Menu Close

Celebrating 40 years of Tomaree National Park | 2024

National Parks Association – Port Stephens Group

Imagine our landscape without Tomaree National Park 

Scenically, our treed hills and coastlines bring us so much enjoyment and aesthetic pleasure, not to mention their drawcard for tourism, and the economic benefit the national park brings to the local area. Tomaree National Park enriches our lives in many fantastic ways.

Most importantly, Tomaree National Park protects a diversity of plants and animals, and is home to many endangered species. The park also protects spectacular geological features, an array of historical artefacts, a deep Worimi cultural fabric, as well as providing an essential drinking water source of high quality for the local community.

It is an important place so many of us cherish.

2024 is Tomaree National Park’s 40th birthday

It’s been 40 years since Tomaree National Park was first gazetted. This is something certainly worth celebrating and we are eternally grateful to the forward-thinking people who lobbied to protect the area.

Throughout 2024 we’re celebrating with a range of long and short walks, wildflower walks, night walks, a celebratory picnic with varied activities, and some talks. There’ll also be some special activities for the Friends of Tomaree National Park who volunteer to help improve the integrity of the park. 

See our calendar of activities, a smorgasbord of Tomaree activities – we’ll be adding to these as the year progresses.

You’re invited to share your most cherished features of Tomaree National Park!

We’re calling out to our community to help us build a treasure trove of Tomaree NP’s cherished features.

Share a photo or two of your most treasured aspects of Tomaree National Park

Views, trees, flowers, wildlife, rocky structures, favourite walks, wonderful textures, places of inspiration — anything you cherish about Tomaree National Park

Add a line or two about your photo/s, its location (or is it a secret?), maybe its name, or just what or why you like it so much. Be sure to let us know if you’d like your name included too.

There’s a couple of ways to share, and you’re welcome to do both

  • via Facebook, on your account post your feature and tag @npansw.tomaree.friend (though you will need to have either liked or be following the page)
  • via our website page, email Sue at tomaree-np-friends@npansw.org.au and we’ll link them to our Celebrate Tomaree web page (to be linked here, so get in early!)

From small beginnings, bigger things grow

Originally Tomaree NP was reserved in 1984 as just a thin coastal strip of 800 hectares between and around existing settlements on the southern edge of the Tomaree Peninsula. That was just one third of today’s wonderful park.

With parcels added over the next 23 years, the park today is 2402 hectares, a wider and longer coastal strip on the edge of the Tomaree Peninsula. Its large urban border and urban enclaves each create their threats to the integrity of the park.

Bit by bit the park grew

Tomaree National Park was reserved in 1984 as a thin coastal strip of 800 hectares between and around existing settlements on the southern edge of the Tomaree Peninsula.

Which date is the actual birthday?

This gazettal notice indicated the first parcel of land, the thin coastal strip, was proclaimed and signed on 24 October 2024.

However, the excerpt from the gazette notice below, shows the formal reservation of the park was the 9 November 2023.

The park was extended to 2310 hectares in 1996 with the addition of the water reserves that provide the water supply for the peninsula (managed with Hunter Water).

The Port Stephens lighthouse, associated grounds and ruins of the lighthouse keepers’ house were formally added to the park in January 2003.

In 2005, a small addition (29.5 hectares) was made to the park behind One Mile Beach, and in 2007 three small parcels of Crown land at various locations (45 hectares in total) were added to the park, bringing the total current area to 2402 hectares.

.

Now we need to secure corridors linking across Tomaree Peninsula

Connecting linkages and corridors are needed across the Tomaree Peninsula, and beyond, to enable wildlife movement, and encourage gene flow of plants and animals. This helps ensure the sustainability of the park’s biodiversity and those of associated bushland, such as Mambo Wetlands and Tilligerry Nature Reserve. Connected they help make all the bushland reserves more resilient.

We continue to lobby for additions to the park to help secure connecting linkages and corridors across the Tomaree Peninsula,. The Biodiversity corridor, an area of land extending from Nelson Bay Road to Taylors Beach, is a very important linkage to ensure it is retained as bushland, as it links with Mambo Wetlands and the Tilligerry Nature Reserve.

We continue to lobby for additions to the park to help secure connecting linkages and corridors across the Tomaree Peninsula,. The Biodiversity corridor, an area of land extending from Nelson Bay Road to Taylors Beach, is a very important linkage to ensure it is retained as bushland, as it links with Mambo Wetlands and the Tilligerry Nature Reserve.

We are also hopeful that land at Fishermans Bay will be added to the park in the near future. What a wonderful present to the park and community for Tomaree’s 40th birthday.

Advocating for Tomaree National Park

The National Parks Association (NPA), is a voluntary community group who advocates for national parks, both for protecting land and for supporting the effective management of national parks. 

In Port Stephens, the NPA has two active groups. 

  • The Port Stephens Walking Group has a program of walks to engender appreciation and understanding of national parks, plants and wildlife and other bushland or natural areas. 
  • The Friends of Tomaree National Park supports the national park through community action such as 
    • voluntarily working to enhance the integrity of the national park
    • advocating to uphold the principles of national parks
    • collaborating with other groups, such as EcoNetwork Port Stephens, for bushland corridors and park additions.
    Other community groups also advocate for protecting the park’s values and recreational opportunities. 

Managing Tomaree National Park

In NSW, national parks are managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), a State Government agency. There are only a couple of national parks managed Federally, but they are all called national parks because they are significant at a national level. 

National parks are reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife (NPW) Act to protect and conserve areas containing outstanding or representative ecosystems, natural or cultural features or landscapes or phenomena that provide opportunities for public appreciation and inspiration and sustainable visitor use. 

The Tomaree National Park Plan of Management describes the values of the park and management directions, to balance the protection of the values with the various threats to the park’s integrity and its recreational opportunities. The NPWS website promotes how we can recreate and enjoy the national park.