Warrumbungle National Park
Warrumbungle National Park is a heritage listed national park located in the Orana region of New South Wales, Australia. The national park is located 550 kilometres northwest of Sydney and contained within 23,311 hectares; the park attracts 35,000 visitors per annum. The national park is based on the geographical Warrumbungle Mountain Range, sometimes shortened to the Warrumbungles, thus the park name is heard in the plural; the park lies within the Pilliga Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because of its importance for a range of woodland bird species, many of which are threatened. Warrumbungle National Park was added to the Australian National Heritage List in December 2006. On 4 July 2016, the park was the first within Australia to be certified as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association; the nearest towns to the park are Baradine, Coonamble, Gilgandra and Tooraweenah. Access via Coonabarabran to the east is by 27 kilometres of sealed road called the John Renshaw Parkway, built in 1966.
Via Coonamble to the west, access is by a 57 kilometres long road with some gravel. The park is contained within three local government areas: Warrumbungle Shire to the east, Gilgandra Shire to the south and Coonamble Shire to the west. Located within the large area of temperate savanna grasslands the park incorporates the most spectactular part of the Warrumbungle mountains, a region of past volcanic activity with unusual lava formations; some of the most well-known rock formations include Bluff Mountain, Mount Exmouth, The Breadknife, Split Rock, Fans Horizon and Crater Bluff. There are many scenic bushwalks and both rock climbing and abseiling are popular. Though the park preserved habitat for koalas in the past, a massive 2013 fire decimated the koala population. Located adjacent to the national park is the Siding Spring Observatory; the observatory opened in 1965, was constructed on the boundary of the park because the park provided a light-free environment. This scientific facility consists of several internationally important telescopes and has considerable socio-economic importance to the local Coonabarabran community.
There are four main campsites. All camping in the park is only permitted after obtaining a permit. There is a visitors centre for keys to a number of huts; the park caters for large school groups. There are free electric barbecues available however firewood is not supplied or to be collected within park grounds. A proposal to reserve the more scenic parts of the Warrumbungle Range as the Warrumbungle National Monument was first initiated by the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council in 1936; the area was first proclaimed as a reserve in 1953. In 1967 management of the park was signed over to the National Parks and Wildlife Service; the construction of a network of walking tracks done by hand was headed by the parks first ranger, Carl Dow. The park was added to the list of the National Heritage in December 2006, in recognition of the park's importance as an extensive and spectacular geomorphological site with bold volcanic landforms that are unrivalled anywhere else in Australia. In January 2013 about 80% of the national park was destroyed in a conflagration that burned much of the area surrounding the park as well as destroying dozens of homes.
The visitor centre and museum were wiped out, as well as railings and viewing platforms throughout the park. The park has since reopened, although some parts remain closed. Protected areas of New South Wales Warrumbungle National Park: Park management at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. NSW Parks and Wildlife Service Closure notice
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. It is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. An international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas. While this type of national park had been proposed the United States established the first "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people", Yellowstone National Park, in 1872. Although Yellowstone was not termed a "national park" in its establishing law, it was always termed such in practice and is held to be the first and oldest national park in the world. However, the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain are seen as the oldest protected areas, predating Yellowstone by nearly a century.
The first area to use "national park" in its creation legislation was the U. S.'s Mackinac, in 1875. Australia's Royal National Park, established in 1879, was the world's third official national park. In 1895 ownership of Mackinac National Park was transferred to the State of Michigan as a state park and national park status was lost; as a result, Australia's Royal National Park is by some considerations the second oldest national park now in existence. Canada established Parks Canada in 1911, becoming the world's first national service dedicated to protecting and presenting natural and historical treasures; the largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, established in 1974. According to the IUCN, 6,555 national parks worldwide met its criteria in 2006. IUCN is still discussing the parameters of defining a national park. National parks are always open to visitors. Most national parks provide outdoor recreation and camping opportunities as well as classes designed to educate the public on the importance of conservation and the natural wonders of the land in which the national park is located.
In 1969, the IUCN declared a national park to be a large area with the following defining characteristics: One or several ecosystems not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty. In 1971, these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park; these include: Minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection of nature takes precedence Statutory legal protection Budget and staff sufficient to provide sufficient effective protection Prohibition of exploitation of natural resources qualified by such activities as sport, fishing, the need for management, etc. While the term national park is now defined by the IUCN, many protected areas in many countries are called national park when they correspond to other categories of the IUCN Protected Area Management Definition, for example: Swiss National Park, Switzerland: IUCN Ia - Strict Nature Reserve Everglades National Park, United States: IUCN Ib - Wilderness Area Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe: IUCN III - National Monument Vitosha National Park, Bulgaria: IUCN IV - Habitat Management Area New Forest National Park, United Kingdom: IUCN V - Protected Landscape Etniko Ygrotopiko Parko Delta Evrou, Greece: IUCN VI - Managed Resource Protected AreaWhile national parks are understood to be administered by national governments, in Australia national parks are run by state governments and predate the Federation of Australia.
In Canada, there are both national parks operated by the federal government and provincial or territorial parks operated by the provincial and territorial governments, although nearly all are still national parks by the IUCN definition. In many countries, including Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, national parks do not adhere to the IUCN definition, while some areas which adhere to the IUCN definition are not designated as national parks. In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy; the painter George Catlin, in his travels through the American West, wrote during the 1830s that the Native Americans in the United States might be preserved...in a magnificent park... A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty! The first effort by the U. S. Federal government to set aside such protected lands was on 20 April 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation that the 22nd United States Congress had enacted to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas, to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the futur
A lyrebird is either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian birds that compose the genus Menura, the family Menuridae. They are most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment, the striking beauty of the male bird's huge tail when it is fanned out in courtship display. Lyrebirds have unique plumes of neutral-coloured tailfeathers and are among Australia's best-known native birds; the classification of lyrebirds was the subject of much debate after the first specimens reached European scientists after 1798. The superb lyrebird was first illustrated and described scientifically as Menura superba by Major-General Thomas Davies in 1800 to the Linnean Society of London, he based his work on specimens sent from New South Wales to England. Lyrebirds were thought to be Galliformes like the broadly similar looking partridge and pheasants familiar to Europeans, reflected in the early names given to the superb lyrebird, including native pheasant.
They were called peacock-wrens and Australian birds-of-paradise. The idea that they were related to the pheasants was abandoned when the first chicks, which are altricial, were described, they were not classed with the passerines until a paper was published in 1840, 12 years after they were assigned a discrete family, Menuridae. Within that family they compose Menura, it is accepted that the lyrebird family is most related to the scrub-birds and some authorities combine both in a single family, but evidence that they are related to the bowerbirds remains controversial. Lyrebirds are ancient Australian animals: the Australian Museum has fossils of lyrebirds dating back to about 15 million years ago; the prehistoric Menura tyawanoides has been described from Early Miocene fossils found at the famous Riversleigh site. Two species of lyrebird are extant: The lyrebirds are large passerine birds, amongst the largest in the order, they are short rounded wings. They are poor fliers and take to the air except for periods of downhill gliding.
The superb lyrebird is the larger of the two species. Females are 74–84 cm long, the males are a larger 80–98 cm long—making them the third-largest passerine bird after the thick-billed raven and the common raven. Albert's lyrebird is smaller at a maximum of 90 cm and 84 cm They have smaller, less spectacular lyrate feathers than the superb lyrebird, but are otherwise similar; the superb lyrebird is found in areas of rainforest in Victoria, New South Wales, south-east Queensland. It is found in Tasmania where it was introduced in the 19th century. Many superb lyrebirds live in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and Kinglake National Park around Melbourne, the Royal National Park and Illawarra region south of Sydney, in many other parks along the east coast of Australia, non protected bushland. Albert's lyrebird is found only in a small area of Southern Queensland rainforest. Lyrebirds are shy and difficult to approach the Albert's lyrebird, with the result that little information about its behaviour has been documented.
When lyrebirds detect potential danger, they pause and scan the surroundings, sound an alarm, either flee the area on foot, or seek cover and freeze. Firefighters sheltering in mine shafts during bushfires have been joined by lyrebirds. Lyrebirds feed as individuals. A range of invertebrate prey is taken, including insects such as cockroaches, earwigs, fly larvae, the adults and larvae of moths. Other prey taken includes centipedes, earthworms. Less taken prey includes stick insects, amphipods, lizards and seeds, they find food by scratching with their feet through the leaf-litter. The breeding cycle of the lyrebirds is long, lyrebirds are long-lived birds, capable of living as long as thirty years, they start breeding in life than other passerine birds. Female superb lyrebirds start breeding at the age of five or six, males at the age of six to eight. Males defend territories from other males, those territories may contain the breeding territories of up to eight females. Within the male territories, the males use display platforms.
Male lyrebirds call during winter, when they construct and maintain an open arena-mound in dense bush, on which they sing and dance in courtship display, to display to potential mates, of which the male lyrebird has several. The female builds an untidy nest low to the ground in a moist gully, where she lays a single egg; the egg is incubated over 50 days by the female, the female fosters the chick alone. A lyrebird's song is one of the more distinctive aspects of its behavioural biology. Lyrebirds sing throughout the year, but the peak of the breeding season, from June to August, is when they sing with the most intensity. During this peak they may sing for four hours of the day half the hours of daylight; the song of the superb lyrebird is a mixture of elements of its own song and any number of other mimicked songs and noises. The lyrebird's syrinx is the most complexly-muscled of the passerines, giving the lyrebird extraordinary ability, unmatched in vocal repertoire and mimicry. Lyrebirds render with great fidelity the individual songs of other birds and the chatter of flocks of birds, mimic other animals such as koalas and dingoes.
The lyrebird is capable of imitating any sound and they have been recorded mimicking human sounds such as a mill whistle, a cross-cut saw, chain
Goobang National Park
Goobang is a national park located in New South Wales, Australia, 296 kilometres northwest of Sydney. It protects the largest remnant forest and woodland in the central west region of the state, where interior and coastal New South Wales flora and fauna species overlap. Named Herveys Range by John Oxley in 1817, the area was reserved in 1897 as state forest because of its importance as a timber resource, was designated a national park in 1995; the park contains a camping ground and a hiking trail, Burrabadine Peak Walking Track, a 3.6 km round trip moderate hike. Goobang National Park is in a temperate to semi-arid zone experiencing hot summers and cool winters with temperatures ranging from 4 to 15 °C in winter and 17 to 32 °C in summer; the heaviest rain fall is in the summer and can range from 645 millimetres on the east side of the ranges to 564 millimetres west of the ranges. There are 459 species recorded in several that are threatened. Tylophora linearis is listed as vulnerable according to the TCS ACT 1995 and endangered according to the EPBC ACT 1999.
Eriostemon ericifolius is vulnerable based on TCS ACT 1995 and Astrotricha linearis only known record west of the Great Dividing Range. Pomaderris queeslandica endangered TSC ACT 1995 and Philotheca ericifoia vulnerable EPBC ACT 1999. There are 135 ecological communities in the South West Slope bioregion, most are considered poorly protected. There are 11 ecological communities in the park; these include red stringybark woodland found on siliceous hillslopes of the Hervey Range. Red stringybark, long leaved box black cypress pine, hummock grass, shrubby low woodland found on siliceous volcanic and sedimentary ranges. Red ironbark in association with black cypress shrubby woodland found on shallow sandy soils derived from sandstone. Red ironbark, red stringybark tumbledown gum heathland found on siliceous ridges and scribbly gum dominated open forest in association with black cypress pine and red ironbark. A further four communities that are protected in Goobang are considered to be of significance.
Mugga ironbark, black cypress, red stringybark, Blakely's red gum and red ironbark woodland which are found on hillslopes and in valleys on the ranges. Buloke and white cypress pine. Riparian Blakely's red gum, apple box, yellow box and inland grey box, with shrub and grass tall open forest in valleys. White box, with black cypress and red gum shrubby woodlands in the hills. Fires are an intrinsic feature of the Australian bush, to ensure continual biodiversity prescribed burns are carried out at the appropriate times within the park. Wildfires at Goobang have occurred due to dry lightning strikes in the hot summer months. There have been 52 wildfires recorded since 1942. There are 31 species of reptiles, 14 species of frogs and 31 species of mammals recorded in the park including echidnas, kangaroos and bats as well as exotics such as rabbits, foxes, goats and dogs. Threatened species include carpet python, Sloane's froglet, brush tailed rock wallaby, grey-headed flying-fox, yellow-bellied sheathtail bat, Corben's long eared bat (Nyetophilus corbeni and New Holland mouse Rabbits pose a threat to the survival of tree seedlings competition with native herbivores.
Weeds such as blackberry are significant as far as causing havoc within the natural environment forming large thickets blocking creeks suppressing native ground covers and providing a hiding spot for feral animals such as rabbits. Exotic grasses and weeds have replaced native undergrowth in most of the scattered white box communities. Grazing in and around remnant woodlands. Clearing of native vegetation that might act as connective corridors between the park and any other patchy native landscapes. Species that require specialized niches and or cannot disperse and colonize suitable habitat will be affected if this current
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, field projects and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable". Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to sustainable development in its projects. Unlike many other international environmental organisations, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation, it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, through building partnerships. The organization is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.
IUCN has a membership of over 1400 non-governmental organizations. Some 16,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis, it employs 1000 full-time staff in more than 50 countries. Its headquarters are in Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity, it was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. In the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its closer relations with the business sector have caused controversy. IUCN was established in 1948, it was called the International Union for the Protection of Nature and the World Conservation Union. Establishment IUCN was established on 5 October 1948, in Fontainebleau, when representatives of governments and conservation organizations signed a formal act constituting the International Union for the Protection of Nature.
The initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. The objectives of the new Union were to encourage international cooperation in the protection of nature, to promote national and international action and to compile and distribute information. At the time of its founding IUPN was the only international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years: 1948–1956 IUPN started out with 65 members, its secretariat was located in Brussels. Its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid scientific base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were associated, they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of gravely endangered species was drawn up for the first time, a precursor of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In the early years of its existence IUCN depended entirely on UNESCO funding and was forced to temporarily scale down activities when this ended unexpectedly in 1954. IUPN was successful in engaging prominent scientists and identifying important issues such as the harmful effects of pesticides on wildlife but not many of the ideas it developed were turned into action; this was caused by unwillingness to act on the part of governments, uncertainty about the IUPN mandate and lack of resources. In 1956, IUPN changed its name to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Increased profile and recognition: 1956–1965 In the 1950s and 1960s Europe entered a period of economic growth and formal colonies became independent. Both developments had impact on the work of IUCN. Through the voluntary involvement of experts in its Commissions IUCN was able to get a lot of work done while still operating on a low budget, it established links with the Council of Europe. In 1961, at the request of United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, IUCN published the first global list of national parks and protected areas which it has updated since.
IUCN's best known publication, the Red Data Book on the conservation status of species, was first published in 1964. IUCN began to play a part in the development of international treaties and conventions, starting with the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Environmental law and policy making became a new area of expertise. Africa was the focus of many of the early IUCN conservation field projects. IUCN supported the ‘Yellowstone model’ of protected area management, which restricted human presence and activity in order to protect nature. IUCN and other conservation organisations were criticized for protecting nature against people rather than with people; this model was also applied in Africa and played a role in the decision to remove the Maasai people from Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To establish a stable financial basis for its work, IUCN participated in setting up the World Wildlife Fund
The Hunter Region commonly known as the Hunter Valley, is a region of New South Wales, extending from 120 km to 310 km north of Sydney. It contains its tributaries with highland areas to the north and south. Situated at the northern end of the Sydney Basin bioregion, the Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, is most known for its wineries and coal industry. Most of the population of the Hunter Region lives within 25 km of the coast, with 55% of the entire population living in the cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. There are numerous other towns and villages scattered across the region in the eleven local government areas that make up the region. At the 2011 census the combined population of the region was 620,530. Under Australia's wine appellation system, the Hunter Valley wine zone Australian Geographical Indication covers the entire catchment of the Hunter River and its tributaries. Within that, the Hunter region is as large, includes most of the wine-producing areas, excluding the metropolitan area of Newcastle and nearby coastal areas, some national parks, any land, in the Mudgee Shire.
The Hunter wine region is one of Australia's best known wine regions, playing a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th century. The success of the Hunter Valley wine industry has been dominated by its proximity to Sydney with its settlement and plantings in the 19th century fuelled by the trade network that linked the valley to the city; the steady demand of consumers from Sydney continues to drive much of the Hunter Valley wine industry, including a factor in the economy by the tourism industry. While the Hunter Valley has been supplanted by the massive Riverina wine region as the largest producer of New South Wales wine, it still accounts for around 3% of Australia's total wine production and is one of the country's most recognisable regions. For over 30,000 years the Wonnarua tribe of Aboriginal Australians inhabited the land, now known as the Hunter Valley wine region. Along with the Worimi to the north and the Awabakal to the south, the Wonnarua developed a trading route connecting the Coquun Valley to the harbour now known as Sydney harbour.
The wine-making history of Hunter Valley begins with the European settlement of the Sydney and the New South Wales region of Australia in the late 18th century as a penal colony of the British Empire. The Hunter River itself was discovered, by accident, in 1797 by British Lieutenant John Shortland as he searched for escaped convicts; the region soon became a valuable source for timber and coal that fuelled the steamship trade coming out of Sydney. Land prospector John Howe cut a path through the Australian wilderness from Sydney up to the overland area in what is now known as the Hunter Valley proper in 1820. Today, the modern Putty Road between the cities of Windsor and Singleton follows Howe's exact path and is a major thoroughfare for wine tourists coming into the Hunter Valley from Sydney; as previous plantings in the coastal areas around Sydney succumbed to the humidity and wetness, plantings to the west were limited by spring frost damage, northern reaches leading to the Hunter became by default, the wine region of the new colony.
The expansive growth of the Hunter Valley in the mid to late 19th century came directly from its monopoly position of the lucrative Sydney market. The provincial government of New South Wales had enacted regulations that placed prohibitive duties on wines from other areas such as Victoria and South Australia. Following World War I, many returning Australian veterans were given land grants in the Hunter Valley; this temporarily produced an up-tick in plantings but the global Great Depression as well as a series of devastating hail storms between 1929–30 caused many growers to abandon their vineyards. The Hunter Region is considered a transitional area between the Paleozoic rock foundation of the New England Fold Belt located to the south and the Early Permian and Middle Triassic period rock formations of the Sydney Basin to the south. Between these two geological areas is the Hunter-Mooki Thrust fault. At one time this fault was geologically active and gave rise to the Brokenback range that feature prominently in the Hunter region.
Strips of basalt found throughout the region bear witness to the volcanic activity that has occurred in the history of this fault. The Permian rocks in the central and southeastern expanse of the Lower Hunter Valley were formed when the area was underneath a shallow marine estuary; the remnants of this period has left an extensive network of coal seams that fuelled the early population boom of the Hunter Valley in the 19th century as well a high degree of salinity in the water table of much of the area. The further north and west, towards the Brokenback Range and the Upper Hunter, the more Triassic sandstone that can be found leading to the carboniferous rocks that form the northern boundary of the Hunter with the New England Fold Belt and the foothills of the Barrington Tops. Overall, the Hunter Valley has more soils that are unsuitable for viticulture than they have areas that are ideal for growing grapes; the soils of the Lower Hunter vary from sandy alluvial flats, to deep friable loam and friable red duplex soils.
In the Upper Hunter, the rivers and creeks of the region contribute to the areas black, silty loam soils that are overlaid on top of alkaline clay loam. Among the hills of the Brokenback range are strips of volcanic basalt that are prized b