History of the Wollemi Pine
The Wollemi Pine (Wollemia Nobilis) is one of the world’s oldest and rarest tree species,
endemic to the Blue Mountains. It was known only from fossil records, and presumed extinct
by botanists, until it was rediscovered in 1994 in the Wollemi National Park, just outside
Sydney. Its rediscovery is considered to be ‘the botanical find of the 20th century.’
With less than 100 adult trees known to exist in the wild, the Wollemi Pine is now the focus of
extensive research to safeguard its survival.
Where are they?
The Wollemi Pine was discovered as a small grove of seedlings and mature trees only 200
kilometres west of Sydney in the Wollemi National Park. The Pines are growing on moist
ledges in a deep rainforest gorge surrounded by rugged mountains and undisturbed forest.
The exact location of the Pines is a closely kept secret because of the pristine and fragile
nature of the wild habitat. Only select researchers are permitted to visit the area on rare
How were they found?
The Wollemi Pine was discovered in August 1994 by David Noble, a NSW National Parks and
Wildlife Services Officer who, when trekking and abseiling with friends, noticed the unusual
nature of the Pine and took a small fallen branch home for identification. A team of
experienced botanists later declared the strange specimen a new genus with ancient lineage,
making it a scientific discovery of international significance