Unconformity from the State Circle, Canberra - image courtesy Douglas Finlayson

ACT Geoheritage

Introduction to Geoheritage Sites in the Canberra Region

Canberra region landscapes – formed throughout geological time

In April 1987 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Division of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA) prepared a report authored by Mike Owen for the Australian Heritage Commission on twenty six “geological monuments” in the ACT. That report included one site near Canberra in New South Wales (NSW) and a site at Jarvis Bay on the Australian east coast. 

Documents available on this GSA web site update and add to the earlier descriptions of geological features around the Canberra region. GSA policy has changed over the years and the term “Geological Heritage Site” is now favoured and in widespread use. The synonymous term “Geoheritage Site” is also widely used internationally. This introductory document gives a list of the forty sites described on the GSA web site, thirty five within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and five sites in nearby areas of NSW. The Jarvis Bay site has been omitted. 

An associated document on this GSA web site, Geoheritage – background information and legislation for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) sets out current geological heritage site legislation and the GSA policy on geoheritage. 

Detailed descriptions of Canberra region geoheritage sites are contained in PDF files downloadable from this GSA website. The updated descriptions take advantage of current mapping systems and satellite image technology to describe the geological heritage sites. Google Earth and/or Nearmap satellite images of sites have been included and acknowledged. 

The descriptions of geological heritage (geoheritage) sites in this publication build on those of Mike Owen (1987). Twenty five of the site descriptions by Owen (1987) are included in this current list. 

New heritage sites have been added to the 1987 list to bring the total number of Canberra region geoheritage sites describe on this GSA website to forty. 

The merits of each geological heritage site has been assessed and their significance described as either International, National, Regional or Local. 

Douglas Finlayson 
Chair, Geological Society of Australia (Australian Capital Territory Division) Heritage Sub-Committee