Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

New national parks and reserves for the Lower Hunter

Environment for living

The Hunter Region is renowned for the diversity of its landscapes and the facilities it offers for residents and visitors. The region encompasses spectacular beaches and dunes, lakes (including Australia's largest coastal saltwater lake, Lake Macquarie), mountains, valleys and forests. All are within easy reach of the state's two largest cities - Newcastle and Sydney.

The Hunter is unique because it is the meeting place of ecosystems from the north, west and east. The region takes in environmentally significant areas of dry sclerophyll shrub forests, estuarine and saline wetlands, heathlands and rainforests. The Hunter's natural resources include coal, timber, minerals and water and, along with other industries such as viticulture, these play an important part in the region's economy. People in the Hunter rightly take great pride in their unique natural environment.

As more people seek to benefit from all that the Hunter offers, the region's population and prosperity are growing, bringing pressure on land to provide housing and employment. As well as the ongoing need for an expanding economy and job growth, there is also a need to protect the environment in this beautiful part of the state.

To complement its regional strategy for development, the Government has also prepared a regional conservation plan which sets out the region's nature conservation priorities for the next 25 years.

New Reserve Proposal for the Lower Hunter Region
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Lower Hunter Regional Conservation Plan 

The Lower Hunter Regional Conservation Plan (PDF 1.6 MB) sets out a 25-year program to direct and drive conservation planning and efforts in the Lower Hunter Valley. It is a partner document to the Government’s Lower Hunter Regional Strategy that sets out the full range of Government planning priorities and identifies the proposed areas of growth.

The Lower Hunter Regional Conservation Plan identifies areas with high conservation values, which provide habitat for endangered ecological communities or threatened flora and fauna. The plan proposes a range of mechanisms to protect these areas for the future, including new conservation reserves.

The Lower Hunter Regional Conservation Plan is focused on the next 25 years and seeks to establish a framework to guide conservation efforts in the Lower Hunter. Stage 1 of the plan has been implemented through the transfer of approximately 20,000 hectares of high conservation value Government lands to the Office of Environment and Heritage. These lands form the backbone of major new conservation corridors.

In the coming years, the new reserves will be available for all to enjoy. Whether for bushwalking, camping, birdwatching, cycling, picnicking or simply getting close to nature, they'll be a reward for the Hunter's hardworking, productive culture, and a place to refresh and stay fit.


Page last updated: 02 December 2015