The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area is an archipelago of national parks supporting rainforest and a range of other vegetation types. Many of the areas in New South Wales were listed in 1986 as the Australian East Coast Subtropical and Temperate Rainforest Parks World Heritage Site. At the time the Queensland Government, led by Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen, refused to have any areas in this State included.
The National Party-led government in Queensland was removed in 1989 and the new Labor Government, led by Wayne Goss, looked more favourably on World Heritage and nature conservation in general.
In 1992, ARCS was commissioned to prepare a new World Heritage nomination including areas along the McPherson Range and Main Range in Queensland, as well as additional areas in New South Wales. The new nomination was successful and the areas were listed in 1994 as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) World Heritage Site (CERRA). The name was later changed to Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals which remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors in the fossil record.