Culture and heritage


World Heritage

New England National Park

World Heritage-listed areas in NSW

There are six World Heritage sites in New South Wales, five of which include parks and reserves managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Find out more.

In 1972 the United Nation's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention) which came into force in 1975.

The Convention states that
The cultural and natural heritage is among the priceless and irreplaceable assets, not only of each nation, but of humanity as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized assets constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples of the world. Parts of that heritage, because of their exceptional qualities, can be considered to be of "outstanding universal value" and as such worthy of special protection against the dangers which increasingly threaten them. (World Heritage Operational Guidelines 2005: 2)

The Convention aims to ensure the proper identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the world's heritage through inscription of properties on the World Heritage List.

Australia ratified the Convention in 1974 - one of the first countries to do so. The Australian Government is a State Party to the World Heritage Convention.

Information on the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage List of properties is available from UNESCO's website at

There are now 17 properties of cultural and natural heritage in Australia on the World Heritage List following the listing of the Sydney Opera House on 28 June 2007.

Information on Australia's World Heritage is available on the Department of the Environment website (Australian Government).

Information on World Heritage sites that are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register can be found below:

New World Heritage nominations

Find further information at UNESCO.

Page last updated: 05 February 2014