Natural Values

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The landscapes of the Great Eastern Ranges contain Australia’s most intact and biologically-diverse mountainous ecosystems. They are a natural wonder, a terrestrial archipelago of ancient Gondwanan rainforests, alpine meadows, wetlands, rocky heaths, tall Eucalypt forests, woodlands and grasslands. The GER corridor is also a refuge for the vast array of plants, animals and insects continuing to evolve within its unique ecosystems.

The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) aims to protect and enhance the many outstanding natural values of the GER corridor, which are of great conservation significance.

Diversity
Unique Species
Migration Routes
Refuge Areas
GER’s Iconic Species

Wet Tropics
Wet Tropics

The Wet Tropics region of far north of Queensland is an iconic landscape both within Australia and internationally. The Wet Tropics span 2.2 million hectares and encompass two World Heritage Areas: the rainforests of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef. The region is home to a vast diversity of unique species, including over 3,000 plant species, and distinctive animals such as tree-kangaroos and cassowaries. Because of its great beauty and diversity, a world-famous tourism industry centres on this landscape.

Border Ranges region
Border Ranges region

The Border Ranges region, on the Queensland-NSW border, and the Glasshouse Mountains further north, are unique elements of Australia’s geological heritage. These mountains tell the story of the region’s volcanic history. The unusual shapes of the Glasshouse Mountains are hard volcanic plugs, which have been exposed as the outside of the volcanoes eroded over the last 25 million years. Similarly, the distinctive peak of Mt Warning (Wollumbin), south of the Border Ranges, is the remnant of a huge shield volcano that was once covered 7000 km2.

Greater Blue Mountains
Greater Blue Mountains

The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in NSW is an extremely important landscape for many people, particularly residents of Sydney and surrounding areas. Historically, the Blue Mountains posed a major physical barrier to early European settlers in the Sydney region, and the history of the many attempts to cross them are a key part of the story of European settlement in Australia. To this day, the Blue Mountains are loved by many people as a place of retreat, providing a chance for city dwellers to reconnect with nature.

Australian Alps
Australian Alps

The Snowy Mountains in Southern NSW is Australia’s highest mountain range and contains Mt Kosciuszko, the tallest mountain in mainland Australia. They form part of the larger Australian Alps National Heritage Area, which is a major tourist destination because of its scenic beauty and opportunities for skiing and other recreational activities. The Snowy Mountains are also famous for the cultural heritage embodied in songs and poems such as ‘The Man from Snowy River’, which romanticised the culture of cattlemen and horses in the high country.

Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley

In the Hunter Valley region, the Great Eastern Ranges are narrower and lower than in other parts of the corridor, forming a unique ‘gap’ that provides an important connection for species between inland and coastal ecosystems. The Valley is an important link for the migration and dispersal of birds, such as the swift parrot, which uses the area as a stepping stone in its northward migration, and the critically endangered regent honeyeater, which disperses into the Valley from breeding areas to the west.

NSW Southwest Slopes
NSW Southwest Slopes

The Southwest Slopes of NSW consist of the isolated ranges and foothills that make up the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range. The Southwest Slopes are home to 36 threatened plant species and 67 threatened animal species. There are three significant wetlands in the area, supporting large numbers of waterbirds, including the iconic and vulnerable brolga.

The Grampians
The Grampians

The Grampians, in western Victoria, contains a series of sandstone mountain ranges of outstanding natural beauty and great cultural and environmental significance. The Grampians are also an important source of water for agricultural and domestic use in much of northwestern Victoria. The park protects many native species, including over 800 plant species, including 40 that are found nowhere else in the world. It is also home to more than 40 native mammal species and hundreds of bird species, including powerful owls and large populations of emus.

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