Your Journey Into World Heritage Your Journey Into World Heritage  

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area:

  • was accepted onto the World Heritage List on 29 November 2000
  • was listed for its superlative representation of Australia's unique and characteristic eucalypt vegetation
  • is one of 17 World Heritage sites in Australia, and 851 in the world (in 2007)
  • covers more than 10,000 square kilometres
  • stretches for 220 km from north to south
  • lies only 60 km from the centre of Sydney
  • is made up of eight adjoining conservation reserves - Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve and Yengo, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks
  • protects 70 different vegetation communities, more than 1,500 species of higher plants (representing 10% of Australia's total) and at least 100 species of eucalypt (13% of the world's total)
  • protects at least 150 plant species that are found only in the Greater Blue Mountains
  • saves one of the largest areas of protected forest in Australia
  • has been inhabited by Aboriginal people for at least 12,000 years
  • overlaps the traditional Country of at least six indigenous language groups - the Wanaruah, Darkinjung, Darug, Wiradjuri, Gundungurra and Dharawal
  • protects 700 known places of Aboriginal significance, and many others yet to be recorded
  • includes one area (Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve) that has been continuously protected since 1866
  • ranges in elevation from near sea level on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River to 1,334 metres on the Boyd Plateau
  • is in such good natural condition that 51% of it has been classified as Wilderness for extra protection
  • includes the largest wilderness (Wollemi Wilderness) in eastern Australia between Cape York Peninsula and Tasmania
  • provides vital clean water to Sydney's main water supply catchment of Lake Burragorang, as well as many smaller catchments