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Carne Creek, Newnes Plateau
Carne Creek, Newnes Plateau
photo: Andrew Valja
of Stone
Stage 2

GOS2 front image
Gardens of Stone
photo by Jaime Plaza van Roon
click image to see a larger version
The Gardens of Stone Stage 2 Proposal just to the north of Lithgow, embraces -

  Newnes Plateau,
  the broken stone country to the west of the Plateau, and
  the Airly-Genowlan mesa to the north in the Capertee Valley.

The area embraces the last unprotected part of the 1934 Greater Blue Mountains National Park proposal compiled by Myles Dunphy for the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council.

It also includes the Blue Mountains Western Escarpment lands from Blackheath to Lithgow. Here's the GOS2 flyer.

Coalpac. After many years of campaigning, a proposal by Coalpac for an 843ha open-cut coal mine in Ben Bullen State Forest has been defeated.

GOS2 Walks. Yuri Bolotin conducts walks under the auspices of NSW National Parks Association. Here's details of the current proposed walks.

Genowlan Mountain
Johnson's Grass Trees
on Genowlan Mountain
photo by Jaime Plaza van Roon
click image to see a larger version
A brief history.

Twenty five years ago the Colo Committee discovered a number of rock falls from cliffs associated with coal mining.

Spurred on by the threat of further damage, the Committee produced a 'Gardens of Stone' 40,000 hectare reserve proposal.

After 10 years of campaigning and a further park proposal by the Colong Foundation, the Gardens of Stone National Park was created on the 29th of November 1994, covering 11,780 hectares.

In December 1995 a further 3,600 hectares of the original proposal were added to the Wollemi National Park.

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness, the Blue Mountains Conservation Society
and the Colo Committee now advance a 40,000 hectare Stage Two
of the Gardens of Stone proposal, including all of the remaining
parts of Newnes Plateau and surrounding sandstone uplands.

State Conservation Area reserves allows for coal mining
as well as the protection of conservation values.

The proposal is fully detailed in the following PDFs.   Note: these PDFs are large documents.

  GOS2 Proposal - November 2005 - 18MB PDF
  Seeing The Gardens - July 2009 - 11MB PDF
  GOS2 Proposal - Illustrated - 29MB PDF

Sawlog area
Upper Bungleboori Creek area
photo by Andrew Valja
click image to see a larger version
Reservation of Stage Two, primarily as a State Conservation Area, would protect the most spectacular pagoda landscapes in Australia.

Pagoda is a local name for a large tapering and often stepped or laminated sandstone formation.

Associated with these pagoda landforms are found large caves, mazes, ancient montane heathlands, endangered upland swamps, snowgums, grassy woodlands and moist gullies that contain tree ferns, stands of old growth forest and rainforest, and, in some places, slot canyons.

Sawlog area
Cape Horne, Wolgan Valley
photo by Jaime Plaza van Roon
click image to see a larger version
Reservation of Stage Two would also secure the outstanding ochre coloured cliffs of the Blue Mountains' Western Escarpment and the rare plant communities that lie above them.

Reservation of the remaining unprotected parts of the Gardens of Stone as a State Conservation Area is urgently required to rein in ongoing and accelerating environmental degradation.

Where are the Proposal areas?

The Reserve Proposal of 39,800 hectares is divided into six Divisions and stretches over 75 kilometres from near Medlow Bath to Mount Airly in the Capertee Valley.

GOS Proposal Map
Garden Of Stone 2 Proposal Map
Cartographer - Karen McLaughlin
click image to see a larger version
Principal values by Division:

Genowlan Mountain (1,688 hectares) is a masterpiece in sandstone that rises more than 500 metres from the valley floor. Home to 'Three Hundred Sisters' and a biodiversity hotspot, Genowlan Mountain has more than 340 plants and 75 mammals and birds.
    Now the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area.

Mount Airly (2,020 hectares) contains some of the State's best preserved oil shale ruins located in a spectacular setting with dramatic valley views, and surrounded by cliffs of pagoda scenery. The ruins are a ghost town lost in time.
    Now the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area.

Baal Bone and Long Swamp (7,800 hectares) comprise massed pagoda 'villages' above the Long Swamp, a diverse swampy plain. They collectively form an evocative landscape of broken stone, reminiscent of Cambodia's forest of State Forest temples, while nearby indigenous cave art honours this landscape.

Wolgan Falls
Wolgan Falls
photo by Andrew Valja
click image to see a larger version
Newnes Plateau (22,000 hectares) contains ancient windswept montane heathlands, nationally endangered upland swamps, unique snowgum-snowgrass high plateau woodlands, and superlative sandstone formations that collectively make a highly biodiverse garden. The woodlands and swamps on Newnes Plateau represent the coldest and highest development of native vegetation on sandstone in the Sydney Basin.

Wollangambe Wilderness (2,380 hectares) is a popular destination with bushwalkers and canyoners. The wilderness features Goochs Crater, wild headwater streams, wet sclerophyll forests, and scientifically important spring-fed swamps.

The Western Escarpment (4,000 hectares) is renowned for its outstanding ochre-coloured escarpments. Above them are rare plant communities, and below, fringing the escarpment, the dramatic valley scenery is enhanced by a wonderful blanket of forest. The area, which contains the first passes into the interior of the continent, is already appreciated for quiet family-based recreation and climbing.

Wolgan Snow Gum
Wolgan Snow Gum
(Eucalyptus gregsoniana)
photo by Andrew Valja
click image to see a larger version

Pagoda Daisy
Pagoda Daisy
(Leucochrysum graminifolium)
photo by Andrew Valja
click image to see a larger version
Ecologically Sustainable Visitation

The environment groups' reserve proposal is an integrated plan of action to protect, manage and interpret the area's heritage.

The reserve proposal aims to protect and manage:

The proposed system of State Conservation Areas and Park extensions
will greatly enhance the tourism in the central and western
Blue Mountains, including the Lithgow region.

 © 2015  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.