The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA) has magnificent scenery and a very special flora. For this tour we are planning a program which will enable participants to learn about and enjoy the flora and also to experience some of the major scenic wonders visited by tourists
This very large area of c1.03 million hectares extends from the Hunter region to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
- It incorporates seven national parks – Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Gardens of Stone, Kanangra-Boyd, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes - and the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.
- The biological diversity and the number of eucalypt species which occur in the area were factors in assessment for world heritage status. At that time 90 eucalypt species were listed, now extended to 96.
- The diversity relates to the many geological/geomorphological/ geographical landforms and the associated vegetation types. There are at least 1,500 plant species, many of which are rare and endangered.
It is the diversity of the landforms and the relationship of plants to them which we hope to showcase to native plant enthusiasts in this tour.
The routes and, in particular, the walks chosen will take participants to a number of the ecological communities within a central region of the GBMWHA that is in proximity to the two main routes across the Blue Mountains, namely the Great Western Highway and the Bells Line of Road. Some of the walks will be within the Blue Mountains and Gardens of Stone National Parks while others will be in areas closer to settlement and in nearby areas which do not have the protection of a national park despite high conservation value.
Around 80% of the GBMWHA was severely impacted in the 2019/20 black summer bushfires. The intervening time until the tour and some good rain should make the bush especially colourful and enable participants to study the resilience and regeneration of the bush.
Some walks will be relatively easy but most will be graded as “medium”, requiring a moderate level of fitness.
The tour will leave from Central Railway station with a second pick up at Pennant Hills. Participants are able to book at the Nesuto Apartment Hotel Pennant Hills on the Sunday evening and the coach will pick up there. The hotel is 500-600 m from Pennant Hills railway station. Should you wish to book your accommodation at Nesuto Pennant Hills, please contact Nesuto Pennant Hills Reception firstname.lastname@example.org and quote ‘Australian Plants Society’ to obtain the special rate.
We plan to leave from western Sydney and travel to the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, Mt Tomah, for a guided tour. During the afternoon we will explore the environments and flora between there and Lithgow. This night and the next will be spent in the nearby town of Wallerawang.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah, Photo: Ricki Nash
This day will be spent in the vicinity of Lithgow including areas in the Gardens of Stone and surrounds which are dominated by the fascinating pagoda rock formations that have their own unique flora, together with heath and swamps containing many rare and threatened species. We will also visit Hassans Walls with a different but also special flora.
Standing at Wolgan descent lookout with views into Wolgan Valley and showing escarpments of 3 state forest (Newnes SF, Ben Bullen SF ;& Wolgan SF) and 2 National Parks.( Wollemi and Gardens of Stone NPs.) Photo by Julie Favell
Days 3 and 4
On these days we will undertake a number of walks within the Mt Victoria to Wentworth Falls region. They will be chosen to enable you to understand and enjoy the range of environments and habitats and the flora associated with each. Overnight will be at Katoomba.
Waratahs to right, photo Jill Dark
Day 5 will continue the theme of Days 3 and 4 but moving down the Mountains towards Penrith with a stop at the Glenbrook Native Plants Reserve, home of the Blue Mountains District Group of the Australian Plants Society NSW. You will then be conveyed to Kiama arriving on Friday evening prior to the weekend activities and the conference.
Grose Valley from Govetts Leap, photo Jill Dark
Dates are 5 to 9 September.
Accommodation is twin share/double. Please contact the organiser if a single room is required and we will see if this is possible, although an extra charge will be applicable.
Pick up is from Central Station and Pennant Hills, ends at Kiama.
The itinerary outlined above is a guide only. Inclement weather, road access or other factors may influence the planned itinerary or cause delays and variations. The leader of the tours or excursions may make these decisions in the best interests and safety of all involved.
Queries about the conference and tours can be directed to:
Heather Miles, Secretary@austplants.com.au, 0408 696 356
Ralph Cartwright, Conf2022@spin.net.au, 0416 030 872
Please note: Tour itineraries are subject to change without notice. Tours will run subject to demand.