NSW has just made its largest purchase of private land for a national park ever. That’s over 153,000 hectares of additional nature goodness that’ll be protected. I think it’s time for a road trip.
The massive 153,415 hectare Narriearra Station in the far north west of the state had been in the O’Connor family for 101 years, until the family were recently approached by the government with an offer of sale.
The property is home to an abundance of threatened species and unique ecosystems, some of which aren’t protected in any other national park.
The park contains part of the Bulloo River floodplain, which originates in Queensland, and nationally recognised wetlands. Other lesser known ecosystems within the park include sandplain grasslands, gibber rises and aeolian dunes.
There are 39 plant community types recorded in the park, as well as 25 threatened fauna species, most commonly water birds like the Grey Grasswren and Australian Bustard.
There’s significant Aboriginal heritage across the entire property in the form of stone artefacts and tools, as well as evidence of European explorers, Burke and Willis, setting up camp at two separate spots across the park.
History and nature protected in one fell swoop! What more could you ask for? Perhaps some Aboriginal consultation?
Environment Minister Matt Kean has invited the Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council to suggest a name for the new national park, but there hasn’t been a decision made yet.
Sitting close to Sturt National Park, together these two protected areas will create a conservation zone teetering on half a million hectares – that’s twice the size of the ACT! Woopah!
Photos by Joshua Smith supplied by NPWS