Geo-heritage journey

Australia’s Coastal Wilderness includes the oldest rocks in eastern Australia, fossil records of some of the world’s earliest land animals, forests and diversity of ancient fishes.

We can trace the geological heritage and evolution of this part of the Australian continent from a deep ocean through volcanic upheavals and crustal melting to long periods of quiet erosion with the formation of flat plains. Fragments of this half billion year history can be seen not only in rocky cliffs and headlands, but also in the land use patterns imposed by aboriginal and European peoples. During tens of thousands of years of occupation of this region by aboriginal people, sea levels have fallen by 130 metres and risen again, drowning much of the cultural homelands of the coastal peoples. In only a few centuries, white settlers have imposed new patterns of use of the land and its abundance.

On our journey, a geoheritage journey, we will let the rocks and landscapes, the shapes of the coast and the patterns of hills and skylines tell us their stories.

The geological heritage journey focuses on key features of the landscape and explains why they are there. The journey covers the story of:

  • the region’s granites,
  • the 70 million year old plain into which today’s landscape was etched,
  • the enigmatic and sacred Gulaga mountain,
  • the chain of renowned and beautiful southern coastal lakes,
  • the geological floor under laying the region,
  • the coastline and the origin of the Tasman Sea,
  • ancient volcanoes and armoured fishes, and
  • the red and white coastal sandstones and the tale of a ‘stolen’ river
Download below

1 Introduction to the Journey

2 The story of Granite and Bega Cheese

3 The backdrop – a 70 million year old Plain

4 The First of the three Mountains – Gulaga

5 The Coastal Lakes

6 The geological floor – the Ordovician

7 The coastline and the Tasman Sea

8 Ancient volcanoes and armoured fish

9 The Coastal Sandstones