New England National Park
|New England National Park|
|Managing authorities||New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service|
|Official site||New England National Park|
New England National Park is situated on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia, 560 km north of Sydney. It is about 10 km south of Waterfall Way, just 85 km east of Armidale and 65 km west of Coffs Harbour. Ebor, 20 km away, is the closest village to New England National Park.
More than 1,000 plant species are found within the park, attracting prolific birdlife.
In the 1920s Philip Wright of Wollomombi led the push to have this area declared a National Park. Most of the area was declared a reserve in 1931 and in 1935 dedicated for public recreation. Between 1934 and 1956 mining leases for antimony were granted.
New England National Park (NENP) was World Heritage listed in 1986 and forms part of the New England Group of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (previously the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia) (CERRA). Gondwana Rainforests of Australia was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.
Located on the precipitous escarpment on the east of the undulating Northern Tablelands plateau, the wilderness consists of impressive cliffs, rugged ridges, spurs and streams. To the west the Nymboida, Guy Fawkes and Styx Rivers drain across the tablelands. To the east is the thickly forested Bellinger River valley.
Public access to the park focuses on the Point Lookout area (1,563 m above sea level), from where on a clear day the Pacific Ocean is visible. This lookout is the second tallest mountain in the region and one of the highest places north of the Snowy Mountains.
Flora and fauna
The park lies within the Eastern Australian temperate forests ecoregion. It is noted for the wide variety of plant and animal species. The diverse vegetation in the park includes sub-tropical, warm temperate and cool temperate rainforest in the higher altitudes. There are also areas of sclerophyll forest, sub-alpine woodland, heathland and swampland. In the eucalpyt forests Brush box, Sydney blue gum and Tallow-wood predominate.
Heathland is found at Wrights Lookout and in other patches. Previous estimates of the number of different plant species in the park place the figure at 500. This figure has been revised upwards to around 1,000. This includes snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora), Antarctic Beech, tree ferns and red cedars (Toona ciliata).
At least 100 species of birds have been recorded. Larger species include the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Greater Sooty Owl, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Superb Lyrebird. Eastern Whipbirds, Eastern Bristlebirds, Crimson Rosellas, Australian King Parrots and several kinds of honeyeaters also inhabit the reserve.
The park has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports one of five remaining populations of Rufous Scrub-birds, as well as of Flame and Pale-yellow Robins, Paradise Riflebirds, Green Catbirds, Regent Bowerbirds and Australian Logrunners.
There is an extensive walking track system that traverses the higher areas of the park.
Limited accommodation is available in the park at Banksia Point. If visiting in winter it is a good idea to bring warm clothes because at such a high altitude the region experiences frequent snow falls and cold temperatures.
- NSW NPWS "New England National Park", December 2007
- Donald, J.Kay, Exploring the North Coast and New England, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1978, ISBN 0-86417-121-8
- New England National Park: A brief history. 1982. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
- Hema Maps (1997). Discover Australia's National Parks. Milsons Point, New South Wales: Random House Australia. p. 144. ISBN 1-875992-47-2.
- New England National Park Plan Of Management. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 1991. ISBN 0-7305-2314-4.
- National Parks of the Waterfall Way, NSW NPWS, 2002
- Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein, et al (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2.
- Derrick, Stone (2012). Walks, Tracks and Trails of New South Wales. Csiro Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0643106928. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- New England National Park Information brochure. 1984. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
- "IBA: New England". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
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