To be able to do something really special to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the listing of the GBMWHA, BMCS successfully applied for a grant from the Federal Government’s Caring For Our Country initiative.

The grant is for the development of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Experience.

The Project Description reads –

The Blue Mountains World Heritage Experience is an online project developed to mark the 10th Anniversary of the declaration of World Heritage areas in the Blue Mountains.

The site consists of 30-40 interactive images with audio from across the World Heritage area linked via an interactive map.

These stunning immersive experiences are supplemented with stills, video and interpretive information about the unique cultural and environmental features of the World Heritage area and its preservation.

A launch exhibition and event would be held to mark the anniversary.

The primary focus is environmental education, raising awareness of threats, access and engagement using technology to connect a new audience with ancient landscapes.

The Society secured the services of Panedia, an organisation that specialise in taking VR images (360 degree images) and building the website. Aaron Spence, the CEO and Lead Photographer of Panedia, began the “photo shoot” at dawn on Sunday 12th September at Mt. Hay.

With access and assistance from NPWS we have taken over 200 panoramas from in and around the GBMWHA.

To complement the panoramas, stories of experiences are being gathered for the website. These stories will be accompanied by stunning photos.

In time there will also be various photo galleries, which will include –

  • 360 degrees of native flora and fauna” – an old style “stamp album” containing slots for Society members to send in photos of our endemic wildflowers, birds, animals and insects.

  • Artists’ Galleries - to acknowledge and promote both our professional and amateur artists we will have galleries that will include images of their works.

  • "Shadows in the Bush" Gallery. The GBMWHE has embraced the "Shadows in the Bush", which is a new and special enviro-art project being offered to Katoomba High students in 2010 as a pilot. The project offers a program of a quality-learning 3-day bush camp immersion experience within the World Heritage Area.

A GBMWHE DVD of 40 of the panoramas from the website has been prepared and will be shown in the NPWS Heritage Centre at Blackheath for two weeks from 29th November.

The GBMWHE website provides a truly amazing companion and partner to the BMCS “business” website.