- Wollemi National Park
Infobox_protected_area | name = Wollemi National Park
iucn_category = Ib
locator_x = 240
locator_y = 170
New South Wales, Australia
lat_degrees = 32
lat_minutes = 52
lat_seconds = 26
lat_direction = S
long_degrees = 150
long_minutes = 29
long_seconds = 32
long_direction = E
area = 4 886.2 km²
established = 1979
governing_body = National Parks and Wildlife Service
Wollemi National Park is the second largest
national parkin New South Wales, and contains most of the largest wilderness area, the Wollemi Wilderness. It lies 129 kilometres northwest of Sydney, and forms part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
It contains the only known wild specimens of the
Wollemi Pine("Wollemia nobilis"), a species thought to have become extinct approximately thirty million years ago, but discovered alive in three small stands in 1994.
This park is located on the western edge of the
Sydney Basin. It sits on four strata of sedimentary rock; the Narrabeenand Hawkesburysandstone and shale, the Illawarraand Singleton Permian coal measuresand the Wianamatta shales. The strata at this area of the Sydney Basin have an upwards tilt to the north-west. Throughout most of the park the Hawkesbury and Wianamatta series have been erodedaway exposing the Narrabeen group. The landscape of the park is dominated by deep valleys, canyons, cliffs and waterfalls, formed by the weatheringof the sandstone and claystone the Narrabeen group consists of. The parts of the park that lie on the Narrabeen and Hawkesbury sandstones generally have shallow soil with low nutrient levels while areas that lie on the Wianamatta shale usually have deeper and more nutrient rich soils allowing for a greater diversity of plant life. The coal measures are visible beneath cliff lines along river valleys. This layer is generally rich in nutrients and weathers to form deep clay loams. Tertiary basalt is common in the north west of the park. Basaltic peaks include Mount Coriaday, Mount Monundilla and Mount Coricudgy, the highest peak in the northern Blue Mountains. In some location the basalt in the core of extinct volcanoshas eroded faster than the surrounding sandstone.
The Wollemi National Park is key in maintaining the quality of many tributary rivers to the
Hawkesbury Riverand Goulburn- Hunter Rivercatchments. The national park incorporates rivers such as the Wolgan River, Colo Riverand Capertee Riverwhich arise from outside the park. The Colo Riveris regarded as the last unpolluted river in New South Walesbecause the majority of it flows through the Wollemi National Park.
Biology and ecology
Eucalyptdominated open forests comprise 90% of Wollemi National Park, with over 70 species of Eucalypt recorded. The remaining 10% of the National Park comprises rainforest, heath and grassland.
The variety of habitats within Wollemi National Park allow for large diversity in
animals. Fifty-eight reptilespecies, thirty-eight frogspecies, two hundred and thirty-five birdspecies and forty-six mammalspecies have been recorded in the park.
As well as the
Wollemi pine, the park contains populations of the rare " Banksia conferta subsp. penicillata", only described in 1981.
There are many aboriginal sites within the park including
cave paintings, axe grinding grooves and rock carvings. In 2003 the discovery of Eagle's Reach cave was publicly announced. This site was found by bushwalkers in 1995 but remained unknown to the wider community until a team from the Australian Museumreached the cave in May 2003.The art within this small cave is estimated to be up to 4,000 years old and it consists of up to a dozen layers of imagery depicting a wide variety of motifs rendered in ochre and charcoal. The team who recorded this site counted over 200 separate images, mainly of animals and birds but also stencils of hands, axes and a boomerang.
It is a very significant site and the remote location is being kept secret for its own protection.
Newnes Glow Worm Tunnel
Zig Zag Railway
* Glen Davis
Protected areas of New South Wales (Australia)
* [http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/parks.nsf/parkContent/N0051?OpenDocument&ParkKey=N0051&Type=Xo National Parks and Wildlife Service of NSW Wollemi information page]
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