Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area

The Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) on Norfolk Island is one of the foremost national examples of a cultural landscape with exceptional heritage and social values and is listed on the National Heritage List.

Today visitors to KAVHA can take a guided tour, follow walking trails or visit the open house at No. 10 Quality Row.

KAVHA contains one of the finest collections of colonial Georgian buildings in Australia and has international significance as an architectural record of convict settlement from 1788 to 1855.

Although many of the original buildings have been lost through demolition, neglect or natural disasters, the remaining buildings and ruins have been stabilised by a program of restoration and conservation which begun in the early 1970s.

Contact Heritage Tourism for tour details

Norfolk Island

Cuts to Australian War Memorial: will it effect Heritage Tourism

The decision by the Gillard Labor Government to cut one in five jobs at the Australian War Memorial is just a saddening and offensive affront to the memory of our fallen.

“In a speech last year, the Memorial’s current Director, Major General Steve Gower AO (Mil) (Ret’d) said: “We will need extra staff to cope… I predict the (Australian War Memorial) will be very busy over the next eight years.

“It is unfortunate that the Gillard Labor Government has chosen to think that the Memorial has too many staff to deal with what is an ever increasing workload.

In 2008 Marylou Pooley was the winner of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual. During her ten years at the Memorial she has been instrumental in positioning the War Memorial as one of the world’s great museums and an Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame inductee.

There should be no question that our most significant and internationally recognised memorial to our fallen be funded fully and properly. The Australian War Memorial is also a major heritage tourism attraction not just for Australian but also overseas tourists.

Federal Member for Gilmore, Joanna Gash has urged all, to flag their direct support of the War Memorial by writing a letter of protest to the Prime Minister

 “How this government can commit to cutting one in five jobs at the Australian War Memorial, especially as we approach the Centenary of the ANZAC, is beyond me”. she said.

Do you think this decision by the Gillard Labor Government will effect Tourism.

Painting The Rocks: the loss of Old Sydney

Museum of Sydney
Saturday 7 August — Sunday 28 November, 2010

Against the backdrop of slum clearances, wharf rebuilding and debates about working-class living conditions, a group of artists set out to capture ‘Old Sydney’ before it disappeared in the city’s transition to a modern metropolis.

The first decades of the 20th century saw countless buildings from our colonial past torn down and whole streets disappear as Sydneysiders embraced the march of progress.

Rocks Sydney NSW PaintingRemarkably, in the midst of this change a conservation movement began to arise.

Giving voice to the people who worked and lived in The Rocks, this exhibition places the often romantic and sentimental 1902 artists’ paintings alongside the stark realities of government-commissioned photography, inspection reports and remodelling plans.

A joint initiative of the Historic Houses Trust and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Location: Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney NSW 2000
On the site of First Government House
Contact: 02 9251 5988
Admission:Adult $10, Child/Concession $5, Family $20
Members of the Historic Houses Trust free
Hours: Daily 9.30am — 5pm

At the Museum of Sydney you will meet our city’s first people, inspect models of the First Fleet ships and peer at the archaeological remains of first Government House and the intriguing objects uncovered by a number of digs on the site. Fast forward through 200 years and you will learn about the distinctiveness of this great city, its harbour, transport, people and particular personality via a changing exhibitions program.

Image credit: Clyde Street [detail], Sydney Long, c 1901. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Call no: ML 319. © Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia

Old Great North Road: World Heritage

The Old Great North Road is a nationally significant example of major public infrastructure developed using convict labour. Situated in its unaltered natural bushland setting, the Old Great North Road is the best surviving example of an intact convict-built road with massive structural works, which remains undisturbed by later development.

Convict RelicIt demonstrates the isolated and harsh conditions in which the convict road building gangs lived and laboured for months at a time. The Old Great North Raod is listed as part of the Australian Convict Site on the World Heritage List.

The Great North Road, surveyed in 1825 and completed in 1836, was constructed using convict labour. Up to 720 convicts – some in chains – worked on the road, which spanned 264 km, connecting Sydney to the settlements of the Hunter Valley.

It features spectacular and beautifully preserved examples of stonework, including buttresses, culverts, bridges and twelve metre high retaining walls.

Unfortunately the road was not popular. It was isolated, had no permanent watercourses, and bypassed existing settlements. By 1836, as the few remaining convict gangs were completing the last northern sections of the road, it had been almost entirely abandoned as a route to the Hunter Valley. Coastal steamers became the preferred mode of travel and transportation.

The Great North RoadOnly 43 km of the road remains undeveloped and relatively intact. Running through and alongside Dharug National Park and Yengo National Park, this section has been named the Old Great North Road. It goes from Wisemans Ferry in the south to Mount Manning (near Bucketty) in the north, and includes the oldest surviving stone bridges in mainland Australia. The road is closed to motor vehicles, but makes a great walk over two or three days – or an exhilarating day’s cycle.

Relics such as stone retaining walls, wharves, culverts, bridges and buttresses can still be seen along the entire length of the Great North Road – in Sydney suburbs like Epping and Gladesville, at Wisemans Ferry or Wollombi, Bucketty or Broke, or when walking in Dharug and Yengo National Parks.

Although the road is closed to vehicles, it can be walked or cycled.

If you have a few hours up your sleeve, you can follow the original ascent of the Old Great North Road from Wisemans Ferry up Finchs Line. You can combine this with a walk up Devines Hill to complete a loop track of about 9 km, (including a 2 km walk along Wisemans Ferry Road). The track offers spectacular views over the Hawkesbury River, and allows you to compare the construction work on both ascents.

This walk really gives you a feel of the blood, sweat and tears that convict road gangs endured in constructing the road. Although some of these convicts were shackled in leg irons, escape was easy for many. The fact that the road was completed – and in only eight years – shows that these men were skilled, diligent and interested enough to stay on the job.

Full range of walking and cycling tracks

The Ningaloo Coast has been nominated for World Heritage listing

The Ningaloo Coast has been nominated for World Heritage listing by the Australian Government with the support of the Western Australia Government. It has also been included in the National Heritage List,  Australia’s most prestigious heritage recognition.

The announcement that the nomination is being sent to the World Heritage Centre in Paris was made today in Perth by the Australian Government Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett and WA Environment Minister Donna Faragher.

The nomination, recognising the outstanding biological diversity of the region, is for an area of 708,000ha in midwest Western Australia, and includes Cape Range on Exmouth Peninsula, a coastal strip extending about 260km south to Red Bluff, as well as adjacent dunefields, marine areas, reefs and islands. Mr Garrett said he took great pleasure in both the National Heritage listing of the area and submission of the World Heritage nomination.

“This is a major achievement for both governments and I am very pleased that the Rudd Government is able to deliver on this important commitment,” Mr Garrett said.

“The Ningaloo Coast tells an extraordinary story of biogeography, climate change, the assembling of continents and the opening of oceans, biological richness and environmental conservation.

“The world renowned Ningaloo Reef stretches hundreds of kilometres along the arid coastline. The present day reef mirrors much earlier reefs that are preserved in the ancient limestone terraces of Cape Range, recording evidence of changing sea levels over time.

“The World Heritage nomination reflects that Ningaloo is internationally significant for its role in the protection of an exceptional number of marine and terrestrial species.

“From its spectacular coral reefs to the beautiful sponge gardens of the continental slope, the richness of the area’s biodiversity is awesome in the true sense of the word.”

The Minister said the extraordinary Ningaloo area is home to some of Australia’s most iconic marine megafauna: manta rays, dugongs, marine turtles, whales and dolphins, rays and sharks, along with the magnificent whale shark, the world’s largest fish, which aggregates in higher numbers than anywhere else on Earth.

The nomination document is being sent to the World Heritage Centre in Paris, where it will be assessed over the next 18 months.

Australia currently has 17 World Heritage properties, including the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House and Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. In addition to the Ningaloo Coast nomination, the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage nomination of 11 sites around the country, is also under consideration by the World Heritage Centre, with a decision expected later in the year.

Ningaloo becomes the 89th place to be included in the National Heritage List.

Ningaloo Reef photos: Tony Howard and Cathy Zwick, DEWHA
Jan 2010

Heritage Honour for Iconic Alps

One of the nation’s most outstanding and breathtaking mountain landscapes, the Australian Alps, has been awarded Australia’s highest heritage honour with its inclusion in the National Heritage List.

The Australian Alps National Parks was the largest and most complex National Heritage assessment to date, encompassing 1.6 million hectares of national parks and reserves across eleven national parks and nature reserves in the ACT, NSW and Victoria.

Known as the High Country in Victoria, Snowy Mountains in New South Wales and the Brindabella Range in the Australian Capital Territory, the listing of the Australian Alps National Parks recognises the outstanding natural, Indigenous and historic values of this iconic landscape.

The high altitude peaks, some rising above 2000 metres, and plateaus, glacial lakes and alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems of the Australian Alps are rare in our mostly flat, dry and warm continent. The Alps are home to the snow gum and unique alpine species like the mountain pygmy possum, as well as in the summer months providing spectacular arrays of alpine wildflowers.

The distinctive snow covered slopes of the Australian Alps provide a playground for broad-scale snow recreation in the nation.

The Australian Alps have a strong association with Australia’s natural and cultural history. They are an important place of dreaming and gathering for Aboriginal people and of recollection and discovery as former grazing land once traversed by stockmen, gold prospectors, pastoralists, migrants and botanists of early settlement.

Places on the National Heritage List are afforded protection under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and we will continue to work together with NSW, Victoria, and the ACT to ensure the protection and proper management of the outstanding heritage values of the Australian Alps National Parks.

For the people of New South Wales the majestic Snowy Mountains have long been a place of outstanding natural beauty and a key part of our colonial heritage.

Grand hiking and superlative fishing add year-round appeal to the Snowy Mountains, easily reached from Sydney. The Snowy Mountains, often just called ‘the Snowies’, is the only part of the Australian mainland cold enough for skiable snow to form. In winter, cross-country and downhill skiing have thousands of devotees. There are plenty of top-class resorts to enjoy, among them Thredbo Alpine Village, Perisher Blue Ski Resort and Selwyn Ski Resort.

The fun is not confined to winter. At the heart of the Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park is renowned for its spring displays of alpine wildflowers, trout-filled mountain streams and sparkling lakes. The park extends over 690,000 hectares, where walkers can relish breathtaking wilderness vistas and bracing mountain air.

Witses Hut – off the Nungar Creek Fire Trail

Images couresty of Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts