Gardens of Stone National Park
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, New South Wales, Australia
Gardens of Stone National Park comprises 15,010 hectares (58 square miles) of varied terrain from limestone outcrops to sandstone escarpments. It is located on the western fringe of the Sydney Basin about 35km north of Lithgow. It is part of a large system of unmodified and interconnected sandstone landscapes surrounding the Sydney metropolitan area. The park generally extends east from the Castlereagh Highway between Cullen Bullen and Capertee and south from the Glen Davis Road in Capertee Valley. Its eastern border is the Wollemi National Park.
Important values of the park include the spectacular wild and rugged scenery, a diversity of natural environments, the occurrence of threatened or restricted native plant and animal species, extensions to plant communities of neighbouring biogeographical regions and its cultural landscape. Because of its values, Gardens of Stone National Park has been included as part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
The National Parks and Primitive Areas Council proposed Newnes Plateau, as part of the Greater Blue Mountains National Park, for reservation in 1932. The National Trust in 1966 proposed a Pinnacles State Park. Pantoneys Crown Nature Reserve was gazetted in 1977 and included 3,230ha. In 1984 the National Parks Association proposed a western extension of the Wollemi National Park. In September 1985 the Colo Committee, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and Federation of Bushwalking Clubs made a detailed Gardens of Stone proposal for extensions to Wollemi National Park. The Colong Foundation for Wilderness then put forward a modified and successful proposal in April 1993. This proposal involved a proposed national park of 18,030 hectares. Gardens of Stone National Park was proclaimed on the 30th November 1994. On the 22nd of December 1995 Pantoneys Crown Nature Reserve was added to the park.
Gardens of Stone National Park is part of a chain of protected natural lands surrounding the Sydney metropolitan area. This chain of reserves acts as a large integrated natural bushland system that preserves the links between the Sydney, Hunter, Central West and Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. The northern, southern and western sections of the park adjoin regions where large-scale agricultural and mining development has occurred in the last decade.
The park contains a diverse array of geological and geomorphological features such as pagoda rock formations, quaternary alluvium deposits, limestone outcrops and a variety of impressive scenic formations including deep gorges, canyons, hanging swamps, waterfalls and precipitous sandstone escarpments.
The park lies within the Central Tablelands Division of NSW. The park plays a significant role in conserving vegetation communities of this botanical region, particularly its drier, northern extent. Over 400 plant species have been identified in a recent vegetation survey of the park, including fourteen threatened species or species of limited distribution,
A number of threatened mammal and bird species have been recorded within the park such as the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Large Pied Bat, Tiger Quoll, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Turquoise Parrot, Powerful Owl, Peregrine Falcon and Regent Honeyeater. Other threatened species, such as the Yellow Bellied Glider and the Booroolong Frog recorded in nearby areas, are also likely to rely on the park for habitat.
This information is taken from the:
GARDENS OF STONE NATIONAL PARK DRAFT PLAN OF MANAGEMENT
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Part of the Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)
The Eastern border of the Gardens of Stone National Park is the Wollemi National Park, the largest wilderness area in NSW, where the Wollemi Pine was discovered in 1994. The Wollemi Pine is one of the world's oldest and rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, and is featured in The World Wide Panorama Gardens event submission by fellow Canberran Norman Peters