Geoheritage

Geoheritage is about managing, preserving and protecting exceptional geological features. A geoheritage site has geological features considered to be unique and of outstanding scientific and educational value within Western Australia.

A State register of all geoheritage sites (currently 150 sites) is managed by the Executive Director of the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA). Western Australia’s extensive and exceptional rock record makes it a popular destination for geotourism and geoscience research. This research includes exploring for evidence of early life on Earth, unusual fossils, and unique and distinctive mineral and rock types. Below, find information on the location of geoheritage sites, related publications, and about State and Federal legislation that governs issues such as land access, and the collection and exportation of materials. Failure to obtain correct approvals may result in prosecution.

Geoheritage Site No. 3: outstanding geological features in an Archean cryptodome
Alunite locality near Kalgoorlie — an example of an Archean cryptodome with pillowed basalt, contemporaneous ultramafic and felsic volcanism, and dacitic breccia

Access information on geoheritage locations

Geoheritage site locations can be seen in GeoVIEW.WA, the department’s interactive geological map tool. Select ‘Geoheritage Sites’ under ‘Special Category Lands’ in the table of contents.

Statewide spatial datasets — download ESRI shape files, Google Earth KMZ files or MapInfo Tab files from the departments Data and Software Centre (files are located under ‘Special category lands’).

Approval is required from the department for entry into any of the eight state geoheritage reserves. Applications should be submitted at least two months prior to the date of the intended visit.

Location of geoheritage reserves with Archean stromatolites in Western Australia
Location of geoheritage reserves with Archean stromatolites in Western Australia

Geoheritage reserves associated with impact craters:

  • Dalgaranga (R28497) — 70 km northwest of Mount Magnet
  • Veevers (R41372) — 520 km east of Newman

Find out more about impact craters.

Geoheritage reserves associated with early life (Pilbara region):

  • Trendall (R50149) — Archean  stromatolites
  • Lowe (R50150) — Archean  stromatolites
  • Hickman (R50151) — Archean stromatolites
  • Buick (R44710) — Archean stromatolites
  • Awramik (R44711) — Archean microfossils
  • Schopf (R48969) — Archean microfossils

Find out more about stromatolites.

Related websites

Exporting geological material out of Australia, particularly fossils and meteorites, is strictly controlled by the Federal Protection of Cultural Moveable Heritage Act 1986. Approval is required from the Federal Ministry of Arts for the permanent export of Class B objects. The following links provide useful information:

Contact
For further information contact
geoheritage@dmirs.wa.gov.au