Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is the catchment and lungs of the Sydney basin, providing a wide range of essential ecosystem services, with over 65% being declared wilderness. It extends 220 km from the Southern Highlands in the south to the Hunter Valley in the north, and reaches to within 60 km of the centre of Sydney westward to the farming tablelands beyond The Great Divide.

Greater Blue Mountains - Australia - Photo: Jacqueline Reid, ACIUCN
Photo: Jacqueline Reid, ACIUCN

The geology and geomorphology of The Greater Blue Mountains Area, which includes 300 metre cliffs, slot canyons and waterfalls, provides the physical conditions and visual backdrop to support these outstanding biological values. The property includes large areas of accessible wilderness in close proximity to 4.5 million people. Its exceptional biodiversity values are complemented by numerous others, including indigenous and post-European-settlement cultural values, geodiversity, water production, wilderness, recreation and natural beauty.

World Heritage

The Greater Blue Mountains Area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.

The area includes outstanding and representative examples in a relatively small area of the evolution and adaptation of the genus Eucalyptus and eucalypt-dominated vegetation on the Australian continent. The site contains a wide and balanced representation of eucalypt habitats including wet and dry sclerophyll forests and mallee heathlands, as well as localised swamps, wetlands and grassland.  It is a centre of diversification for the Australian scleromorphic flora, including significant aspects of eucalypt evolution and radiation. The site includes an outstanding diversity of habitats and plant communities that support its globally significant species and ecosystem diversity.

See also: Australia

Header photo of Three Sisters, Greater Blue Mountains © Sarawinter |
All other photos courtesy of ACIUCN.
Text source ACIUCN and UNESCO (CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0)