World Heritage Region
200 km of forest,
less than 2 hrs drive from Sydney!
817,900 hectares, over 5,000 square miles!
Blue Mountains National Park
Wollemi National Park
Kanangra Boyd National Park
Gardens of Stone National Park
Hartley Historic Site
All national parks are administered by
The City of the Blue Mountains is located, primarily, along an east-west ridge between the Grose and Coxs river gorges. The Blue Mountains National Park is in 2 sections; one north and one south of the main string of towns which follow the Great Western Highway and railway. This is the most accessible park in the region, and covers 245,929 ha of dissected sandstone plateau, forested river valleys and deep gorges.
Walking tracks vary from short strolls to day walks to longer hikes which require camping overnight in the forest. For the really keen, extended walks such as Katoomba to Mittagong (in the Southern Highlands) require carrying supplies for several days and cross two or more national parks.
Phone (02) 4787-8877
To the north of the Blue Mountains, lies the Colo River wilderness. This area has been proclaimed as the Wollemi National Park, covering 487,648 ha. Most of it is inaccessible except to experienced bushwalkers and canoers. It is home to the extremely rare Wollemi Pine, a tree thought to have been extinct for 2 million years, which discovered in 1994 by canyoner David (Wollemi) Noble. The shale oil refinery ruins at Newnes, and Glow Worm Tunnel, now fall within the national park, and are readily accessible. There is a camping area at Newnes, and various walking tracks
See also: Wolgan Valley Railway
For keen and experienced canoers, the trip from Glen Davis to the outskirts of Sydney includes a 69km sandstone gorge with 150 rapids. Overnight rain can cause a 10m rise in river level, resulting in 69km of grade 6 rapids with no way out.
Phone: South (02) 4787-8877, North (02) 6543-3533
|Minaret Peak, Yodellor Range,
northern Blue Mountains.
Photo: © David Warren Noble
The Kanangra Boyd National Park is located south-west of the Blue Mountains and covers 68,276 ha. It includes the gently undulating Boyd Plateau (accessible by car via Jenolan Caves), and a maze of ravines and gorges. Some 4wd tracks exist, but much of the park is accessible only to experienced bushwalkers.
The park was proclaimed in 1977.
Phone (02) 4787-8877 or (02) 6336-1972.
On the western edge of the Wollemi National Park, adjacent to the Wolgan Valley, is the recently-proclaimed Gardens of Stone National Park.
Gardens of Stone National Park covers 15,230 hectares of varied terrain, including sandstone and limestone formations. A particular feature are "pagoda" sandstone formations, where erosion has sculpted "bee-hive" turrets and other curious shapes.
These national parks, now a world heritage region, cover a strip, approximately 200km (120mls) long from north to south. This is comparable to the distance between London and Birmingham, Frankfurt and Nurunberg, Washington and Philadelphia, Tokyo and Hamanatsu. Total land area of the parks is 817,929 ha. Only two roads cross it, the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road.
The wilderness area preserved by these national parks is made still larger by the Lake Burragorang catchment reserve; Lake Burragorang being Sydney's main water storage facility.
Hartley Historic Site is a nineteenth century village, whose buildings include an impressive sandstone courthouse, churches and inns. Guided tours are available.
Ph. (02) 6355-2117.
Other national parks adjoining this area are Nattai in the southeast, area 86,000ha; Yengo on the east side of the Putty Road, 139,861 ha (both of these are part of the World Heritage region; and Goulburn River west of Muswellbrook, 69,343 ha.
Photo: © David (Wollemi) Noble
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Now the Lord God
had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the
Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the
eye and good for food.
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JW Martin except where other copyright applies. All rights
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Revised: July 09, 2003.
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