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Australian Parks

Belford National Park

Belford National Park

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Belford National Park, sprawling across 294 hectares between the towns of Maitland and Singleton, stands as a vital guardian of remnant vegetation on the Hunter Valley floor. This pristine expanse is not only a testament to nature's resilience but also harbors two endangered ecological communities of regional significance, tragically underrepresented in conservation efforts. This park is an invaluable repository of biodiversity, offering sanctuary to eight threatened fauna species, as well as numerous other species with regional importance, including a variety of migratory birds.

With deep historical roots, Belford National Park holds cultural significance as part of the traditional country of the Wonnarua Aboriginal people. Before gaining status as a National Park, it was known as Belford State Forest, a testament to its long-standing role in the region.

Key features of Belford National Park include:

  • Remnant vegetation on the historically cleared Hunter Valley floor.
  • The presence of the Central Hunter Ironbark – Spotted Gum – Grey Box Forest, an endangered ecological community of regional importance, facing threats from insufficient conservation measures and clearing activities.
  • The Central Hunter Swamp Oak Forest, another regionally significant and inadequately conserved ecological community with restricted distribution.
  • The Hunter Lowlands Red Gum Forest, an endangered ecological community regionally vital yet facing the dual challenges of inadequate conservation and potential clearing.
  • The park is home to a diverse array of threatened and regionally significant flora and fauna.

Despite its ecological importance, Belford National Park currently lacks designated visitor facilities. However, adventure-seekers can explore the perimeter fire trails doubling as walking tracks, accessible from entry points along the New England Highway and Kirkton Road. Kirkton Road, intersecting the reserve, serves as a public road, requiring visitors to park alongside it, as there is no designated parking within the park boundaries.

The trails on either side of Kirkton Road offer a leisurely walking gradient, providing nature enthusiasts with the opportunity to witness some of the threatened species that find refuge within the park. In navigating this natural haven, it is paramount to observe safety guidelines and respect the wildlife and the environment. By treading lightly and following established guidelines for exploring national parks, visitors contribute to the preservation of this ecological treasure.

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