The Newnes Plateau region was proposed for conservation in 1932 as part of a Greater Blue Mountains National Park by the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council. Lobbying for protecting the area increased after the establishment of Wollemi National Park in 1979. The National Parks Association proposed its extension westwards in 1984, which developed into a detailed proposal of an 18,030 ha park in 1993, which was ultimately successful. The Gardens of Stone National Park was established in 1994; however, the initial park only covered 11,780 hectares, omitting areas which contain coal deposits. It was later enlarged to 15,080 hectares. Environmentalist groups seek to protect more of the surrounding area, which includes pagodas, canyons, healthland and elevated swamps.
The plant and animal communities of the pagoda formations are fragile and easily irreversibly damaged by human activity. Collection of bush rocks for gardens and landscaping removes habitat for reptiles.
A view over Gardens of Stone National Park from Pearsons Lookout