Make our mount a world wonder

TWEED'S backyard could be named one of the top seven natural wonders of the world.

The Green Cauldron is one of 13 Australian nominations in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, where hundreds of millions of people from across the world vote on their favourite natural wonder.

But there are only 15 days to get the Green Cauldron -- which stretches from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast and west to the Great Dividing Range -- into the next stage of voting.

And there is a lot of ground to make up, with the Green Cauldron at 435th place, while Australia's top nomination, a crumbling pile of rocks called the Twelve Apostles is 36th and a big pebble called Uluru is 53rd.

Only one wonder from each country progresses to the next stage of voting on%December 31.

Because the Great Barrier Reef is listed as belonging to both Papua New Guinea and Australia, it will automatically go through.

Tweed Tourism general manager Phil Villiers said it was a coup to have the Green Cauldron listed alongside some of the most famous natural icons of the world, and he encouraged people to get in and vote.

"We'll be sending details out to all of our members. And to do it from a community perspective would be tremendous," Mr Villiers said.

After being named the Green Cauldron only a few months ago, the New7Wonders of Nature is one of the first opportunities to spread the campaign across the planet.

The Mount Warning Holiday Park and Mavis' Kitchen both sit right at the centre of the Green Cauldron.

Peter Clarke, who owns Mavis' Kitchen with his partner Charlie Bell, said the area was spectacular and spiritual.

"It is a combination of beautiful flora and fauna with Mount Warning as a beacon-- it is an icon," Mr Clarke said.

He said the eclectic mix of people who call the Green Cauldron home, from tree-changers to hippies who came years ago for an alternative style of living, were an important part of the area.

Mr Clarke added that the Border Ranges, with its thousand-plus-year-old Antarctic beech trees, was a lesser known part of the Green Cauldron he described as unbelievable.

"It will blow your mind. You won't believe how beautiful that part of the world is, and nobody knows about it," Mr Clarke said.

Graeme Burnell, owner of the Mount Warning Holiday Park, said the Green Cauldron had "so many riches".

He said it was the best example of a caldera in the southern hemisphere, with huge biodiversity in flora and fauna.

Mr Burnell added the summit of Mount Warning is also the first place in Australia to see the rising sun.

Mr Villiers, from Tweed Tourism said the meeting of green and blue at the coast was another important part of the Green Cauldron, as most local headlands were caused by lava from the former volcano.

Access to the region through international airports has also made it world-class.

According to the website, the New7Wonders Foundation was established in 2001 by the Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker, author and adventurer Bernard Weber to contribute to the protection of the world's human-built and natural heritage and to foster respect for the cultural diversity on our planet. The Foundation's first global election to decide the seven man-made wonders of the world attracted more than 100 million votes.

The current natural wonders vote will be decided in 2011.

After each country's representative is decided on December 31, voting will continue until July 7, 2009. At this date a panel of experts will whittle down the top 77 destinations to 21, then voting will continue for the top seven until 2011.



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