Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

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Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is in New South Wales, Australia, 445 kilometres north of Sydney and is named in memory of the Australian explorer John Oxley, who passed through the area in 1818. The park covers 145,000 ha,[1] being one of the largest national parks in NSW.

The Park is part of the Hastings-Macleay Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986 and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.

The Oxley Wild Rivers National Park (OWRNP) was World Heritage listed in recognition of the extensive dry rainforest that occurs within the park, and the associated rich biodiversity that includes several rare or threatened plants and animals. There are at least 14 waterfalls in the park.[2]



For thousands of years, the Northern Tablelands and these valleys were the tribal lands of the Dangaddi aboriginal people, whose descendants are now concentrated in the lower Macleay River. Some marked trees have been found and a limestone cave shelter has been excavated near Kunderang Brook.

In 1818 explorer John Oxley and his party tried to descend the Apsley valley, but steep gorges blocked the way until they proceeded around the head of the Apsley Falls. After Oxley passed through the cedar-getters were the first white people to penetrate these remote gorges and valleys in search of Australian red cedar (Toona ciliata) which was floated down-river to Kempsey.

There have been cattle grazing through the Macleay River Gorges, called 'The Falls', since the 1840s, with mustering points (yards and huts) occurring at Top Creek, (Sunderlands) Middle Yards, Kunderang, Left Hand, Oven Camp, Youdales Hut, Green Gully, Yarrowitch River and Front Tableland. The recently restored Middle Yards Hut was once part of the 32,000-hectare East Kunderang cattle station on the Macleay River.

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