Kwiambal National Park and Ashford Caves Crown Reserve protect an outstanding diversity of ecosystems that contain unique vegetation communities, significant plant and animal species, all in a spectacular geological landscape with a rich Aboriginal and European history. The key values of the area are:
- diverse plant communities, including significant patches of dry rainforest and white cypress-pine woodlands, that are poorly represented in the current reserve network.
- caves that provide important habitat for rare cave fauna, particularly a viable population of the large bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersii) and the eastern horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus megaphyllus).
- a large number of rare or threatened plant and animal species.
- placement within one of the largest areas of remnant woodlands on the north-west slopes of NSW.
Significant scenic values
- long river frontage along the Severn and Macintyre rivers.
- spectacular river gorges, including Macintyre Falls and the Severn River Falls.
- huge granite boulders and a rolling landscape of rugged hills.
- karst features at the caves, and related geomorphological processes.
Key cultural heritage values
- a diversity of Aboriginal sites and places, contributing towards understanding of Aboriginal culture along the lower reaches of the Macintyre and Severn Rivers, as well as on adjoining slopes and ridges.
Major recreation and tourism values
- easily accessible lookouts, walking tracks and associated facilities at Macintyre Falls Picnic Area.
- camping at Lemon Tree Flat Camping Area, on the Severn River.
- swimming and fishing in the Severn and Macintyre Rivers.
Research and educational values
- geological processes, diverse and significant plant and animal communities, cultural features and a variety of management issues provide numerous opportunities for research.
- the cave system is an important resource for education and interpretation of micro-bats, karst resources and their associated ecosystems.
- bone breccias and sediment deposits in the caves have a high potential for providing information on past environmental changes, and changes in the faunal composition of the area.
- community education regarding woodland and riverine communities and their importance.
Photo: Kwiambal National Park, Macintyre Falls / P Mathews/OEH