World Heritage

World Heritage Areas

The Hinchinbrook area has perhaps a unique distinction as a place twice worthy of  World Heritage Listing.


The highly successful conservation convention, known as the “Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage” commonly know as the “World Heritage Convention” began as a UNESCO agreement in 1972.  It came into force with the sufficient level of ratifications in 1974 and achieved substance in 1978 with the inscription of the first four natural sites on the World Heritage List.  By 1994 there were 137 signatories and 110 natural or mixed natural sites.  Australia was the seventh country to lodge its ratification in August 1974 and in 1981 had its first three nominations inscribed on the World Heritage List (Kakadu National Park, Willandra Lakes and the Great Barrier Reef)

A World Heritage Site must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. …”be outstanding examples representing major stages of the earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going process in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.

  2. be an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.

  3. contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.

  4. contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Summary of World Heritage Values of Hinchinbrook Island:

  • geological and geomorphologic process and features of Hinchinbrook Island and Channel

  • the high diversity of Brook Island coral reefs and their outstanding scenic properties

  • the visual splendour and outstanding diversity of the mangrove communities of Hinchinbrook Island and Channel

  • the extremely high floristic diversity of Hinchinbrook Island lowlands

  • the critical habitat of seagrasses and associated threatened marine animals

  • the present high levels of integrity associated with the site