Our Latest News

Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Parks and Wildlife Service announce road opening

21/05/2019

Florentine Road and Arve Road (to the Hartz Mountain junction) are officially reopened to the public.More

Easter safety is paramount for our parks and reserves

18/04/2019

The Parks and Wildlife Service encourages visitors and Tasmanians alike to get outdoors and get active - especially in our parks and reserves.More

Good news, Hartz Mountain National Park and other tracks are open!

17/04/2019

In time for Easter walking, PWS have been able to re-open a number of tracks.More

Summary of Mole Creek Karst National Park and Conservation Area Management Plan 2004

The full version of the Mole Creek Karst National Park and Conservation Area Management Plan 2004 can be downloaded as a PDF File

Summary

Located on the slopes of the Great Western Tiers in northern Tasmania, the Mole Creek Karst National Park protects an internationally significant karst system. The karst system is renowned for its numerous spectacular caves, two of which are developed as show caves and are important local attractions. The majority of the caves are undeveloped, however, and are visited primarily by recreational cavers, who regard Mole Creek as a mecca for their sport. Surface karst features such as sinkholes, blind valleys and major springs form a conspicuously different landscape to non-karst systems, often presenting unusual challenges for land managers.

The Mole Creek karst system is highly significant from scientific and conservation perspectives. The caves it contains are also very sensitive places which can be readily degraded by a range of potential impacts. Careful management is required if the caves and karst system are to be protected and maintained. The park also contains notable areas of white gum Eucalyptus viminalis grassy forest, E. viminalis wet sclerophyll forest and swamp gum E. ovata shrubby forest found on the well drained, fertile limestone soils. The Regional Forest Agreement process identified these as priority communities, which are poorly reserved elsewhere in the State.

It also protects a number of threatened flora and fauna species, including invertebrate cave fauna such as Cockerills cave beetle Tasmanotrechus cockerilli, the cave harvestman Hickmanoxyomma gibbergunyar and the extremely rare cave false scorpion Pseudotyrannochthonius typhlus. All three are endemic to the Mole Creek karst and are listed in the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

Tourism to the caves in the early 1900s has left visible remains, including carbide lighting generators, stairwells and piping. The park also contains important European cultural sites, including a snarer's hut and parts of a significant heritage landscape.

The park will be managed to protect its natural and cultural values, and provide for a range of recreational opportunities, including guided cave tours, recreational caving and walking. Visitor facilities will be high quality and reflect the nature of the area.

To these ends, the management plan provides for:
  • a site plan for the Wet Cave area, to address visitor facilities including an interpreted karst walk;
  • upgrading walking tracks at Marakoopa Cave and King Solomons Cave;
  • a business plan to guide the operation of the show caves;
  • environmentally appropriate toilets at Marakoopa Cave and King Solomons Cave;
  • a cave classification process as a framework for managing visitation to undeveloped caves;
  • access protocols and a range of other measures to promote sustainable management of undeveloped caves;
  • a program to monitor impacts at show caves and undeveloped caves;
  • implementation of a joint protocol with Forestry Tasmania for the management of caves and karst in the Mill Creek-Kansas Creek catchment;
  • liaison and collaboration with neighbours and catchment users to better manage the karst system; and
  • visitor research to build a comprehensive visitor management model to better predict and respond to visitor growth and impact trends, over the long term.