Like Bondi is to backpackers, so the Blue Mountains is to climbers. This climbing mecca is home to some of the best climbing in Australia but some of the climbing plants that call the region’s towering cliffs home are under threat from trampling feet.

The OEH has identified 5 species of climbing plants that call the cliffs of the Blue Mountains their home. Nicknamed the ‘Cliffhanging 5’, these species are now under threat and fighting for survival. Like a tired climber struggling to scale that last tricky overhang, these climbing plants are desperately clinging on for their lives.

What’s the damage?

According to the Saving our Species program, it seems that visitors to the region are the major problem — the main dangers are ‘people trampling the plants or picking their flowers while rock climbing, bushwalking or abseiling.”

And it’s pretty serious, in fact ‘One species has only 60 individual known plants left.’

Be The Change

Besides being respectful of our environment and leaving no trace (as we’re sure our band of Explorers no doubt already do), understanding more and being able to recognise these climbing plants can help us ensure their future.

Check out this video from the NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage that will help you identify each of the endangered plants and find out more about their environment.

‘Some of the plants are hard to recognise because they look very similar to other species, especially when they are not flowering, so people are being asked to treat every plant like it’s the last.’

Feature Photo by @mevans_photography