Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Gardens of Stone: In Focus - Talks and Workshops

The Pagodas Landscapes of the Gardens of Stone
and their International Signific

Dr Haydn Washington, 
Saturday 10:15AM-10:45PM

When is a rock more than just a rock and why should we care? Join Haydn Washington's talk and discover the fascinating discipline that is Geodiversity. Find out what makes the rock formations of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area so significant, and learn to see the pagoda landscapes with different eyes. 



Saving the Gardens of Stone, one picture at a time:
Photography's role in Conservation Campaigns  

Janine Kitson & Henry Gold, Saturday 11AM-12PM

Photography has profoundly shaped Australia’s environmental consciousness.  It has inspired and motivated Australians to protect areas of pristine wilderness.  It has played a critical role in World Heritage listing Australia’s iconic places such as the Tasmanian wilderness.  It has challenged our unsustainable contemporary consumeristic culture. It has reminded us of our responsibility to share the planet with other species.  For many, wilderness photography has inspired us to protect Nature – where ever it is – with the threats of extinction, climate disruption and degraded life support systems. In this talk Janine Kitson and Herny Gold will talk about the power of landscape images to mobilise a nation and help preserve our ancient landscapes.

Henry will talk about his contribution to winning World Heritage Listing for the Blue Mountains, and his devotion to the Gardens of Stone as the latest focus of his work as a landscape photographer. 

Back to the event program


Making scenes shine:
Lessons in photography learned in the Gardens of Stone 

Gary Hayes,
Saturday 12-1PM

What looks ordinary or ‘lost’ in the middle of the day can at the right time be unique and beautiful.
Join professional photographer Gary Hayes for a fascinating workshop on the challenges of landscape photography and learn how he captured the ancient landscapes of the Gardens of Stone in his stunning photographs.

Take home his advice on getting those lesser photographed views among hidden pagodas and vistas. Hear how he explored and studied the landscape to find those special spots and to return in the golden and blue hours of the day. Learn about how you can use atmospheric events like smoke, haze and fog to add drama and mystery to a scene. 

This workshop will teach you many tricks of the trade from composition to processing that you can use to perfect your images next time you are out capturing landscapes with your own camera. 

Back to the event program

Bushwalking adventures and exploration in GOS2

"Bushexplorers" Brian Fox and Yuri Bolotin
Sunday 10-10:45PM

The Gardens of Stone region is a bushwalking paradise, and those 39,000 hectares of unprotected landscapes that are proposed for conservation as “Gardens of Stone Stage 2” is a ‘must visit’ for bushwalkers.  

Listen to Yuri and Brian as they talk about what it is that makes this place so unique and what you need to prepare for your own exploration. They will cover everything from access, equipment and maps to the level of experience and skills required and how to look after the delicate environment as you visit.

Hear Yuri and Brian discuss the aspects and assets of the landscapes of Newnes State Forest, Ben Bullen State Forest, Wolgan State Forest and Mugii Murum-ban, and be inspired to visit for yourself.


The botanical significance of the Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps

Dr Douglas Benson, Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney
Sunday 11AM-12PM

The Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps, are a series of low nutrient temperate montane peat swamps around 1100 m elevation in the upper Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Vegetation patterns are related to surface hydrology and subsurface topography, which determine local peat depth. The majority of swamps, particularly those in the Carne Creek catchment, is primarily groundwater dependent with a permanently high watertable maintained by groundwater aquifers.

These swamps are associated with the concurrence of a number of threatened groundwater dependent biota (plants-Boronia deanei subsp. deanei, Dillwynia stipulifera, dragonfly- Petalura gigantea, lizard- Eulamprus leuraensis). This association of dependence leaves the swamp ecosystem highly susceptible to threats from any loss of groundwater, the major current one being the impact of damage to the confining aquicludes, aquifers and peat substrates due to subsidence associated with longwall mining. Other impacts may also result from changes to hydrology such as damming, mine waste water discharge, increased moisture competition from pine plantations and climate change.

Mining and mischief in the Gardens and what's being done about it

Keith Muir
Saturday 12pm - 12.30pm

There are 101 reasons to protect the Gardens of Stone, but coal mining continues to destroy national and international heritage values, including cliffs, waterfalls and swamps, by controlling the regulatory environment.  This misbehaviour is considered acceptable because it is largely unknown.  

The Gardens of Stone is a ‘microcosm’ of all the problems that must be solved if we are to adapt, curb climate change, and thrive on a healthy planet.

Come to the workshop and help stop the damage.

Back to the event program