Travel to the deep heart of an ancient UNESCO-listed World Heritage wilderness - from the comfort of a 21st century exhibition space.
The leading-edge World Heritage Exhibition Centre takes you on a virtual journey through the canyons and ridges of 1 million hectares of wilderness. On your journey to the inaccessible Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, you will:
The Centre's interactive activities are suitable for all ages, languages and groups.
The outstanding diversity and sheer number of eucalypts across the landscape gained World Heritage listing for the Greater Blue Mountains. Fourteen per cent of the world's eucalypts grow in the Greater Blue Mountains. That's over 100 species, 12 of which occur only in the Sydney sandstone region.
World Heritage listing protects the rich biodiversity associated with this area which contains:
The striking diversity of animals in the area includes:
It's hard to account for all the invertebrates but the area includes 125 butterflies, about 4000 moth species and 67 cave invertebrates (found at Jenolan Caves).
There are 127 plants of conservation significance and 52 endemic rare or threatened animals highlighted in the strategic plan for this World Heritage Area. Some of these species such as the Wollemi Pine and the dwarf Blue Mountains Pine have remained virtually unchanged in appearance for many millions of years and today survive only in highly restricted, often wet, habitats. These species are connections with Australia's distant past, when it was part of a larger landmass called Gondwana.
Virtual exploration of the pristine Blue Mountains wilderness promotes minimal impact eco-tourism and encourages all visitors to care for and appreciate wilderness areas.
We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Aboriginal people and associated clans of the Darkinjung, Darug, Dharawal, Gundungurra, Wanaruah and Wiradjuri Language Groups as the traditional custodians of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Look out at the panoramic view from the World Heritage Exhibition Centre. That vast natural landscape all around you encompasses eight national parks and reserves, six Aboriginal language groups and over a million hectares of sandstone plateaus, escarpments and gorges.
The area is dominated by temperate eucalypt forests that date back about 60 million years. Scattered with Dreaming and rock art sites, and remnants of colonial exploration, much of the wilderness remains isolated. This ancient area is conserving whole ecosystems with unique biodiversity.
After a history of continuous care by Aboriginal people and years of campaigning for its recognition by conservation groups, individuals and governments, this Area's significance was formally acknowledged by its inscription in the World Heritage List on 29 November 2000.
The World Heritage Area is made up of seven outstanding National Parks: the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks, as well as the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.