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Thirlmere Lakes National Park facts for kids

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Thirlmere Lakes National Park
New South Wales
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Thirlmere.jpg
Thirlmere Lakes
Nearest town or city Couridjah
Established 7 April 1972 (1972-04-07)
Area 6.29 km2 (2.4 sq mi)
Managing authorities NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Website Thirlmere Lakes National Park
See also Protected areas of
New South Wales

The Thirlmere Lakes National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Macarthur region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 629-hectare (1,550-acre) national park is situated approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) southwest of the Sydney central business district, and just to the west of Thirlmere. It was gazetted in 1972 as Thirlmere Lakes State Park, before being subsequently reclassified as a national park.

The national park is one of the eight protected areas that, in 2000, was inscribed to form part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. The Thirlmere Lakes National Park is the most south–easterly and the smallest of the eight protected areas within the World Heritage Site.

Features

The main feature of the park are the lakes, thought to have formed around 15 million years ago by geological activity, the land lifting and largely cutting them off from the local river system. Their outflow is reduced to the small Blue Gum Creek, which flows west into the Little River in the adjacent Nattai National Park to the west.

The lakes and their environs contain an unusual and diverse array of flora and fauna. It contains the rare freshwater sponge Radiospongilla sceptroides, and is notable for an absence of freshwater snails. The lakes contain the rare watershield (Brasenia schreberi) and are lined with rare species such as the grey sedge (Lepironia articulata) and the wooly frogsmouth lily (Philydrum lanuginosum). The habitat provides a home for the otherwise scarce Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), and migratory Latham's snipe Gallinago hardwickii.

The habitat around the lakes is open sclerophyll forest, the dominant trees being rough-barked apple (Angophora floribunda) nearby and sydney peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita) and red bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) on elevated areas. The understory species include many familiar sydney sandstone flora such as members of the genera Banksia, Acacia, pea flowers, and the New South Wales waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

Climate

Weather chart for Thirlmere Lakes National Park
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temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm

Crisis

Two of the lakes have dried out since the mid 1980s due to removal of groundwater in the region secondary to coal mining at the Tahmoor Colliery. The local community is investigating plans to revive the lakes, which might take decades otherwise.

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