Why is the Blue Mountains protected?

Located a couple hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a mountain range covered in thick bushland and significant sites.

Being one of the most important regions in New South Wales, the Blue Mountains is important historically, geologically, and ecologically.

The Wildlife

The unique plants and animals that live here have an immense significance to the Australian ecosystem. Due to its massive size and a large amount of bushland, the Blue Mountains has the highest percentage of wildlife living within the entire New South Wales. The unique eucalypt vegetation and rare animals that live within is one of the only places these species survive in, with the cave system, rugged tablelands, sheer cliffs, deep gorges all apart of the wildlife’s ecosystem.

The History and Culture

For thousands of years, the Blue Mountains have been home to the traditional owners of the land, the Aboriginal peoples, with the local tribes known as the Gundungurra and Darug communities. Even today, there is still plenty of this community living within, with a number of cultural sites that display this culture’s past and their traditional customs attached to this land. The land of the Blue Mountains immensely important to these Indigenous people, with historic sites and traditional customs held within.

The Geological Formation of the Blue Mountains

Archaeological studies indicate that the Blue Mountains was formed over a million years ago. Due to the pressure from the east, causing a raised area in the monoclinal fold, making the entire region elevated. After continuous years of erosion, as well as a volcanic eruption, the Blue Mountains slowly formed shaped, with thick bushland eventually sporting on top of it.

The Jenolan Caves Formation

The Jenolan Caves may be one of the oldest and most significant open cave systems in the entire world. Developing over 340 million years ago, they are made from a Karst rock material, which has slowly eroded to create these caves from continuous rain and wind. The cave system comprises of 300 different caves and is so vast, that many of the caves have still not been seen by humans, with the gateways too small or dangerous for entry.

Related article: Aboriginal History in the Blue Mountains

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