Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Wollemi National Park   

This park is the second largest in NSW. It is about 100 km northwest of Sydney. It is mostly a wilderness area of basalt-capped sandstone peaks and narrow gorges.

It includes the catchment of the Colo, Capertee, Wolgan, and Wollemi Rivers.

Lying north-west of Sydney, the Wollemi National Park is the second largest park in NSW, 487,500 hectares. The park adjoins the Blue Mountains, Yengo and Goulburn River National Parks and Parr State Recreation Area, forming a mountainous greenbelt and recreation area that is close to Sydney.

The largest remaining wilderness area in NSW, 200,000 hectares, it offers a difficult but rewarding landscape of mountain rainforests, sandstone pagoda formations, mountain swamps, forests growing on rich basalt soil, spectacular cliffs of the Colo river catchment, the Widden Valley, Newness and Capertee to name just a few.

Flora and Fauna
The flora varies in response to the variety of habitats with extensive tall open woodlands, heath and lush patches of rainforest.

In August 1994 a new species of tree was discovered within the park. named the Wollemi Pine, the species is a ‘living fossil’ whose closest relatives are fossils from the Cretaceous and early Tertiary periods about 100 million years ago. Fossils with similar features also occurred in the Jurassic as long as 150 million years ago. Only a small grove of the trees has been found, with knowledge of its location and access to the site, strictly limited to a small number of scientists and rangers, because the trees' very survival depends on their isolation. Detailed study of the species and propagation of it are being undertaken by the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Some of the fauna found in the park include eastern grey kangaroos, wombats, red-necked wallabies and wallaroos. These are often seen in the early morning or late afternoon grazing on the grassy stream banks. Some of the rare and endangered fauna found, include the broad-headed snake, regent honeyeater, glossy black cockatoo, koala and the brush-tailed rock wallaby.

Some of Wollemi highlights include:
Widden Valley - easy access to spectacular vies of sandstone ridges and escarpments.
Dunns Swamp (Kandos Weir) - popular car-camping area with good bushwalking, swimming and canoeing.
Mounts Coricudgy, Monundilla and Coriady - prominent basalt-capped peaks rise above the sandstone plateau, supporting areas of temperate rainforest and wet eucalypt forest.
Newnes - remains of an extensive oil-shale mining and refining operation located in a deep and narrow valley forms the backdrop to a large camping area (no facilities). There’s spectacular escarpment scenery, great rock climbing and bushwalking. The walking track to the Glow Worm Tunnel follows the old Newnes railway line.
Plateau around lower reaches of Widden Brook and Baerami Creek - rare brush-tailed rock wallabies have recently been seen here for the first time.
Baerami Creek oil-shale relics - important historic site featuring machinery and other relics of a turn-of-the-century oil-shale mining venture.
Sheepskin Hut - historic symbol of 19th century grazing attempts.
Blackwater Creek - outstanding patches of temperate rainforest in the narrow gorges at the headwaters of Blackwater Creek.
Wheeny Creek - picturesque car-camping area beside a clean creek with swimming holes.
Bob Turner's Track - a well-graded track commencing 3 km from Putty Road offering easy access to the Colo River. Good swimming.
Colo Gorge - this 30 km long, 300 m deep, sandstone gorge is reputedly the longest in Australia. Liloing in Summer is the best way to see it, but access is difficult.
T3 Walking Track - enjoy great views of Colo Gorge from this well-marked 3 km walking track which descends to the junction of Tootie Creek and the Colo River.

Source: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Wollemi National Park Visitor Guide.

For more information or details on camp-sites, you can contact the NPWS office nearest the section of the park you are interested in:






For up to date information visit the tourist information centre. For Wollemi accommodation click here:

The Wollomi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) was found in one of the gorges in 1994. Until its discovery it was known only from fossils and were thought to have been extinct for 100 million years.

Wollemi Pine    The seedling that was since stolen from the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading