Yarrahapinni Wetlands

Yarrahapinni Wetlands is an important wetland in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Prior to 1971 the Yarrahapinni Wetlands was known as the Yarrahapinni Broadwater, a extensive tidal estuarine wetlands with highly productive seagrass and mangrove habitats. In the late 1960’s a flood mitigation program installed a levee wall and a five floodgate headworks, to control the flow of water into the wetlands and assist in the management of small nuisance flood events. However, drainage and tidal exclusion have resulted in significant loss of biodiversity and a decline in water quality.

Aboriginal history of Yarr-ar-pin-ni is associated with the slaying of a giant koala bear. Aboriginal occupation dates back to approx 5000 years and continued for about 3000 years. National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) declared the area as Clybucca Historical site due to the important aboriginal content. In 2005 a Plan of Management for the Historical Site was developed. It describes occupation dating back to 9000 years. One of the largest estuarine midden complexes in Australia (extends over 14kms) there are seven middens and one bora ceremonial site. The area is in the country of the Dunghutti and Gumbayaggir nations (a sharing place).

In 1996 the Yarrahapinni Wetland Reserve Trust was formed to manage the 600ha land acquired by the NSW Government and to implement the Yarrahapinni Wetland Rehabilitation project. The rehabilitation project was to reinstate full tidal regime within the Wetland area.

The area was gazetted as National Park (Mar 2007) now a total of 806ha National Park area. The Trust that was formed under the Crown Lands Act has now been adopted by the Department of Environment and Climate Change as an Advisory Group.