Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. Banksias range in size from prostrate woody shrubs to trees up to 30 metres tall, they are found in a wide variety of landscapes. Heavy producers of nectar, banksias are a vital part of the food chain in the Australian bush, they are an important food source for all sorts of nectarivorous animals, including birds, rats, stingless bees and a host of invertebrates. Furthermore, they are of economic importance to Australia's cut flower industries; however these plants are threatened by a number of processes including land clearing, frequent burning and disease, a number of species are rare and endangered. Banksias grow as trees or woody shrubs. Trees of the largest species, B. integrifolia and B. seminuda grow over 15 metres tall, some grow to standing 30 metres tall. Banksia species that grow as shrubs are erect, but there are several species that are prostrate, with branches that grow on or below the soil.
The leaves of Banksia vary between species. Sizes vary from the narrow, 1–1½ centimetre long needle-like leaves of B. ericifolia, to the large leaves of B. grandis, which may be up to 45 centimetres long. The leaves of most species have serrated edges. Leaves are arranged along the branches in irregular spirals, but in some species they are crowded together in whorls. Many species have differing adult leaves; the flowers are arranged in flower spikes or capitate flower heads. The character most associated with Banksia is the flower spike, an elongated inflorescence consisting of a woody axis covered in tightly-packed pairs of flowers attached at right angles. A single flower spike contains hundreds or thousands of flowers. Not all Banksia have an elongate flower spike, however: the members of the small Isostylis complex have long been recognised as Banksias in which the flower spike has been reduced to a head. Dryandra, they have capitate flower heads rather than spikes. Banksia flowers are a shade of yellow, but orange, red and violet flowers occur.
The colour of the flowers is determined by the colour of the perianth parts and the style. The style is much longer than the perianth, is trapped by the upper perianth parts; these are released over a period of days, either from top to bottom or from bottom to top. When the styles and perianth parts are different colours, the visual effect is of a colour change sweeping along the spike; this can be most spectacular in B. prionotes and related species, as the white inflorescence in bud becomes a brilliant orange. In most cases, the individual flowers are thin saccate in shape. Multiple flower spikes can form; this is most seen in Banksia marginata and B. ericifolia. As the flower spikes or heads age, the flower parts dry up and may turn shades of orange, tan or dark brown colour, before fading to grey over a period of years. In some species, old flower parts are lost. Old flower spikes are referred to as "cones", although they are not technically cones according to the botanical definition of the term: cones only occur in conifers and cycads.
Despite the large number of flowers per inflorescence, only a few of them develop fruit, in some species a flower spike will set no fruit at all. The fruit of Banksia is a woody follicle embedded in the axis of the inflorescence. In many species, the resulting structure is a massive woody structure called a cone; each follicle consists of two horizontal valves that enclose the seeds. The follicle opens to release the seed by splitting along the suture, in some species each valve splits too. In some species the follicles open as soon as the seed is mature, but in most species most follicles open only after stimulated to do so by bushfire; each follicle contains one or two small seeds, each with a wedge-shaped papery wing that causes it to spin as it falls to the ground. Specimens of Banksia were first collected by Sir Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Solander, naturalists on the Endeavour during Lieutenant James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Cook landed on Australian soil for the first time on 29 April 1770, at a place that he named Botany Bay in recognition of "the great quantity of plants Mr Banks and Dr Solander found in this place".
Over the next seven weeks and Solander collected thousands of plant specimens, including the first specimens of a new genus that would be named Banksia in Banks' honour. Four species were present in this first collection: B. serrata, B. integrifolia, B. ericifolia and B. robur. In June the ship was careened at Endeavour River; the genus Banksia was described and named by Carolus Linnaeus the Younger in his April 1782 publication Supplementum Plantarum.
Sydney central business district
The Sydney central business district is the main commercial centre of Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. It extends southwards for about 3 km from Sydney Cove, the point of first European settlement in which the Sydney region was established. Due to its pivotal role in Australia's early history, it is one of the oldest established areas in the country. Geographically, its north–south axis runs from Circular Quay in the north to Central railway station in the south, its east–west axis runs from a chain of parkland that includes Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour in the east. At the 2016 Australian Census, the CBD recorded a population of 17,252. "Sydney CBD" is occasionally used to refer not only to the CBD proper, but its nearby inner suburbs such as Pyrmont, Haymarket and Woolloomooloo. The Sydney CBD is Australia's main financial and economic centre, as well as a leading hub of economic activity for the Asia-Pacific region.
The city centre employs 13% of the Sydney region's workforce. Based on industry mix and relative occupational wage levels it is estimated that economic activity generated in the city in 2015/16 was $118 billion. Culturally, the city centre is Sydney's focal point for entertainment, it is home to some of the city's most significant buildings and structures. The Sydney CBD is an area of densely concentrated skyscrapers and other buildings, interspersed by several parks such as Hyde Park, The Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens and Wynyard Park. George Street is the Sydney CBD's main north–south thoroughfare; the streets run on a warped grid pattern in the southern CBD, but in the older northern CBD the streets form several intersecting grids, reflecting their placement in relation to the prevailing breeze and orientation to Circular Quay in early settlement. The CBD runs along two ridge lines below Macquarie York Streets. Between these ridges is Pitt Street, running close to the course of the original Tank Stream.
Bridge Street, took its name from the bridge running east -- west. Pitt Street is the retail heart of the city which includes the Pitt Street Mall and the Sydney Tower. Macquarie Street is a historic precinct that houses such buildings as the State Parliament House and the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Prior to European settlement in New South Wales, the area around Sydney was home to the Gadigal tribes of Indigenous Australians; the colony of New South Wales founded Sydney at the Rocks in 1788 and established a city in 1842. In the midst of World War 1, on Valentine's day, riots racked the CBD, in what has come to be known as the Central Station Riots of 1916. A substantial segment of the violence was concentrated in the Central area; these riots involved five thousand military recruits who refused to comply with extraneous parade orders. During the riots they caused significant damage to buildings. People with "foreign" names were targeted; the recruits clashed with soldiers. A number of eight people sustained injuries.
Because this incident occurred in the middle of the Great War the state discouraged media coverage. Only a fifth of the rioters were court-marshalled; these riots spurred the introduction of lockout laws for pubs after 6pm. This law was only lifted in 1955; the Sydney central business district has many heritage-listed buildings including: Administratively, the Sydney CBD falls under the authority of the local government area of the City of Sydney. The New South Wales state government has authority over some aspects of the CBD, in particular through the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. Independent Alex Greenwich has represented the Sydney seat since the 2012 by-election, triggered by the resignation of previous independent Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, due to introduced state laws preventing dual membership of state parliament and local council; the Sydney CBD is home to some of the largest Australian companies, as well as serving as an Asia-Pacific headquarters for many large international companies.
The financial services industry in particular occupies much of the available office space, with companies such as the Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Bank, AMP Limited, Insurance Australia Group, AON, Allianz, HSBC, AXA, ABN Amro, RBC and Bloomsbury Publishing all having offices. Church Hill is a northerly district in the Central Business district of Australia, it is so named because the earliest churches in Australia were formed on this site, including St Patrick's, St Philip's and Scots Church The significance of Church Hill dates back to the time of Governor Arthur Phillip, who mandated compulsory Sunday church attendance for all convicts, until they rebelled and burned down the area’s first church in 1798. The area gained greater prominence as Church Hill on Wednesday 1 October 1800, when incoming Governor Philip Gidley King had the foundation stone laid for St Philip’s Church, which subsequently he proclaimed one of Australia’s first two parishes in 1802.
The site where St Patrick’s Church stands is where the Roman Catholic Eucharist was first preserved in Australia, in May 1818. Celebrations for the bicentenary of this occasion were held in St Patrick’s Church on Sunday 6 May 2018. A proposed stop on the tram network under construction on George Street may be named Church Hill. Sydney's CBD is serviced by commuter rail, light
Angophora floribunda known as the rough-barked apple, is a common woodland and forest tree of the family Myrtaceae native to Eastern Australia. Reaching 30 m high, it is a large tree with fibrous bark and cream-white flowers that appear over the Austral summer, it grows on alluvial soils on floodplains and along watercourses. Much of the land it grew on has been cleared for agriculture. Angophora floribunda is a large, spreading tree growing to a height of 30 m; the trunk is gnarled and crooked with fibrous grey bark. Like all members of the genus Angophora, the dull- to glossy green leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem. 5.5 to 15 cm long and 1–5 cm wide, they are lanceolate to ovate and attached to the stems by 0.6–1.5 cm long petioles. The leaves in the western parts of the range are narrower than those in more coastal regions; the cream-white flowers appear from November to March. It can be confused with A. subvelutina, but the latter has leaves that are heart-shaped at their base and lacking petioles, arise from the stem.
The rough-barked apple was described by James Edward Smith in 1797 as Metrosideros floribunda, having been collected by Surgeon-General of New South Wales, John White in 1794. It was growing from seed in Empress Josephine's arboretum at Malmaison by 1804, when Étienne Pierre Ventenat catalogued it in his Jardin de la Malmaison; the species name is derived from the Latin floribunda "abundant flowers". Robert Sweet gave it its current name in 1830. Common names include apple box, rusty gum, gum myrtle and Boondah. Genetic work has been published showing Angophora to be more related to Eucalyptus than Corymbia, in 2000 botanist Ian Brooker coined the name Eucalyptus florida for this species as Eucalyptus floribunda and E. intermedia had been used for other eucalypts. This tree hybridises with the broad-leaved apple; the Charmhaven apple from the vicinity of Wyee on the Central Coast of New South Wales is related and may be a dwarf form of A. floribunda. The range is across eastern Australia, from Rolleston and Roma in central Queensland though eastern and central New South Wales and into eastern Victoria, where it is found at Mallacoota.
It is found on alluvial soils on shale or basalt soils. In open forest, it is associated with such trees as swamp she-oak, white stringybark, Blakelys red gum, forest red gum, brittle gum, forest she-oak, grey gum, broad-leaved white mahogany, while in wetter forest, it grows alongside Sydney blue gum and closed forest alongside lillypilly, cheese tree, Australian white birch and sandpaper fig and under emergent specimens of bangalay, grey ironbark and turpentine; the rough-barked apple regenerates by regrowing from epicormic buds after bushfire. Trees live for more than a hundred years; the grey-headed flying fox and little red flying fox eat the flowers, the white-plumed honeyeater forages among the flowers. The tree is used as a nesting site by the rare regent honeyeater; the jewel beetle species Curis caloptera, Stigmodera andersoni, S. terminatis and S. vigilans visit the flowers, the latter three species being specific in their preference for Angophora floribunda. The longhorn beetle species Paroplites australis and Agrianome spinicollis have been recorded from the rough-barked apple.
Angophora floribunda has been recorded as a host for several mistletoe species Amyema bifurcata, A. miquelii, A. pendula, Dendrophthoe curvata, D. glabrescens, D. vitellina, Muellerina celastroides and M. eucalyptoides. Female scarlet myzomelas have been observed tearing off bark to use in building their nests; this is a large plant unsuitable for any but the largest gardens
Nattai National Park
The Nattai National Park is a protected national park, located in the Macarthur and Southern Highlands regions of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. 48,984-hectare It is situated 150 kilometres southwest of the Sydney central business district and encompasses the valley of the Nattai River, surrounded by spectacular sandstone cliffs. The park is covered in dry sclerophyll forest - eucalypt, has frequent forest fires, it is an untouched wilderness area and receives few visitors, as it has no facilities and is remote, despite its proximity to Sydney.. The Nattai National Park is one of the eight protected areas that, in 2000, was inscribed to form part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Greater Blue Mountains Area; the Nattai National Park is the most southern of the eight protected areas within the World Heritage Site. The national park forms part of the Great Dividing Range; the national park is bounded to the north by the Nattai State Conservation Area, the Burragorang State Conservation Area, Lake Burragorang, inclusive of a 3-kilometre exclusion zone surrounding the lake.
The Blue Mountains National Park does not directly adjoin the Nattai National Park, located on the north–western shore of Lake Burragorang. The Nattai National Park contains much of the course and catchment of the Little, Nattai and Wollondilly rivers; the area now known as Nattai National Park has had limited impact from Europeans. Several early expeditions attempting to cross the Blue Mountains passed through the area at the end of the 18th century, settlers settled in the lower Nattai and Burragorang Valleys in 1827. Early conservationists Myles Dunphy and Herb Gallop went on bushwalks in the region from 1912 onwards. An area held in high regard was a forest of Sydney blue gum around Blue Gum Creek. Dunphy lobbied for the stand to be preserved upon becoming aware of plans to log the area, but was unsuccessful and the area was logged in the 1920s and 30s. Dunphy put forward a plan for a Greater Blue Mountains National Park, which incorporated what is now Nattai National Park in the southeast in 1932.
The creation of Warragamba Dam in 1960 limited access for development of land upstream, but it was not until 1991 when plans for permanent protection and national park status looked to become realised. The national park may be accessed via Wattle Ridge Fire Road, northeast of the small town of Hill Top. Unsealed road access to a small unsealed car park at the edge of the park - a four-wheel drive vehicle is not required. There are no facilities, just an information board, a log book. Make sure you sign in and out of the log book when entering the park. An alternate access is via the Wombeyan Caves Road. Nattai National Park has several worthwhile bushwalks, however it is a remote area, very dry. Bush camping is allowed anywhere outside the Lake Burragorang exclusion zone, but destruction of plants is not allowed, so choose your campsite well, use tents with smaller footprints. At the Mittagong visitors information center you should try to get a copy of a yellow covered book that discusses in depth walks in the Nattai, it is invaluable.
The book was published in 1998 but it is still available, it is a great reference for this little known and isolated area. In summer it can be hot walking along the fire roads, at camp sites is far too hot to get inside a tent until quite late. Water may be scarce away from its tributary creeks; the area is remote, few people hike here, so make sure plans are left with a responsible person, consider taking an EPIRB. Mobile phones may work on the highest parts of the plateau surrounding the valley, but won't work in the valley. Make sure your navigation skills are adequate to route find properly, as fires in the park clear out undergrowth, which makes finding an indistinct trail nearly impossible. Beware of snakes sunning themselves on fire roads or trails and near creeks - they won't always move away when you come near, so you may end up getting uncomfortably close to one. Red-bellied Black Snakes are the most common type seen. Make sure you carry snake bandage and know how to use them. Treat all water taken from rivers/creeks - there are towns upstream, so there is possible that water is infected with Giardia.
Be aware that when there has been recent and/or substantial rainfall there are lots of thorny vines, spiky plants and stinging nettles nearby the river. It is best to have attire that will protect your hands under these circumstances. There are lots of wombat burrows and soil, disturbed by wombats; the Starlights Trail Nattai Road Park Entrance to Emmetts Flat on the Nattai River. 6.5 kilometres one way with 550 metres descent, approx. You begin at an elevation of 640 metres and descend to 93 metres, the altitude of the river; these are aggregate measurements based on topographical maps and GPS. Russells Needle Extension of Starlights Trail from Emmetts Flat south along the Nattai River to a tall rock spire Katoomba to Mittagong Trail A well known long distance trail, through the heart of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area - 132 kilometres in length Protected areas of New South Wales Free online topographic maps of Nattai - NSW Dept of Lands Spati
Cocoparra National Park
The Cocoparra National Park is a protected national park, located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 8,357-hectare national park is situated 457 kilometres southwest of Sydney and 25 kilometres northeast of Griffith; the park includes a prominent range of hills such as Bingar Mountain, 455 metres above sea level and Brogden Mountain, 390 metres above sea level, in an otherwise flat landscape. Adjoining the national park to the north is the Cocoparra Nature Reserve; the national park was gazetted in December 1969. The nature reserve was dedicated in 1963 with an area of 4,647 hectares; the Binya-Cocoparra area is classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because of its large population of the near threatened painted honeyeater, as well as the diamond firetail. The climate is semi arid; the vegetation communities reflect this, with wattle, orchids and blue-tinged cypress pines. The geology comprises Upper Devonian sandstones and conglomerates.
There are a number of a campground at Woolshed Flat. Protected areas of New South Wales List of national parks of Australia NSW Parks and Wildlife Service Cocoparra National Park website Online version of Cocoparra National Park Management Plan
Tahmoor Colliery is an underground coal mine at Tahmoor in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia. It operates in the Bulli coal seam. Most of the mine product is hard coking coal used for steel making. A small quantity of steaming blend coal used for power generation is produced. Both products are exported to Asia. Tahmoor Colliery was bought by the SIMEC Group in early 2018, it had been owned by Glencore. Following the sale, the mine will provide feed for GFG's Whyalla steelworks, it was formally opened by Sanjeev Gupta on 5 May 2018. The mine was reported in 2017 as having 57 Mt of 650 Mt total resource. In 2013, extension of the mine was anticipated to take below a railway tunnel on the Main Southern railway line. To avoid the risk of subsidence within the tunnel, the mine's owner at the time, Xstrata Coal, constructed a diversion around Redbank Hill to remove trains from the tunnel, filled with rock and sealed. Tahmoor Colliery has a history of Outbursts where gas trapped in the coal violently escapes during mining, throwing hundreds of tonnes of coal and rock, large amounts of suffocating gas.
One miner was killed as a consequence of one of these outbursts in 1985. At the time, the colliery was owned by Kembla Coal and Coke Pty Limited, a subsidiary of CRA (now Rio Tinto Group. In 1994, it was reported that Tahmoor had recorded 89 outbursts up to April 1992. In response to that fatality and equipment were upgraded to provide a separately-ventilated and armoured operator cabin, to provide remote control. In September 2018, two men were trapped 160 metres underground when the lift cage jammed in the mine shaft, they were uninjured, rescued late in the evening by Fire and Rescue NSW
Macarthur, New South Wales
Macarthur is a region in south-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The region includes the local government areas of the City of Campbelltown, Camden Council and Wollondilly Shire, it has a population of close to 310,000 residents. The region geographically forms the foothills between the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands regions; the region is bounded at the north by Warragamba. Most of the area is taken up by the semi-rural Wollondilly Shire; the region is one of the fastest-growing regions in the Sydney metropolitan area, with many new modern suburbs sprouting up in recent decades such as Glen Alpine, Macquarie Links, Harrington Park, Blair Athol, Mount Annan, Currans Hill, Englorie Park and Catherine Field The region is named after Elizabeth Macarthur and John Macarthur who were founders and pioneers of the Australian wool industry. Founded on land owned by the Macarthurs and surveyed by Sir Thomas Mitchell, the town of Camden was named for Lord Camden, during his brief tenure as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies had secured the initial land grant for John Macarthur, in England.
The original Macarthur family property covered the three local councils. The region is regarded as the area where the city of Sydney meets rural countryside of regional New South Wales. Campbelltown and Camden were once rural towns which formed the nucleus of new urban communities created following the Three Cities Structure Plan 1973; the Wollondilly Shire which makes up the largest Southern part of the region is a rural region with small scale industry and commerce. Notably, the Wollondilly supplies much of Sydney Metropolitan and surrounding areas with water from Warragamba Dam, Cataract Dam in Appin, Cordeaux Dam in Wilton and Avon and Nepean Dams though located in the Wingecarribee Shire is accessed via road through Wollondilly's Bargo; the administrative towns of the Macarthur Region are: Campbelltown where the seat of chambers of the City of Campbelltown is based. Camden where the seat of chambers of the Camden Council is based. Picton where the seat of chambers of the Wollondilly Shire is based.
Camden Council announced in May 2012 that it will transfer its administrative headquarters to Oran Park. The history of the region begins over 40,000 years ago and is contained in the continuing culture of the Tharawal people; the land still contains reminders of their past lives in rock engravings, cave paintings, axe grinding grooves and shell middens. Their culture remains in the surviving songs and descendants; the lands of the Tharawal language Nation extended from Botany Bay to Shoalhaven and to the foothills of the mountain ranges. The principal symbol of the Tharawal nation is the lyrebird. European history began in 1788 shortly after settlement at Sydney Cove, when the colony's entire herd of cattle strayed from their enclosure and were lost. In 1795 a enlarged herd of 61 cattle were discovered on the grassy land between the Nepean River and Georges River; this area was promptly named the "Cowpastures" – and was deemed a restricted area to provide ongoing protection for the herd. The early settlement of the area was described by Lachlan Macquarie in his journals, whose accounts include the description of Elizabeth Macarthur being met in a'miserable' bark hut, the only accommodation existing at Camden Park.
In 1803, John Macarthur had been granted 5,000 acres at the Cowpastures and began grazing Merino sheep. His sons William and James introduced viticulture and a commercial nursery, a successful dairy was founded by Emily Stone, James' wife; the region is steeped in history with statesmen, adventurers and villains all having an association with the Macarthur region which makes it a tourist destination. Major attractions of Camden are: Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan, Mount Annan Mount Annan Botanic Gardens is a 416-acre botanic garden opened in 1988, it is the largest botanic gardens in Australia and is administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. It is home to a large collection of native plants, includes facilities such as picnic areas, walking trails and a restaurant. Camden Park Estate, Camden Camden Park Estate was the country property of Australian Wool Pioneers John Macarthur and his wife Elizabeth Macarthur, became the principal residence of their family after John's death. Centrepiece of the original 2023.5 hectares granted to Macarthur by the Governor of New South Wales, at the request of Lord Camden, is Camden Park House, designed by John Verge in the neo-Palladian style favoured by the colony's wealthy pastoral'exclusives', built between 1832 and 1834.
The house remains on 388.5 hectares of the original estate. Macarthur's descendants still reside on the property. Adjacent to Camden Park, though once within its extent, is Belgenny Farm, popularly called the "Birthplace of Australia's Agriculture". Designed by architect Henry Kitchen, Belgenny Cottage was built c1821 and was mentioned in Kitchen's submission to Commissioner John Thomas Bigge's enquiry into the state of the colony under Governor Lac