January 26, 2013

0485 AUSTRALIA (New South Wales) - Greater Blue Mountains Area (UNESCO WHS)


Bordering Sydney's metropolitan area, in New South Wales, the Blue Mountains consists mainly of a rugged sandstone plateau, dissected by gorges up to 760m deep and having as the highest point the Mount Werong (1,215m). Its name is derived from the blue tinge the range takes on when viewed from a distance, caused by mie scattering which occurs when incoming ultraviolet radiation is scattered by particles within the atmosphere. The area is renowned for its majestic scenery of a unique kind, for its cultural attractions and for its relatively tranquil, alternative mode of life.

The predominant natural vegetation of the higher ridges is eucalyptus forest, recognised as of outstanding universal value, because of its adaptability and evolution in post-Gondwana isolation. There are also many hanging swamps with button grass reeds and thick, deep black soil, and a high level of endemism, with 114 endemic taxa found in the area as well as 120 nationally rare and threatened plant tax, and relict species of global significance. The area is inhabited by over 400 different forms of animals, some of them rare.

When Europeans arrived there, the Blue Mountains had already been inhabited for several millennia by the Gundungurra people, and, in the lower Blue Mountains, by the Darug people. Examples of Aboriginal habitation can be found in many places, such as the Red Hands Cave or the Kings Tableland Aboriginal Site. A large part of the Blue Mountains is incorporated into the Greater Blue Mountains Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

About the stamp
The stamp belongs to the Australian Native Wildlife definitive series, issued on March 6, 2006, and depicting six native Australian animals:
Platypus (5c)
Short-beaked Echidna (25c) - it's on this postcard 
Common Wombat ($1.25)
Tasmanian Devil ($1.85)
Greater Bilby ($2.50)
Dingo ($3.70)

References
Greater Blue Mountains Area - Wikipedia


sender: Don Graham (postcrossing)
sent from Springwood (New South Wales / Australia), on 15.02.2012
photo: Forest Stewardship Council / 1996

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