Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area

New England National Park, one of the parks in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia or CERRA) include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals which remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record. The outstanding geological features displayed around shield volcanic craters and the high number of rare and threatened species are of international significance for science and conservation.

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area was first inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986 and extended in 1994. It is what is known as a serial World Heritage Area and is comprised of several protected areas in north-east NSW and south-east Queensland.

World Heritage

The Convention for the Protection of the World's Natural and Cultural Heritage was established by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) in 1972 to ensure the protection of heritage that is considered to be of outstanding universal value.

The outstanding natural values for which the Gondwana Rainforests was listed, are detailed at World Heritage Places - Gondwana Rainforests of Australia - Outstanding Universal Value.

Who manages the property?

The management of World Heritage areas in Australia is undertaken cooperatively by state and federal governments in accordance with the Australian World Heritage Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).

The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia is managed principally by:

The Australian Government, as signatory to the World Heritage Convention, works in cooperation with the state agencies through the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

To coordinate management of the property, representatives of the three partner agencies participate in a Steering Committee which determines policy directions and a Coordinating Committee which addresses operational matters.

Advisory committees

There are two advisory committees for the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area:

  • a Community Advisory Committee, and
  • a Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee.

The members of these committees provide advice to the managing agencies and undertake activities to raise community awareness of the property and its values.


Executive Officer of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area (email)

Current cooperative projects

In addition to the ongoing work undertaken in both states in the management of the World Heritage Area, the Australian Government provides funding through a variety of programs including Caring for Our Country (CfoC). The current CfoC program target is to mitigate threats to the outstanding universal values of the property.

Current CfoC funded projects include:

  • Weed management programs to reduce the impact of priority weeds in priority locations
  • Management of Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD)
  • Monitoring of amphibian chytrid fungus
  • Sampling for the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, and the preparation of a management plan
  • Threatened species monitoring for the Hastings river mouse and the spotted-tailed quoll
  • A regional assessment of climate change impacts and the development of appropriate actions for threat mitigation
  • Monitoring of endemic high mountain dwelling frog species in relation to climate change
  • An assessment of fire impacts on rainforest communities.

Further resources

Visit a park within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

Enter a NSW town to find nearby Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage parks:

Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

Page last updated: 16 September 2015