Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Plants of the Newnes Plateau

The ecology and plants of a natural sandstone landscape

The Newnes Plateau at 1000-1300 m elevation above sea level is the highest sandstone landscape in the Blue Mountains. Easily accessible from Lithgow and Clarence, the bushland of the Newnes Plateau, north of Lithgow has been a special area for botanical exploration and collecting since it became accessible with the building of the Newnes shale railway in 1906, and the subsequent development of a network of forestry tracks since World War II. The plateau covers about 300 - 400 km2, most of which is within Newnes State Forest which has extensive areas of pine plantations on the eastern side.

About 590 native plant species have been recorded on the Plateau and its special vegetation includes the nationally listed Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps Endangered Ecological Community and other rare or threatened plants and animals.

Unfortunately the vegetation of the area is under threat from a number of sources including coal mining subsidence, broadscale sand extraction and a super highway, as well as ongoing disturbance from uncontrolled off-road recreational vehicle usage.

The biodiversity values of the Newnes Plateau and its high elevation habitat are significant and we consider it should be part of the formal conservation system. To our knowledge there has been no recent comprehensive survey work to look at the distribution of the significant flora and vegetation, or more importantly to evaluate future conservation of the area in the context of climate change.

The Newnes Plateau Plant Pages provide images and information on many of the interesting plants and vegetation that you will find if you explore this unique area.

Here we provideinformation about:

The Newnes Plateau Plant Pages have been prepared by
Doug Benson and Lotte von Richter, Evolutionary Ecology, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust.