Australia’s largest national park has been formally proclaimed, and former titleholder Kakadu edged out more than a million acres.
- A new national park in the Simpson Desert has become Australia’s largest
- It is larger than Kakadu and more than half the size of Tasmania
- The South Australian government has also set up several other new parks
The Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert National Park in northern South Australia reaches the borders of Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The new park is more than half the size of Tasmania or about three times the size of Sydney.
“It’s really exciting that South Australia is now home to Australia’s largest national park, and … this gives a significant boost to conservation,” SA Environment Minister David Speirs said in a statement.
The Wilderness Association described the proclamation as a “major initiative”.
Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert National Park was created by merging an existing regional reserve and conservation park.
There are special protections at Kallakoopah Creek, an environmentally important waterway in the park that is now considered a wilderness zone.
One of several new parks
The state government also proclaimed a new national park in the southern Flinders Ranges, combining several existing conservation parks in the Wirrabara and Mount Remarkable areas.
Wapma Thura – Southern Flinders Ranges National Park is named after the Nukunu concept of “snake people” who recognize an important totem.
Two other conservation parks – Cleland in the Adelaide Hills and Deep Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula – were also transformed into national parks, as did the Lake Frome Regional Reserve.
“Ephemeral salt lake systems such as Lake Frome represent very unique and little known environments and as such are considered to be of national importance,” the government said in a statement.
Meanwhile, nearly 5,000 acres of land that was formerly a conservation park have been incorporated into Nilpena Ediacara National Park.