|South West Slopes|
New South Wales
The South West Slopes is a region predominantly in New South Wales, Australia. It covers the lower inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range extending from north of Cowra through southern NSW into western Victoria. More than 90% of the region is in the state of New South Wales and it occupies about 10% of that state.
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 March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 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.
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.
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state and its second-most populous state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.
The south western slopes bioregion covers the lower inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range extending from north of Cowra through southern NSW into eastern Victoria. More than 90% of the region is in the state of New South Wales and it occupies about 10% of that state – more than 80,000 km2.
An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.
The bioregion includes parts of the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Macquarie River catchments.
The Murray River is Australia's longest river, at 2,508 kilometres (1,558 mi) in length. The Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains, and then meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia. It turns south at Morgan for its final 315 kilometres (196 mi), reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina.
Murrumbidgee River, a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It descends 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) as it flows 1,485 kilometres (923 mi) in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.
The Lachlan River is an intermittent river that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, located in the Southern Tablelands, Central West, and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia.
The region can be divided into two sub-regions:
The South western Slopes of NSW are some of the most highly cleared and altered lands in the state. Native vegetation remains generally only in small, isolated patches. Substantial clearing continues. Less than 2% of the bioregion is protected as reserves. Conservation efforts are focussing on landholder stewardship agreements.
The Protected areas of New South Wales include both terrestrial and marine protected areas. At 30 June 2010 there were 776 separate terrestrial protected areas with a total land area of 6,641,256 hectares. 189 of these are national parks, totalling 5,045,422 hectares. At the same time there were 18 aquatic protected areas with a total area of 347,087 hectares.
The Conimbla National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Central West region of New South Wales in eastern Australia. The 8,471-hectare (20,930-acre) national park is situated approximately 253 kilometres (157 mi) west of Sydney, northwest of Cowra and northeast of Grenfell.
Goobang is a national park located in New South Wales, Australia, 296 kilometres (184 mi) northwest of Sydney. It protects the largest remnant forest and woodland in the central west region of the state, where interior and coastal New South Wales flora and fauna species overlap. Originally named Herveys Range by John Oxley in 1817, the area was reserved in 1897 as state forest because of its importance as a timber resource, and was designated a national park in 1995.
Livingstone is a national park and state conservation area located 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Wagga Wagga and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Mangoplah, in the South West Slopes region of south western New South Wales.
The South Western Slopes was occupied by the Wiradjuri people, the largest Aboriginal language group in NSW.
Towns within the bioregion from Albury in the south to Dunedoo in the northeast, include Wagga Wagga, Junee, Cootamundra, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai and Young. Griffith lies just outside the western boundary and Crookwell lies just outside the eastern boundary of the bioregion.
Local Government Areas included in the bioregion:
An area of 25,653 square kilometres (9,905 sq mi), largely coincident with the bioregion, has been identified by BirdLife International as the South-west Slopes of NSW Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports a significant wintering population of endangered swift parrots and most of the largest population of vulnerable superb parrots, as well as populations of painted honeyeaters and diamond firetails.
Most of the site is modified wheat-growing and sheep-grazing country with only vestiges of its original vegetation. Remnant patches of woodland and scattered large trees, especially of mugga ironbark, apple box, grey box, white box, yellow box, red box, yellow gum, river red gum and Blakely's red gum, still provide habitat for the parrots. Protected areas within the site include several nature reserves and state forests, as well as the Livingstone and Weddin Mountains National Parks, and Tarcutta Hills Reserve. Mean annual temperatures in the region are mild; ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F), with an annual rainfall of 500 millimetres (20 in) – 1,150 millimetres (45 in).
The south west slopes forecast area used by the Bureau of Meteorology includes Young and Tumbarumba. The area is smaller than that defined as a bioregion by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.
Weddin Mountains is a national park located in New South Wales, Australia, 291 kilometres (181 mi) west of Sydney. It is a small crescent shaped range, with a high point some 750 metres (2,460 ft) AHD , running roughly north south with steep cliffs on the eastern side sloping more gradually down to the plane in the west. Weddin mountains is a small patch of remnant vegetation which escaped clearing due to its ruggedness. It has lots of aircraft passing overhead on their way from Sydney to Adelaide, is part of the Lachlan Fold system and is Wiradjuri country.
Tumbarumba is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, about 480 kilometres (300 mi) southwest of the state capital, Sydney. Tumbarumba is located on the periphery of the Riverina and South West Slopes regions at the western edge of the Snowy Mountains. The 2016 census showed the population of the town and surrounding area to be 1,862 people. Locals refer to the town as 'Tumba'.
The Riverina is an agricultural region of South-Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.
Tarcutta is a town in south-western New South Wales, Australia. The town is 438 kilometres (272 mi) south-west of Sydney, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of the Hume Highway, It was proclaimed as a village on 28 October 1890. As of 2016, the town had a population of 446.
Cootamundra is a town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia and within the Riverina. It is within the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council. At the 2016 Census, Cootamundra had a population of 6,782. It is located on the Olympic Highway at the point where it crosses the Muttama Creek, between Junee and Cowra. Cootamundra is not on the Hume Highway, but its railway station is on the Main Southern line, part of the Melbourne-to-Sydney line.
The Main Southern Railway is a major railway in New South Wales, Australia. It runs from Sydney to Albury, near the Victorian border. The line passes through the Southern Highlands, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes and Riverina regions.
Cootamundra Shire was a local government area in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire was located adjacent to the Olympic Highway, the Burley Griffin Way and the Main South railway line. The Shire included the town of Cootamundra and the small towns of Stockinbingal, Brawlin and Wallendbeen and the locality of Frampton. In 2016, it merged with the neighbouring Gundagai Shire to form a new Gundagai Council.
Cootamundra is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales.
The Ulandra Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in the west hills of the Southern Tablelands and eastern Riverina regions of New South Wales in eastern Australia. The 3,930-hectare (9,700-acre) reserve is situated approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south-west of Cootamundra and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south-east of the village of Bethungra.
Tarcutta Hills Reserve is a 432-hectare (1,070-acre) nature reserve on the lower western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in central west New South Wales, Australia. It is 427 kilometres (265 mi) south-west of Sydney, close to the Hume Highway, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Tarcutta. It is owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA), which purchased it in 1999, and it is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The Strike-a-Light River, a perennial stream that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Monaro region of New South Wales, Australia.
The Burrinjuck Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve on the south west slopes of New South Wales, Australia. The 5,250-hectare (13,000-acre) reserve is located adjacent to the Burrinjuck Dam, with 5,118 hectares of the reserve located on the northern side of the reservoir, and the remaining 89 hectares located on the southern side of the reservoir to the northeast of Black Andrew Nature Reserve. It includes land formerly managed as the Burrinjuck State Forest and Burrinjuck State Recreation Area.
The Queanbeyan Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in the Southern Tablelands region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 67-hectare (170-acre) reserve is situated approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) west-south-west of the City of Queanbeyan.
The Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve in the central western region of New South Wales, Australia. The 86.4-hectare (213-acre) reserve is situated 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of West Wyalong and may be accessed via the Newell Highway and The Charcoal Tank Road. The reserve is an important refuge for native flora and fauna in a highly fragmented landscape, one in which the majority of the original vegetation has been removed.
The Murrumbidgee Valley National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 47,703-hectare (117,880-acre) national park is located approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) east of Hay, and approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of Narrandera. The park protects part of what is now the largest continuous tract of river red gum forest in the world.
Ingalba, Big Bush and Pucawan Nature Reserves are three Nature Reserves situated to the west of Temora, New South Wales. Ingalba Nature Reserve is situated 10 kilometres west of Temora and Pucawan Nature Reserve a further 6 km west. Big Bush Nature Reserve is 15 kilometres northwest of Temora. All three reserves are located within Temora Shire. They are managed concurrently by the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service. The reserves are linked by corridors of vegetation in adjacent private land and along roads and Travelling Stock Routes.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council is a local government area located in the South West Slopes and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia. The council was formed on 12 May 2016 through a merger of the Cootamundra and Gundagai shires. Originally named Gundagai Council, the name was changed Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council on 7 September 2016.
Gundagai is an Australian Geographical Indication for a wine region centred on the town of Gundagai in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is part of the Southern New South Wales zone. The region includes Tumut on the northwestern slopes of the Snowy Mountains, Cootamundra in its north and extends west to Junee and almost to Wagga Wagga. Junee is on the boundary to the Riverina wine region. Gundagai is also bounded on the northeast by Hilltops, the east by Canberra District and the south by Tumbarumba.