Remember that Blue Mountains plateau that went up for sale a few months back?
After being owned for 45 years (and left entirely undeveloped), Transcendental Meditation Group put Radiata Plateau on the market for around $2.8 million, prompting climbers, bushwalkers and locals to start the Let’s Buy Radiata Plateau crowdfunding campaign to buy and protect it.
Instead, the NSW Government has gone ahead and purchased the land, with the aim of turning it into a protected reserve, and campaigners are stoked.
‘It’s very exciting to see Minister Kean responding to the concerns of the local community and acting to secure valuable public lands for conservation.’
– Nina Beth, Let’s Buy Radiata Plateau
A Purchase Decades In The Making
But the fight to protect Radiata Plateau has been going on for some time. Leave Radiata Plateau Wild – a campaign run by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society – has been lobbying for over 35 years to protect the area. The fight only intensified when the property was listed for sale. Here’s an excerpt from the listing:
‘Invincibility Point’ [as named by the owners] is one of the largest undeveloped escarpment properties ever offered for sale in the Upper Blue Mountains. Adjoining the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (and which in the agent’s opinion deserves to be added to this awesome World Heritage area).’
Well all that hard work paid off; with the NSW Government scrounging up the money itself after overwhelming community support. Environment Minster Matt Kean announced today that the purchase would ‘protect the last remaining undeveloped peninsula-plateau on the upper Blue Mountains western escarpment.’ Pretty neat!
Endangered Species, Significant Indigenous Sites & Great Climbing
The area will now be managed as a reserve by NSW Parks – that’s right, 300 more hectares of beautiful bushland home to endangered species is no longer at risk of becoming a housing estate. You beauty! That’s protection for the Spotted Tail Quoll, numerous bird species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo, Gang-gang cockatoos and the Flame Robin. It’s also one of ten places that the Dwarf Mountain Pine grows.
Radiata Plateau is also home to Blacks Ladder, a pass that was used by the local Indigenous population to ascend out of the Megalong Valley. For those looking for harder routes out of the valley, the sale also means the 221 climbing routes on the plateau will remain accessible to rock climbers.
The new reserve is only a 3km walk from Katoomba Station, so whether you’re climbing, walking or bird watching, the plateau is an easy day trip from Sydney. See ya there!
Feature Photo: Radiata Plateau from Cahill’s Lookout
Shot by Rachel Dimond | @wanderer_rachel
I’m Blue Da Ba Dee