A TEMPERATE RAINFOREST
IN A WORLD HERITAGE AREA
On the way to the Blue Mountains study the settlements and their altitudes
and characteristics, as observed from the bus.
Village Altitude (m) Characteristic / observation
W Small village for residents
K Large town with many tourist facilities and
services for residents
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
In November 2000, The Greater Blue Mountains area was included on the World
Heritage List for its outstanding unique natural values:
i. as an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and
biological processes in the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems, and communities
of plants and animals; and
ii. for containing the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ
conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area is made up of eight protected areas:
Blue Mountains National Park, Wollemi NP, Yengo NP Nattai NP, Kanangra-Boyd NP,
Gardens of Stone NP, Thirlmere Lakes PN and Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation
1. Highlight the area you are visiting today, on the map provided.
2. One of the rarest species of vegetation was recently discovered in this area. What
is it called? ……………………………….
On Scenic Railway:
Observe changes in physical features on the ride down the Scenic Railway.
Recognise the different habitats that can be seen from the Scenic Railway car.
At the bottom platform, ask geographical questions: What is there? Where is it?
Record features using a camera, if available.
Along the walkway:
Some examples of vegetation and birds and animals have been given for the other
habitats in this area.
3. Identify the main vegetation species and birds and animals that are found in the
warm temperate rainforest habitat. Highlight any that are threatened.
HABITAT VEGETATION BIRDS AND ANIMALS
Open forest Wattle, waratah, tea-tree, banksia, Crimson rosella, honeyeater, ring-
(dry scribbly gum, black ash tailed possum, sugar glider, red-
sclerophyll) bellied black snake, mountain
Woodland Banksias, grass tree, needle bush, Thornbills, grey fantail, swamp
scribbly gum, mallee, mtn mottled wallaby, bush rat, bearded
gum dragon, giant burrowing frog
Heath Banksias, tea-tree, tall leek orchid, Honeyeaters, wrens, bush rat,
dwarf she-oak, mallee, clifftop mallee black rock skink, jacky lizard.
ash Broad-headed snake
4. Describe the soil on the forest floor.
5. Sketch and label features of SIX vegetation types in the warm temperate rainforest.
K a to o m b a A v e ra g e A n n u a l T e m p e ra tu re s
2 5 2 3 .4 2 2 .9
2 1 2 1 .2 2 2 .2
1 7 .3 1 7 .3
1 5 1 2 .9 1 2 .8 1 3 .3 1 4 .1
1 1 .6 1 0 .9 1 1 .8
1 0 9 .1
1 0 .7
1 0 .5
5 4 .3
2 .7 3 .5
J a n F e b M a r A p rM a yJ u n J u l A u gS e p O c tN o vD e c
M o n th
6. Observe the weather conditions today and record on table:
In the forest At the lookout
Temperature: ____________________ Temperature: ____________________
Rainfall: ________________________ Rainfall: ________________________
Mist: ___________________________ Mist: ___________________________
Cloud cover: _____________________ Cloud cover: _____________________
Wind direction: ___________________ Wind direction: ___________________
Wind strength: ___________________ Wind strength: ___________________
7. What is the difference between the weather in the forest and on the clifftop?
Explain why they are different.
8. How does today’s weather compare with the climate for Katoomba?
9. How has the vegetation in the valley changed over time?
Native vegetation During coal mining days Present day
In the past coal mining was one of the major threats to this habitat. What are the main
10. How are some of these threats also impacting on the sustainability of the habitat?
Threat Impact on the habitat
On the Scenic Cableway:
Listen to the commentary and observe the landform and vegetation features observable
on the ride back up from the valley on the Scenic Cableway.
Record features using a camera, if available.
At Mary’s Lookout:
Observe the landform and vegetation features observable from the lookout. Ask
geographical questions: What is there? Where is it? Record features using a camera, if
11. Construct a field sketch of the area.
Label the features on your sketch, selecting from the following list: Jamison Valley,
Mt Solitary, Long Neck Plateau, Three Sisters, Kings Tableland, Orphan Rock,
sandstone cliffs, dry sclerophyll forest, temperate rainforest, woodland, heath.
Give your drawing a heading and a north arrow.
12. What makes the Blue Mountains “blue”?
The haze is an interesting phenomenon called Rayleigh’s Scattering, named after Lord
Rayleigh, who first investigated it in the early 1900s.
13. Draw a sketch map of the route taken today.
Label the main features on your sketch map.
Give your sketch map a heading and a north arrow.