Gardens of Stone - Stage 2 Proposal
The Gardens of Stone Stage 2 Proposal consists of State Conservation Areas and National Park extensions.
The reserve proposal of 39,800 hectares is divided into six divisions and stretches over 75 kilometres from Medlow Bath to Newnes Plateau, then north to the Capertee Valley and Mount Airly.
Principal values in each Division:
Genowlan Mountain (1,688 hectares) is a masterpiece in sandstone that rises more than 500 metres from the valley floor. It is home to hundreds of pagoda formations, and being a biodiversity hotspot, has more than 340 plants and 75 mammals and birds.
Mount Airly (2,020 hectares) contains some of the State’s best preserved oil shale ruins. Their spectacular setting has dramatic valley views and is surrounded by cliffs of pagoda scenery. The ruins are a ghost town lost in time.
Baal Bone and Long Swamp (7,800 hectares) comprise massed pagoda ‘villages’ standing above the diverse swampy plain of Long Swamp. Collectively they form an evocative sandstone landscape.
Newnes Plateau (22,000 hectares) contains ancient windswept montane heathlands, nationally endangered upland swamps, and unique snowgum-snowgrass montane woodlands.
Combined with matchless sandstone geodiversity, these communities form a richly biodiverse garden.
Wollangambe Wilderness (2,380 hectares) is a popular destination with bushwalkers and canyoners. The NPWS identified wilderness features Gooches 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 clifflines. Above the cliffs are rare plant communities, and below them the dramatic valley scenery is enhanced by a wonderful blanket of forest. The area contains the first passes used by Europeans to reach the interior of the continent and is much enjoyed by families and rock climbers.