The Rock Gardeners

The Rock Gardeners The Gardeners of Stone guard the temples of doom
Where the rocks wind and bend in a mist laden room.
They tender the haven of many a delight
Without trowel or shovel, just stealth in the night.

We are the Gardeners, in the Gardens of Stone
Gardens of treasure, Of nature alone.
Across these pagodas things move every which way,
As nobody intended; so The Gardeners say.

Go silent and walk where the rock daisies grow,
No gardener needed to spread seeds and sow,
It seems like a random scene of colour and style
Nothing out there is in single file.

A visitor coming to see this intricate array
Might at first be alarmed and express utter dismay.
So different a place to the comforts of home
Let’s shine it and mine it and make it our own.

Those pagodas go well with a fountain or two
In a front suburb yard stuck in place with some glue.
And the flowers we’d dig charge the earth for each lot
Make a million a day not a penny would drop
To the slick politicks with their spin doctor spiel
Of sick and crass reasons to break natures wheel.

The Gardeners of Stone guard the temples of doom
Where the rocks wind and bend in a mist laden room.
We are the Gardeners, in the Gardens of Stone
We guard these treasures of nature alone.

There’s plenty to do in these crazy paved places
They need so much attention with so many races
Of abundant green fabrics and cloisters of creatures,
A display of multi dimensional features.

Skinks to tend and swamps to mend with Boronias pink galore,
And cracks in the soil with coal mining spoil
Cast by careless caretakers in muck machine breakers
Who don’t know the strength of their toil.

There’s crazy bike tracks where mad rides make big stacks
Of damaged and derelict cars,
An abandoned contract for the sand in the crack
Leaving dangerous and dungeon like scars.

So these gardens declared they need gardeners who cared
And spared them any more ill.
No more underground sound shaking leaves above ground
Or waters polluted to spill.

The Gardeners of Stone guard the temples of doom
Where the rocks wind and bend in a mist laden room.
We are the Gardeners, in the Gardens of Stone.
We guard these treasures of nature alone. 

Gardeners of Stone how big you have grown
Grown rich and strong in Stone Gardens , These Gardens of Stone,
Do you hear their tone.

The Gardeners of Stone guard the temples of doom
Where the rocks wind and bend in a mist laden room.
We are the Gardeners, in the Gardens of Stone
We guard these treasures of nature alone.



Wyn Jones
November, 2017

Take action to stop Manildra wrecking the Gardens of Stone

Take action to stop Manildra wrecking the Gardens of Stone 07_0127 MOD 5 - D490/17

Could you please take action to help fight off open-cut coal mining in the Gardens of Stone region at Ben Bullen State Forest 25km north-west of Lithgow.

Manildra's - a starch and ethanol company that has no real business in coal - wishes to restart the twice rejected Invincible open-cut mine in the Ben Bullen State Forest. It has set up a subsiduary, Castlereagh Coal, to push this proposal through.

Make a submission to the Plannning Assessment Commission.

You may also make representations in person to Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) from 9.30am Wednesday 29 November, 2017 at the Lithgow Workers Club.

Register to speak before 1 pm on 27th November 2017, by: phoning the PAC on (02) 9383 2112 or emailing with your name and phone number so the PAC officials may confirm your registration.

Read what Colong thinks of the revived Invincible open-cut mining proposal (media release) and the Colong Foundation's 2016 submission opposing this modification proposal. Read also our media response to the Manidra's application for 1,368 hectare exploration licences.

Read the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's assessment report. Read the 2014 Planning Assessment Commission rejection of an almost identical proposal for the Invincible mine here.

Details regarding Manildra's Environment Assessment report.

Invincible mine

The Wollangambe Story

Video showing the coal fines spill by Clarence Colliery in the Gardens of Stone region.

In the 1980s sediment spills from the constuection of the Berowra By-pass [F1] into Ku-ring-gai National Park established procedures for cleaning up spills of this kind. Yet it took months before the clean up of the Wollangambe River started.

The EPA must ensure it establishes standing procedures and writes up a 'how to' guide from the Clarence spill experience. Like first aid, with pollution events, quick action prevents harm. It is by a great deal of luck that heavy rainfall did not sweep coal fines all the way down the Wollangamba River.

Save the Gardens of Stone

Just two hours west of Sydney is a popular wonderland of sandstone pagodas unique in the world. This public forest needs your help as it is being ruined.

The Gardens of Stone region is remarkable for its combination of dramatic landforms, rock pagodas, and a multitude of rare and threatened plants and animals. You and your family can experience nature close up and personal, a world of secrets, magic and delight. At once apparently daunting but accessible, you will find pagodas in clusters like fortified hill-towns with narrow passageways and walled courtyards, complete with overhanging caves, staircases and waterfalls. It is hard not to put its stunning natural beauty into a human context; with imagined walled gardens, rockeries, open woodlands and shrubberies.

It’s just the best place in the world for a bushwalk! Each visit to the Gardens of Stone is another unique wonderful experience.

Ignore it, and it will disappear

This 39,000 hectare region is proposed for protection as a state conservation area. Its diversity is equivalent to that of the nearby million hectare World Heritage Area. Its reservation would establish effective management for its 100 threatened plants, animals and ecological communities, and to enable it to be appreciated.

Poorly regulated coal mining has caused surface rocks to crack, cliffs and pagodas to crumble, aquifers to be lowered, swamps and creeks to dry out, and rivers that supply Sydney with drinking water to be polluted with mine water. All the while unlicensed and unregistered trail bike riders continue to impact the region without a thought to the damage they cause.

How you can help

An alliance of local conservation groups is developing more detailed plans to explain the substantial benefits of a proposed 39,000 hectare state conservation area reserve. It will examine how a vibrant tourist economy in the Lithgow region would work with the reserve plan and Lithgow Council’s strategy to broaden the local economy.

They have also commissioned award-winning Australian documentary film maker, Tom Zubrycki, to present the outstanding scenic values of Lithgow’s “pagoda” landscapes and how these pagodas will draw tourists to the region. A big new Gardens of Stone reserve should become the foundation for Lithgow’s diversified economy as local mining declines.

Stand shoulder to shoulder with those working towards a Gardens of Stone reserve and a better future for Lithgow. 

Please make a tax-deductible donation to help continue this work.

Donations over $2.00 are tax-deductible.

Save the Gardens of Stone

Please make a tax-deductible donation and help protect the Gardens of Stone

The Gardens of Stone is one of Australia’s most remarkable regions.

It is public land and yet still at risk.

The Gardens of Stone has almost as many rare plants and animals and endangered ecosystems as the rest of the Blue Mountains put together, all living in this spectacular pagoda landscape of rock pinnacles, canyons, cliffs, forests, heaths and wetlands.

The Gardens of Stone are must for conservation – and being in Sydney’s backyard is a major plus.

With your help we can save the Gardens of Stone.

Dr Bob Brown, 25th March, 2018

Please Donate


The Gardens of Stone Alliance

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