National Heritage List inscription date 15 December 2006
Australia’s third-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and its surrounding nature reserves and islands combine areas of rich historical significance with graceful scenic beauty and high biodiversity values. The park has been a conservation area since 1894.
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Spectacular flora and fauna
The park’s temperate rainforest, eucalypts, rocky cliffs, plateaus and mangroves contain over 1000 native plant species and scores of species of native moths and butterflies. Native animals such as the spotted-tailed quoll, the southern brown bandicoot, the koala and the eastern bent-wing bat also inhabit the place.
Lion Island, adjoining the mainland national park, supports a large breeding colony of little penguins. Scientists consider this colony to be one of the most successful and stable little penguin colonies in Australia.
As well as a diverse natural environment, the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park displays rich evidence of Indigenous occupation over the last 7400 years by the Garrigal people from around Broken Bay and the Terramerragal people from the Turramurra area.
Traditional rock engravings and paintings dating back 600 years, grinding grooves, stone arrangements and over 800 documented burial and occupational sites within the park provide significant insights in the cultural and spiritual connection of local Aboriginal people to area.
The natural resources of the region were also used by early European settlers. The region was used as a source for timber for boat building. Materials for producing important resources such as soda ash, salt and shell lime were also found in the area.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park covers the area where the Hawkesbury River meets the sea. Stunning landscapes including drowned river valley estuaries, steep sandstone cliffs and plateaus. Long, Lion and Spectacle islands are remnant peaks of the rugged landscape that existed before water levels rose. The islands display outcrops of the oldest rocks in the region—Narrabeen sandstone and shale.
The beauty and solitude of the area was recognised by members of the Drafting Committee of the first Constitutional Convention in 1891. In March that year Samuel Griffith, Edmund Barton, Charles Kingston and John Downer, gathered on the paddle steamer Lucinda which lay at anchor in Pittwater basin for an early attempt to set out the Australian constitution.
National Heritage Listing of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park ensures the protection and enjoyment by future generations of its spectacular and rugged landscape and rich flora and fauna.