Gondwana Rainforests

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Box Log Falls.jpg
Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park in Queensland
Type Natural
Criteria viii, ix, x
Reference 368
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)
Extensions 1994

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world.[1] The reserve includes 50 separate reserves totalling 3,665 square km, clustered around the New South WalesQueensland border.[2]

The Gondwana Rainforests are so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests containing the same kinds of species that are living today. Not all Gondwanan rainforests in Australia are located in the New South Wales- Queensland region; the largest Gondwanan rainforest in Australia is located in Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness. The number of visitors to the Gondwana rainforest reserves in New South Wales and Queensland is about 2 million per year.[1]

Conservation value[edit]

The forests were inscribed to the World Heritage list in 1986, covering only the New South Wales sites of approximately 3108 km² and extended in 1994 to cover the Queensland sites of approximately 592 km² which is a total of approximately 3700 km². The rainforest reserves have an extremely high conservation value, with more than 200 rare or threatened plant and animal species.[2]

Eight separate areas have been identified as having outstanding heritage significance to Australia and are included on the Australian National Heritage List.[3] The altitude of the reserves ranges from sea level to almost 1,600 m (5,200 ft).[4]

National Parks[edit]

Lamington National Park

The Queensland areas include Lamington National Park, Mount Chinghee National Park, Springbrook National Park, Mount Barney National Park and Main Range National Park.

The New South Wales areas include Barrington Tops National Park, Dorrigo National Park, Mount Warning National Park, New England National Park, Mebbin National Park, Nightcap National Park, Border Ranges National Park, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Washpool National Park, Willi Willi National Park and Werrikimbe National Park.[5]

The most heavily visited parts are Dorrigo National Park and the Natural Bridge section of Springbrook National Park.[4]

Australian National Heritage List areas[edit]

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia are divided into sections as below for listing on the Australian National Heritage List.

Main Range Group[edit]

Queen Mary Falls in Main Range National Park

Near Killarney, Queensland

Focal Peak Group[edit]

On the New South Wales—Queensland border

Shield Volcano Group[edit]

Border Ranges National Park

On the New South Wales—Queensland border on the McPherson Range and Tweed Ranges

Iluka Nature Reserve[edit]

Iluka Nature Reserve is on the coast at Iluka, New South Wales.

Washpool and Gibraltar Range[edit]

Contiguous areas between Glen Innes, New South Wales and Grafton, New South Wales

New England Group[edit]

View from Point Lookout in New England National Park, 2008

Near Dorrigo, New South Wales

Hastings-Macleay Group[edit]

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, 2005

Southeast of Armidale, New South Wales

Barrington Tops Area[edit]

North of Dungog, New South Wales

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia". Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  2. ^ a b Reid, Greg (2004). Australia's National and Marine Parks: Queensland. South Yarra, Victoria: Macmillan Education Australia. p. 11. ISBN 0-7329-9053-X. 
  3. ^ "Find places on the National Heritage List". Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  4. ^ a b Mark McGinley (2008-12-09). "Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, Australia". Encyclopedia of Earth. United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  5. ^ "Gondwana Rainforests of Australia". UNESCO. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°15′00″S 150°03′00″E / 28.250°S 150.050°E / -28.250; 150.050