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Kanangra-Boyd National Park

Kanangra-Boyd, Australia

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Kanangra-Boyd is a national park in New South Wales, Australia, that is located approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-west of Sydney. Kanangra-Boyd National Park lies to the southwest of and is contiguous with the Blue Mountains National Park, and is part of the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site. The park was established in 1969 and comprises approximately 686.6 square kilometres (265.1 sq mi).

Two of the features most spoken of[by whom?] in the Kanangra-Boyd National park are the Kanangra Falls and Kanangra Walls. Kanangra Walls was used in the re-filming of the movie Jedda in 1954.

Kanangra-Boyd National Park is composed of two land units — the elevated, gently undulating Boyd Plateau and the area of creeks, rivers, gorges and ridges into which the plateau falls away. The plateau is traversed by the Kanangra Walls Road and can be accessed either from Oberon or Jenolan Caves. The road leads to Kanangra Walls. There are several well known landmarks in the park, such as Mount Cloudmaker, Kanangra Walls and the Thurat Spires. The word Kanangra is generally held to be a corruption of Gundangura and was called Thurat for some time.

The Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness is among the largest and most rugged wilderness areas in New South Wales. Situated to the south of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains and the Kanangra-Boyd National Parks, this folded belt or "Rim Rock" area is markedly different from the Permo-Triassic sandstone dominated landforms which comprise the rest of the Blue Mountains. There are isolated residual cappings of Permian sandstone in a few places but here the Palaeozoic basement rocks, which are elsewhere buried well below the Permo-Triassic Measures, are on the surface as high land. Rock types include quarzite, diorite, Devonian rhyolites, rhyo-dacites, Silurian phyllites, slates, siltstones and tuff limestones. The Boyd Plateau comprises a dome of Devonian granite intruded into Devonian quarzites and sedimentaries. There are also intrusive igneous rocks from the Carboniferous period. Kanangra Tops at the south-eastern end of the Plateau is one of the Permian outliers. Its fringing faultline scarp - Kanangra Walls - comprises Permian sedimentaries of the Capertee Group which rests unconformably on a Devonian Lambie Group Basement. Nearby Kanangra Gorge is cut 600–900 metres (2,000–3,000 ft) deep in rocks of the Lambie Group, and is one of Australia's deepest gorges. Cloudmaker and Guouogang are eroded remnants of Ordovician quarzite. Further east, in the Coxs River area, is the large Kanimbla granite batholith, implaced during the Carboniferous period. Colong Caves is another outstanding feature of the area. The main Upper Silurian limestone belt, in the Jenolan River valley to the north-west, is 300 metres (980 ft) thick, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) long and located in a valley 460 metres (1,510 ft) deep. This karst topography, created by the Jenolan and its tributaries, is one of the least understood in Australia.

The complex geology, climate, fire regime, and topography has enabled a wide variety of ecosystems to develop. Eucalypt forest with western plain species, such as Yellow Box and White Box, are found in areas of rainshadow. Forests of Mountain Ash are found on well drained soils and Blaxland Stringybark where soil is poor. Red Spotted Gum, Blakelys Red Gum, Red Stringybark and Forest Oak are also found. Kurrajong trees are found in abundance where limestone outcrops occur, and in sheltered gullies rainforest species (including Red Cedar) and Blue Gum are found. On the Boyd Plateau, the misty mountain forests of Brown Barrel, Messmate, Ribbon Gum, Black Sally, Snow gum and Mallee predominate. High altitude areas subject to strong winds generally support heath and closed scrub communities. In areas of impeded drainage, various swamps occur, dominated by sedges and scrubs such as Leptospermum and Baeckea species.

About 1,000 flowering plant species occur in the Blue Mountains, in some 40 plant communities. There are over 45 rare or endangered plant species in the wilderness. A unique form of tall open forest occurs in the Kedumba Valley, dominated by Camden White Gum, an endangered species limited to these populations.

The Blue Mountains National Park contains 46 species of mammals, including 27 marsupials and two monotremes. Over 200 birds and 98 reptile species have been recorded. Several species listed on Schedules 1 and 2 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW) are found in the Wilderness Area including: The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis), Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus volans), Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), and Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale penicillata). A species of Peripatus, or Velvet Worm has been found on the Boyd Plateau is considered rare.

There are several walking tracks and other sites in the park, these include the:

Camping is available at Boyd River camping ground located on Kanangra Road.

Kalang Falls

Kanangra Walls seen from Echo Head

Kanangra Grand Gorge

Mount Cloudmaker

View from Kanangra Walls

Forest near Boyd River

Boyd River campground in winter

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Official Record

  • WDPA ID310098
  • NameKanangra-Boyd
  • Original NameKanangra-Boyd
  • Country / TerritoryAUS
  • Sub locationAU-NSW
  • IUCN CategoryIbWhat is this?
  • English DesignationNational Park
  • Designation TypeNational
  • StatusDesignated
  • Status Year1969
  • Reported Area km2725.61
  • Marinefalse
  • Governance TypeFederal or national ministry or agency
  • International CriteriaNot Applicable
  • Management AuthorityNew South Wales - Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)
  • Management Plan URLNot Reported




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Official Data Provider

Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DeSEWPC) (2010)

Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (2010) Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database 2010. Australian Government, Canberra, Australia.
For non commercial use only. The data is supplied to the Commonwealth for compilation by States and Territories of Australia and custodianship rests with the source agencies.

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