Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

History of the Newnes Plateau region



Prehistoric period
250 million years ago

Sediments from Northern Tablelands area deposited to become Narrabeen sandstones

20,000 years ago Last glacial maximum, sand dunes form, indicating low vegetation cover at this time, climate warms, increased vegetation cover and extension of forest
6 000 years ago Increased rainfall, Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau swamps form
Historic period
1830s First exploration by William Romaine Govett
Survey route line by Archibald Bell
1866 Construction of Great Zig Zag for main western railway from Clarence to Lithgow
Coal mining in Lithgow area - State Coal mine under Newnes Plateau
1873 Wolgan shale seam opened by Mr C. Mitchell
1905 Shale industry at Newnes established
1906 - 1907 Construction of Wolgan Valley Railway from Newnes Junction to Newnes in the Wolgan Valley, Henry Deane consulting engineer
1906 First discovery of Boronia deanei by Henry Deane
1909 Henry Deane first collected Leucochrysum graminifolium (formerly Helipterum graminifolium), type specimen collected 1939
Newnes State Forest declared; source of pit props and mining timbers until 1980s
1923 Newnes oil works closed
1930s Railway ceased to be used, tunnel becomes habitat for glowworms
1934 Wolgan Snow Gum, Eucalyptus pauciflora var nana first described by Blakely; subsequently described as Eucalyptus gregsoniana (1973)
1939 Plant collecting in Clarence area by WF Blakely including collection of type of Leptospermum blakelyi
Railway line scrapped
1960s Newnes afforestation camp established
1966 First collection of Prostanthera hindii
1970s Clearing and planting of pine plantations
1979 Wollemi National Park declared
1980s Extensive underground coal mining
Plant collecting by Peter Hind including
Sand extraction at Clarence on Newnes Plateau
1988 Katoomba 1: 100000 vegetation map published in Cunninghamia pdf
1989 Description of Leptospermum blakelyi and classification of other Leptospermum species on Newnes Plateau by Joy Thompson
1990 Wallerawang 1: 100000 vegetation map published in Cunninghamia pdf
1994 Gardens of Stone National park declared including parts of the Newnes Plateau
1996 Type specimen of Persoonia hindii
2000 Greater Blue Mountaina World heritage area declared over adjacent Wollemi and Blue Mountains National park, Newnes Plateau an imortant buffer
2005 Newnes Plateau swamps listed as Endangered Ecological communities under the Threatened Species Act
  Gardens of Stone stage 2 proposed
2007 Newnes Afforestation camp demolished
2009 Impacts of subsidence from longwall coal mining evident in Newnes Plateau swamps