The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves, are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The reserve includes 50 separate reserves totaling 3,665 square km, clustered around the New South Wales - Queensland border.
The Gondwana Rainforests are so-named because the fossil record indicates that when Gondwana existed it was covered by rainforests containing the same kinds of species that are living today. The number of visitors to the reserve is about 2 million per year.
The forests were inscribed to the World Heritage list in 1986, covering only the New South Wales sites of approximately 3108 km² and extended in 1994 to cover the Queensland sites of approximately 592 km² which is a total of approximately 3700km². The rainforest reserves have an extremely high conservation value, with more than 200 rare or threatened plant and animal species.
Eight separate areas have been identified as having outstanding heritage significance to Australia and are included on the Australian National Heritage List. The altitude of the reserves ranges from sea level to almost 1,600 m (5,200 ft).
The Queensland areas include Lamington National Park, Mount Chinghee National Park, Springbrook National Park, Mount Barney National Park and Main Range National Park.
The New South Wales areas include Barrington Tops National Park, Dorrigo National Park, Mount Warning National Park, New England National Park, Mebbin National Park, Nightcap National Park, Border Ranges National Park, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Washpool National Park, Willi Willi National Park and Werrikimbe National Park.
The most heavily visited parts are Dorrigo National Park and the Natural Bridge section of Springbrook National Park.
Australian National Heritage List areas
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia are divided into sections as below for listing on the Australian National Heritage List.
Main Range Group
Near Killarney, Queensland
- Acacia Plateau Flora Reserve
- Main Range National Park
- Spicers Gap Conservation Park
- Goomburra State Forest (part)
- Spicers Gap State Forest (part)
- Gilbert State Forest (part)
- Emu Vale State Forest (part)
- Gambubal State Forest (part)
- Teviot State Forest (part)
Focal Peak Group
On the New South Wales—Queensland border
- Captains Creek Flora Reserve (part)
- Mallanganee National Park
- Mount Clunie National Park (part)
- Mount Nothofagus National Park (part)
- Tooloom National Park (part)
- Toonumbar National Park (part)
- Burnett Creek State Forest (part)
Shield Volcano Group
On the New South Wales—Queensland border on the McPherson Range and Tweed Ranges
- Amaroo Flora Reserve
- Border Ranges National Park (part)
- Lamington National Park
- Limpinwood Nature Reserve
- Mebbin National Park (part)
- Mount Chinghee National Park
- Mount Warning National Park
- Nightcap National Park (part)
- Numinbah Nature Reserve
- Springbrook National Park (part)
- various Rabbit Board Reserves along the Rabbit-proof fence.
Iluka Nature Reserve
Iluka Nature Reserve is on the coast at Iluka, New South Wales.
Washpool and Gibraltar Range
Contiguous areas between Glen Innes, New South Wales and Grafton, New South Wales
- Gibraltar Range National Park
- Washpool National Park
New England Group
Near Dorrigo, New South Wales
- Mount Hyland Nature Reserve (part)
- Dorrigo National Park (part)
- New England National Park (part)
- Cunnawarra National Park (part)
Southeast of Armidale, New South Wales
- Willi Willi National Park (part)
- The Castles Flora Reserve
- Mount Seaview Nature Reserve
- Oxley Wild Rivers National Park (part)
- Werrikimbe National Park (part)
North of Dungog, New South Wales
- Barrington Tops National Park (part)
- Mount Royal National Park (part)