Werakata National Park came into being on 26th February 1999 with a declaration of 1130 hectares of land. This land had been part of the Cessnock State Forest (State Forest No. 874). On 1st January 2003 a further 478 hectares of land from the Cessnock State Forest and 531 hectares from the Aberdare State Forest (State Forest No. 981) was added, making a total of 2139 hectares.
The Park is unique in that it preserves a number of habitats which are not protected elsewhere. One of these, the Spotted Gum/Ironbark Forest is not locally rare but is rapidly disappearing due to housing and farming. This type of forest had been protected by the fact that large areas were reserved for coal production. As coalmining has ceased, so has this protection, and more of this forest is being cleared for other uses. Werakata National Park represents the most important reserve of this habitat. Other habitats within the Park, such as the Kurri Sand Melaleca Scrub Forest, are uncommon and only protected within the Park. One type, the Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland, is a threatened habitat again only protected within the Park.
Being new, the Park is still to be returned to its natural state, which may take over a hundred years. The slow recovery is due to the fact that the largest trees were removed for timber, before and during the years that the Park was a State Forest. Therefore the full value of the work that we do now will not be seen by us, and perhaps not even by our children. It is their inheritance which requires protection now, before it is irretrievably lost. There are many things which can be done now, which will have immediate benefit to the Park, and to this end many of us have joined together to form the Friends of Werakata National Park.
Below is a map of the boundaries of the Werakata National Park.