seed is about 5 mm long and red-brown in colour.

Apparently, these trees flourished on the Fleurieu Peninsula, until farming.  There is a stand of these in the Wimmera region of western Victoria, however they are also endangered there as well by farming practices.  The tree is integral to the survival of the southeastern subspecies of the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos.  The tree offers food and nesting for the cockatoos.


Image courtesy of

The Shire of Buloke in western Victoria is named after this species of plant.

I always find it interesting to learn how many of these places got their names.  One would have assumed that Black Bullock hill was named after a black bullock seen in a paddock.  But it was not.



Australian Government, Department of the Environment, <;, viewed 9th January 2015.

Wikipedia, ‘Allocasuarina luehmannii’, <;, viewed 9th January 2015

Wikipedia, ‘Janka hardness test, <;, viewed 9th January 2015