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 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.
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 Leura.
Waratahs to left, 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
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.