From the ancient, pristine temperate rainforests in the south to the massive escarpments and tropical wetlands in the north, Australia’s World Heritage sites are dazzling in their ecological complexity and the record they offer of life on this planet and the human experience in Australia.
In the new book World Heritages Sites of Australia (NLA Publishing $44.99, 1 Sep 2019), author Peter Valentine provides a fascinating historic and photographic guide to Australia’s 19 World Heritage sites and the role they place in shaping our natural and cultural history. Each of the sites—which include Kakadu National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay, Macquarie Island and the Gondwana Rainforests—are described and illustrated in exquisite detail, along with an account of how the site came to be included on the World Heritage List.
A testament to his decades of involvement in World Heritage, Valentine includes in each chapter a reflection on his observations, involvement with or connection to each site, from a conversation with the late Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie to diving on the Great Barrier Reef and developing safe protocols for swimming with the whale sharks at the Ningaloo Coast.
With a thoughtful foreword by former minister for the environment, heritage and the arts and Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett, World Heritages Sites of Australia is a celebration of the exceptional contribution Australian sites make to humanity’s collective legacy and highlights the need to preserve them for future generations.