Northern Tablelands

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Northern Tablelands
New South Wales

Irish Town.JPG

Livestock grazing country, Irish Town, Walcha.
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Division of New England
Localities around Northern Tablelands:
South Downs South Downs Northern Rivers
New England Northern Tablelands Northern Rivers
Central Tablelands Upper Hunter Mid North Coast
Dangars Lagoon, Uralla, NSW Dangar Lagoon.JPG
Dangars Lagoon, Uralla, NSW

The Northern Tablelands, also known as the New England Tableland, is a plateau and a region of the Great Dividing Range in northern New South Wales, Australia. It includes the New England Range, the narrow highlands area of the New England region, stretching from the Moonbi Range in the south to the Queensland border in the north. [1] The region corresponds generally to the Bureau of Meteorology forecast area for the Northern Tablelands which in this case includes Inverell although it is significantly lower in elevation.

Plateau An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain

In geology and physical geography, a plateau, also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain, that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Contents

Geography and climate

These tablelands are the largest highland area in Australia, covering approximately 18,197 square kilometres. [2] There are widespread high points over 1,000 metres including The Brothers (1,508m), Ben Lomond (1,505m), Mount Rumbee (1,503m), Point Lookout (1,564m), Campoompeta (1,510m), Mount Spirabo (1,492m), Mount Mitchell (1,475m), Chandler's Peak (1,471m), Mount Grundy (1,462m), Mount Bajimba (1,448 m) and the highest point at Round Mountain is 1,584 metres above sea level. [3] The now closed railway station at Ben Lomond, was the highest railway station in Australia.

Point Lookout (New South Wales) mountain in New South Wales, Australia

Point Lookout, a mountain on the Snowy Range, a spur of the Great Dividing Range, is located in the New England National Park on the eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.

Ben Lomond, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Ben Lomond is a village on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The village is situated 6 km off the New England Highway between Armidale and Glen Innes. It was located in the Guyra Shire local government area until that council was amalgamated into the Armidale Regional Council on 12 May 2016, with parts of the surrounding district in Glen Innes Severn Shire and Inverell Shire. It is primarily a farming area, with most of the residents involved in sheep, cattle and grain farming.

The formation of the Great Dividing Range has resulted in a wide variety of soil types being located on the Northern Tablelands. Here soils are mostly derived from basaltic rocks, granite rocks, trap rock or alluvials along creeks and rivers. [4]

The eastern escarpment of the Tableland has spectacular gorges, rainforests and waterfalls, protected in more than 25 National Parks, with three of them listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and forming part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (CERRA). Werrikimbe National Park and Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, one of the largest national parks in NSW are accessible from the Oxley Highway east of Walcha. The Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is also accessible via Waterfall Way east of Armidale and south of Hillgrove. Access to the World Heritage listed New England National Park is also from Waterfall Way.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (New South Wales) part of the Office of Environment and Heritage (New South Wales) - the main government conservation agency in New South Wales, Australia

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Office of Environment and Heritage - the main government conservation agency in New South Wales, Australia.

Werrikimbe National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Werrikimbe National Park is a protected national park located in the catchment zone of the Upper Hastings River in New South Wales, Australia. Gazetted in 1975, the 33,309-hectare (82,310-acre) park is situated approximately 486 kilometres (302 mi) north of Sydney and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from Wauchope, and 90 kilometres (56 mi) east of Walcha on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range.

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. The 145,223-hectare (358,850-acre) park is situated 445 kilometres (277 mi) north of Sydney and is named in memory of the Australian explorer John Oxley, who passed through the area in 1818 and is one of the largest national parks in New South Wales.

The coastal flowing Clarence, Macleay and Manning, rivers have their headwaters on eastern escarpment of the Tableland. The inland flowing rivers have their confluence with the Gwydir, Namoi and Macintyre river systems of the Murray-Darling River Basin. The only major water storage dam on the Northern Tablelands is Copeton Dam on the Gwydir River near Inverell. [5]

Clarence River (New South Wales) river in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, Australia

The Clarence River, a mature wave dominated, barrier estuary, is situated in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, Australia.

Macleay River river in New South Wales, Australia

Macleay River, an open and trained mature wave dominated, barrier estuary, is located in the Northern Tablelands and Mid North Coast districts of New South Wales, Australia.

Manning River river in Australia

Manning River, an open and trained mature wave dominated barrier estuary, is located in the Northern Tablelands and Mid North Coast districts of New South Wales, Australia.

The high elevation of the tablelands means cool summers (rarely over 32 °C) but winters are cold with occasional snowfalls and many frosty mornings. Winter minimums can go as low as -10 °C around Armidale, Guyra, Woolbrook and Walcha regions during frosty mornings, but this usually results in clear sunny days. The Northern Tablelands is a high rainfall region with averages ranging from 650 mm on the western slopes to over 1,200 mm on the east of the range. About 60% of this rainfall occurs during the summer months. [4]

Armidale, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Armidale is a city in the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia. Armidale had a population of 24,351 as at June 2017. It is the administrative centre for the Northern Tablelands region. It is approximately halfway between Sydney and Brisbane at the junction of the New England Highway and Waterfall Way. Armidale traditional owners are Anaiwan people. Many Gumbaynggirr people have settled in Armidale since colonisation.

Guyra, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Guyra is a town situated midway between Armidale and Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. It is within Armidale Regional Council and at the 2016 census, it had a population of 1,983.

Woolbrook, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Woolbrook is a village in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The nearest town, Walcha is 29 km to the east of Woolbrook. At the 2011 census, Woolbrook had a population of 248.

History

Armidale Armidale, New South Wales.jpg
Armidale

Walcha was the first part of the Northern Tablelands to be discovered in 1818, by the explorer, John Oxley who ascended the range near Limbri. In 1832 Hamilton Collins Semphill, a settler from Belltrees on the Hunter River, formed a station in the upper Apsley River valley and named it Wolka (Walcha) from the local Aboriginal language. Edward Gostwych Cory, who was displaced from his runs by the Australian Agricultural Company, came over the Moonbi Range and settled at Gostwyck, near Uralla. Soon others followed, seeking new lands away from the influence of the Australian Agricultural Company, which dominated resources in the Hunter valley, and settled around the present Armidale district. In 1844 there were 454,193 sheep and 43,377 cattle grazing the tablelands region. [6] Armidale was then gazetted as a town in 1849. Squatters soon settled the tablelands with their large sheep runs before Glen Innes and Tenterfield were surveyed in 1851. Armidale is the only city on the Tablelands and is the administrative centre for the Northern Tablelands region.

In 1852 gold was discovered at Rocky River and by 1856 there were 5,000 miners operating there. [6] Gold was discovered at Bakers Creek, Hillgrove in 1857 but it was not until the late 1880s that the recorded population rose to 2,274 and later to almost 3,000 in about 1898. The difficulties and expense of the deep underground mine workings eventually reduced the gold mining here after 1900. [7]

Captain Thunderbolt the famous bushranger (Frederick Wordsworth Ward, 1836–1870) who escaped from Cockatoo Island came to the Northern Tablelands, where he robbed properties, mail coaches and hotels in the region. In 1866 the Colonial Secretary's Office posted a reward of £100 for his capture, which was raised to £200 by mid-1867 and £400 in December 1869. Many stories have been told his bushranging deeds in the area from Newcastle to the Queensland border. Thunderbolt was shot dead by Constable Walker in May 1870 in Kentucky Creek after a long chase on horseback. His grave is in the town of Uralla, NSW. [8]

The Northern Tablelands includes the towns and Local Government Areas of Armidale, Glen Innes, Guyra, Tenterfield, Walcha, [9] [10] the south-eastern portion of the Inverell Shire and a small part of Tamworth Regional Council area. [11]

The University of New England at Armidale was founded in 1938, becoming the first Australian university established outside a capital city. This public university, with approximately 18,000 higher education students, is one of Australia's major providers of awards to off-campus students. [12]

Economy

Wool display, Walcha show. Wool display.JPG
Wool display, Walcha show.
A Northern Tableland weaner sale Weaner sale.JPG
A Northern Tableland weaner sale

The Northern Tablelands cover an area of approximately 3.12 million hectares including 2.11 million hectares occupied by some 2,300 agricultural establishments producing agricultural commodities valued at more than $320 million. Livestock production contributes approximately 90% of this annual income which comes from beef cattle, sheep and wool. [4]

Many beef cattle studs and commercial cattle breeders are located across the Northern Tablelands which has a total of about 792,000 beef cattle. The region has approximately 3.1 million sheep. Areas around Armidale, Uralla and Walcha are noted for their superfine wool production. The Northern Tablelands has been declared an Ovine Johne's disease (OJD) Exclusion Area (EA), under the Stock Diseases Act 1923. [13] Walcha is the site of a large modern dairy farm. Guyra produces prime lambs, potatoes, tulips and glasshouse tomatoes. Apples, pears and other stone fruit are grown at Kentucky and Arding. Pigs, bees, and more recently vineyards also contribute to agricultural production on the tablelands. [4]

During 2008 nine local government areas in the Northern Tablelands recorded a 12 to 35 per cent growth in property values over the last 12 months and a 13 to 22 per cent rise over the last five years according to a report from Australian Property Monitors. [14]

Gold and antimony are mined at Hillgrove. Lockheed Martin operates a satellite tracking dish near Uralla.

Flora and fauna

The Northern Tablelands has a great diversity of plants and fauna, with many thousands of animals, birds and plants in the region.

Black sallee ( Eucalyptus stellulata), Blakely's red gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi), broadleaved New England stringybark ( Eucalyptus caliginosa ), wattles ( Acacias ), native apples ( Angophora floribunda ), manna gum ( Eucalyptus viminalis ), New England blackbutt ( Eucalyptus andrewsii), New England peppermint ( Eucalyptus nova-anglica ), ribbon gum (Eucalyptus nobilis), silvertop stringybark ( Eucalyptus laevopinea), snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), river oak ( Casuarina cunninghamiana , stringybark ( Eucalyptus caliginosa ) and yellow box ( Eucalyptus melliodora ) trees are common across the Northern Tablelands. [15]

Bolivia Hill and the adjacent nature reserve are the only recorded locations of the endangered Bolivia Hill boronia (Boronia boliviensis) [16] and the shrub Pimelea venosa. [16] Some rare Hillgrove gum trees ( Eucalyptus michaeliana ) may be seen growing along the Long Point Road and the Big Lease, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. These trees have a distinctive, mottled, greenish trunk with peeling yellow-brown bark.

Weeds are an increasing problem across much of the region. Foxes and rabbits are the most significant vertebrae pests of the tablelands. [4]

Eighteen endangered fauna species, found on the Northern Tableland, have been listed in the schedules of the Threatened Species Conservation Act. The endangered Hastings River mouse (Pseudomys oralis) is restricted in distribution to the upland open forests and woodlands around Werrikimbe National Park and south-east Queensland. [17] Other endangered species that may be seen on the Northern Tablelands include the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) which lives in isolated sections of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The Bundarra-Barraba Important Bird Area is one of only three breeding areas in New South Wales for the endangered regent honeyeater. [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

Mummel Gulf National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

Mummel Gulf is a national park located in New South Wales, Australia, approximately 487 kilometres (303 mi) by road north of Sydney. It is situated approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Walcha on the unsealed Enfield Forest Road and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of the Oxley Highway.

New England (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

New England or New England North West is the name given to a generally undefined region in the north of the state of New South Wales, Australia about 60 kilometres (37 miles) inland, that includes the Northern Tablelands and the North West Slopes regions.

Walcha, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Walcha is a town at the south-eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia.

Thunderbolts Way road in New South Wales

Thunderbolts Way is a 290-kilometre (180 mi) country road located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. The road links Gloucester to Walcha, Uralla, where it very briefly joins the New England Highway and, to Copes Creek, 16 km (10 mi) south of the Gwydir Highway intersection at Inverell. The road is fully sealed and passes through thickly forested mountain areas with many nearby national parks and nature reserves.

Tingha, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Tingha is a small town on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia in Armidale Regional Council. It is 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Inverell and 629 kilometres (391 mi) north-north-east of Sydney. Tingha is an Aboriginal word for "flat or level". On 1 July 2019, responsibility for local government for Tingha will be passed from Armidale Regional Council to Inverell Shire Council.

Electoral district of Northern Tablelands state electoral district of New South Wales, Australia

Northern Tablelands is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is currently held by Adam Marshall representing the National Party, following a by-election triggered by the resignation of independent member Richard Torbay. The electorate currently includes Uralla Shire, Armidale Regional Council, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell Shire, Gwydir Shire and Moree Plains Shire.

Armidale Dumaresq Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The Armidale Dumaresq Council is a former local government area in the New England and Northern Tablelands regions of New South Wales, Australia. This area was formed in 2000 from the merger of the original City of Armidale with the surrounding Dumaresq Shire and abolished on 12 May 2016, where the council, together with Guyra Shire, was subsumed into the Armidale Regional Council with immediate effect.

Walcha Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Walcha Shire is a local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire is situated adjacent to the junction of the Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts Way and is 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the Main North railway line passing through Walcha Road.

Uralla Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Uralla Shire is a local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The New England Highway passes through the Shire.

Guyra Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Guyra Shire is the name of a former local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The shire was abolished on 12 May 2016, where the council, together with the Armidale Dumaresq Shire, was subsumed into the Armidale Regional Council with immediate effect.

Apsley Falls waterfall

The Apsley Falls are two waterfalls on the Apsley River in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. The falls are located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Walcha, and 1 kilometre off the Oxley Highway in a deep gorge, that is part of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. They are the first falls in a succession of dramatic drops in an area that has some of the most remarkable scenery in Eastern Australia. The first drop of the falls is about 65 metres (213 ft) in depth, and the second, which is about 800 metres (2,625 ft) further on, plummets 58 metres (190 ft) metres to the bottom of the gorge.

Nandewar Range mountains in Australia

The Nandewar Range, a mountain range that is part of the Great Dividing Range, is located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. The range is situated approximately 30 km (19 mi) east of the township of Narrabri.

Tia, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Tia, is a settlement and parish located approximately 30 kilometres east of Walcha, on the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia.

Hillgrove, New South Wales town in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

Hillgrove is a Northern Tablelands village with population of about 95. The village is located approximately 30 km east of Armidale and is 5 kilometres south of the Waterfall Way. Hillgrove is part of the Armidale Regional Council local government area and is in Sandon County. This historic goldmining town is situated at elevation of 1,000 metres on a granite plateau above Bakers Creek and near the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

<i>Eucalyptus caliginosa</i> species of plant

Eucalyptus caliginosa, commonly known as broad-leaved stringybark or New England stringybark, is a tree that is endemic to eastern Australia. It has stringy bark, lance-shaped or curved adult leaves, flower buds in groups of seven or nine, white flowers and more or less hemispherical fruit. It is common on the Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes of New South Wales and adjacent areas of Queensland.

Wandsworth, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Wandsworth is a locality on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.

Chandler River (New South Wales) river

Chandler River, a perennial stream of the Macleay River catchment, is located in the Northern Tablelands district of New South Wales, Australia.

The Blue Mountain Creek, an intermittent stream that is part of the Macleay River catchment, is located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia.

The Armidale Express is a newspaper published in Armidale, a city in the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales.

References

  1. "New England Range". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales . Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  2. Noxious Plants Information, New England Tablelands Noxious Plants County Council, Armidale
  3. NSW Land & Property Information topographic map series 1:25000
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Zirkler, Karen, A Resource Kit for Rural Landholders on the Northern Tablelands, Landcare New England North-West, 2009
  5. Copeton Dam Retrieved 2009-11-14
  6. 1 2 Gilbert, Lionel, New England Readings, Armidale College of Advanced Education, Armidale, 1977
  7. HILLGROVE Tourism and History Retrieved on 21-3-2009
  8. Bushranger Profiles Archived 31 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 13 January 2009
  9. Shaw, John H., "Collins Australian Encyclopedia", William Collins Pty Ltd., Sydney, 1984, ISBN   0-00-217315-8
  10. Delbridge, Arthur, The Macquarie Dictionary, 2nd ed., Macquarie Library, North Ryde, 1991
  11. Weather Zone: 2360 postcode Retrieved 2009-11-16
  12. New England Holiday, Express Print, Armidale, nd
  13. NSW OJD Exclusion Area map Retrieved 2009-11-14
  14. Walcha News, Walcha Property Amongst the Best in NSW, 15 May 2008
  15. Lea, David A.M et al., An Atlas of New England Vol. 2 – The Commentaries, Dept. of Geography, UNE, Armidale, 1977
  16. 1 2 Threatened Species of the New England Tablelands, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2003
  17. Hastings River Mouse
  18. "Flora and Fauna of Bundarra" . Retrieved 2007-06-24.

The Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI.