About the Great Eastern Ranges corridor

The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) focuses on the ‘GER corridor’ comprised of the mountainous watershed that separates the east coast of Australia from inland eastern Australia. These ranges extend for more than 3600 kilometres from central Victoria, through the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, to far north Queensland.

Along its route, the GER corridor traces the landscapes of the Great Dividing Range and Great Escarpment. The region comprises the most biologically diverse landscapes on the continent, and includes the most extensive network of protected areas and natural habitats in eastern Australia.

The GER corridor forms the watershed and headwaters for the major rivers in eastern Australia, directing runoff either towards the coast or inland. It ranges widely in elevation, and includes Australia’s highest mountain (Mt Kosciuszko – 2228 metres). Here, the ranges receive over 3000 millimetres of rainfall annually. In some areas, there are rugged mountains and in other areas the terrain is barely distinguishable from the surrounding landscape.

In NSW, the GER corridor stretches for 1200 km from the Queensland to the Victorian borders. The landscape is significant at this level by supporting:

  • a source of clean water for more than three quarters of the State’s population
  • the catchments for the most reliable rainfall in eastern Australia
  • three World Heritage areas, and many national parks, nature reserves and wilderness areas
  • almost two-thirds of NSW's vulnerable and endangered plant and animal species
  • areas of spiritual significance to Aboriginal people, and national parks owned by Aboriginal people
  • a reservoir for biodiversity, and a 'lifeline' for biodiversity and cultural heritage
  • contain the rainforests with the greatest concentration of primitive flowering plants in the world (there are over 8000 plant species, of which more than 1200 are endemic)
  • one of Australia's most important tourism destinations
  • the only continental-scale north–south area that can support conservation linkages in Australia over the maximum possible elevation, latitude and climate range
  • arguably the terrestrial equivalent of the Great Barrier Reef.
Page last updated: 29 January 2014