- the largest areas of subtropical rainforest in the world
- nearly all the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest in the world
- large areas of warm temperate rainforest
- many plants and animals that are very much like their ancestors in the fossil record
- many rare and threatened species
- eroded craters of extinct shield volcanoes.
World Heritage listing
Formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia, this site was first placed on the World Heritage List in 1986. The area was extended in 1994 and is World Heritage-listed because it:
"represents outstanding examples of major stages of the Earth’s evolutionary history, ongoing geological and biological processes, and exceptional biological diversity. A wide range of plant and animal lineages and communities with ancient origins in Gondwana, many of which are restricted largely or entirely to the Gondwana Rainforests, survive in this collection of reserves. The Gondwana Rainforests also provides the principal habitat for many threatened species of plants and animals." (Gondwana Rainforests, UNESCO)
Its name was changed to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia in 2007 to better reflect the values of the property and the 40 separate reserves it covers.
On-the-ground management of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area is largely done by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage), and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (part of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science).
Along with the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment (DoEE) and the Queensland Department of Science (DES), we also manage and protect the World Heritage values of the property through threatened species programs and regional planning initiatives. Coordination of management for serial World Heritage properties is required under the World Heritage Convention. This is achieved through cross-jurisdictional strategic planning and cooperative management by intergovernmental management committees comprised of representatives of OEH, DoEE and DES: the Gondwana Rainforests Management Committee and the Gondwana Rainforests Coordinating Committee.
Two advisory committees, the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Community Advisory Committee and the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee, provide advice to the ministers responsible for world heritage in each jurisdiction as well as the managing agencies.