The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has announced a Tender Process which includes calling for Expressions of Interest for the operation of Guided Bush Walks and Safari Style Camping Operation within Royal National Park.
Established in 1879, Royal National Park is the world’s second oldest national park – after Yellowstone in the USA.
Only 32 km from Sydney, the Royal packs incredible natural diversity into a relatively small area. It offers riverside picnics, great surf beaches, clifftop and heathland walks, rainforest cycle tracks, and much more.
The geology of Royal National Park is dominated by sandstone. This hard, creamy rock started forming between 190 and 225 million years ago, when Australia was part of the Gondwanaland supercontinent. At this time, the Sydney region was a large freshwater lake. This was slowly filled up by deposits of sand, mud, silt and pebbles, washed in by large streams. Over the millions of years that followed, these sediments were gradually overlain by others. They were compressed into sandstone, mudstone and shale.
Royal National Park lies on a sloping plateau which rises from sea level at Jibbon Point in the north, to over 300 m at Bulgo in the park’s southern corner. The plateau is split by the Hacking River system, which has been eroding the sandstone into deep gorges for at least 50 million years.
Most of the 43 native mammal species which have been recorded in Royal National Park live in the tall moist eucalypt forests and rainforests of the Hacking River valley. They include threatened species such as the tiger quoll and red-necked pademelon, both of which were once common in the Illawarra region.
Royal National Park is rich in birdlife – 241 species have been sighted in the park, 140 of them resident, nesting or occurring regularly. The richest diversity of birds are found in the tall moist eucalypt forests and rainforests. In the eucalypt forests, look out for sulphur-crested cockatoos, crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets. The rainforests are home to satin bowerbirds, superb lyrebirds, eastern whipbirds and catbirds. Threatened species such as the powerful owl have also been sighted in the park.
Royal National Park’s herpetofauna (reptiles and frogs) is richer than any other studied coastal park in New South Wales. This is mainly because the park provides so many different habitats and its favourable climate. The most important habitat areas are in the rainforests along Lady Carrington Drive, moist forests, freshwater swamps, coastal heaths and beside small creeks. Scientists have found some 40 reptile species and 30 amphibian species living in and around the park.
The Tender Process for the operation of Guided Bush Walks and Safari Style Camping Operation within Royal National Park closes on the 25th February 2011.