The Gardens of Stone

nature’s wonderland on the frontline

Keith Muir, Wilderness advocate

Situated in the western Blue Mountains, the 30,000ha Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area is the heart of pagoda country and a wonderland of cultural and natural heritage. Unfortunately, its internationally rare pagoda landscapes overlie coal mines and now are slated for commercial tourism infrastructure development.  

In 2019 the Gardens of Stone Alliance of conservation groups published Destination Pagoda to promote how the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area could become a major visitor attraction for Lithgow.  

A celebration of pagodas

On 6 May 2022, after years of proposals, campaigns and negotiations, the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area was gazetted. Accompanying this were additions to Gardens of Stone National Park (NP) and Wollemi NP. This land is former State Forest that has been threatened by the impacts of mining. It is home to fabulous pagoda rock formations and diverse plants and animals.

This area has been popular with walkers for generations. The impacts of mining were first noticed in the 1980s, when cliffs were collapsing. In recent years there have been impacts on in-stream water quality, and cracking and draining of fragile upland swamps.

After a 20 year campaign, new protection for the Gardens of Stone

Madi Maclean, Senior Vice-President, Blue Mountains Conservation Society

This article was first printed in Hut News Issue 398 December 2021. Thanks to BMCS for permission to reprint the article.

Cheers, tears and a storm of emails erupted in celebration within the Society when, on Saturday 13 November, the NSW government at last announced the creation of a new Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area (SCA).

The announcement came in a joint media release from the Premier, Dominic Perrottet, Environment Minister and Treasurer, Matt Kean and Deputy Premier and local MP, Paul Toole.

Unionists and Environmentalists Celebrate NPA Members Joyce and Vern Moffitt

Janine Kitson, NPA Member

In December 2018 unionists and environmentalists came together to celebrate Joyce Moffitt (1930-1999) and Vern Moffitt (1924-2001), past members of the NPA who were pivotal in establishing NPA’s Bathurst Branch.