The Helena Aurora Range
The Helena Aurora Range (Bungalbin) is a ‘banded ironstone’ range that lies at the heart of Western Australia’s outback. It is a sanctuary for many birds, reptiles, mammals and plants, some of which you can’t find anywhere else on earth.
Located ~100km north of Southern Cross in the Great Western Woodlands, the Helena Aurora Range rises as a unique series of hills, ironstone outcrops and breakaways, above the flat woodland landscape that surrounds it.
The range is a home for threatened plants and animals, including four declared rare endemic flowering plants that cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
Places such as the Helena Aurora Range provide people from all walks of life the opportunity to get outdoors, experience the best of Western Australia’s outback and really get a sense of just how vast this great land is.
You’re invited to join us on one of our trips to the range, or alternatively you can download our General Camping and Day Trip Guide to get out into the range on your own accord, with your friends and family. It is a magical place.
This proposal not only allows for the preservation of the range for conservation purposes but also supports economic diversity for regional WA – with ecotourism.
A brief history towards protection
Over the last decade a campaign to protect this incredible place as a National Park has gained momentum as more and more visitors have come to appreciate its unique beauty. The threat of mining has loomed large over the range since iron ore was first discovered within the area, and mining tenements have scattered the range and its surrounding landscape since the 1960s. But also since then a swath of scientists have recommended that the range be protected as an A class reserve (aka a National Park.)
In 2017 the future of the range and it’s natural and cultural heritage was directly threatened by a mining proposal that had already been reject by the Environmental Protection Authority twice – it was then in the hands of the WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
The science had recommended for protection, the EPA had recommended for protection – now it was up to the community to call on the Minister to seal the deal and create the new Helena Aurora Range National Park, rejecting mining it forever. Thousands of people sent emails directly to the Minister, hundreds called and many joined together to share their unique skills in a campaign to raise community awareness.
Then just before Christmas, on the 21 December 2017 the Minister announced that mining was indeed rejected and that the government would now start the process to secure A class protection over the range. After decades of hard work by volunteers and a supportive WA community the range will soon have its deserving conservation status.
People power triumphed—the decision to block this mine is a critical step—we now eagerly await the plans for its permanent protection as a national park.