First Australian National Park

The national park was founded in 1879 by Sir John Robertson, premier minister of New South Wales. It is the world’s second oldest national park, after Yellowstone Park in the United States. Following a visit from Queen Elizabeth II, the park was renamed Royal National Park in 1955. In 2006, it was added to the Australian National Heritage List. Recurring bush fires are a permanent feature of the park landscape and have a major influence on vegetation. Continuous change and regeneration have led to plants adapting to environmental extremes. Native species of the genus Waratah (Telopea), for example, have regenerative buds just below ground level, from which new stems grow in the event that the plant above ground is destroyed.

Further Readings: 
  • Sellars, Richard West. Preserving Nature in the National Parks: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.