NSW Heritage Minister Robyn Parker has announced that Bass Point Reserve has been added to the State Heritage Register.
The popular tourist spot was added to the register for a number of reasons, including its importance to the local Aboriginal community and its natural heritage.
"A place of established occupation for the Aboriginal people for some 20,000 years prior to the arrival of European settlers, Bass Point Reserve is regarded as a traditionally important camping and meeting place and continues to be of exceptionally high significance to the Aboriginal people of NSW," Ms Parker said
"The biodiversity and pristine condition of the environment at Bass Point also contributes to its significance. Declared a natural reserve in the 1960s, the relatively undisturbed environment at Bass Point now supports the natural habitats of a wide variety of common, rare and critically endangered flora and fauna species."
The reserve has a strong maritime history, with a number of shipwrecks in the surrounding waters.
"The cultural significance of Bass Point Reserve extends into the maritime landscape which contains a number of shipwrecks and archaeological evidence, dating from as early as 1879. One of the latest but more well-known shipwrecks at Bass Point is that of the US oil tanker Cities Services Boston which ran aground during a storm on 16 May 1943," Ms Parker said
"Australian soldiers from the 6th Australian Machine Gun Battalion were camped nearby at the time and assisted in the rescue of the 62 crew on board. All lives on the vessel were saved but four Australian soldiers perished in the rescue. To commemorate the loss, plaques were unveiled at Bass Point in 1968 and a remembrance service is held each year."
The reserve was nominated for inclusion on the register by Shellharbour City Council, which has managed the site since it was declared a nature reserve in the 1960s.
Being on the register ensures the future management or development of listed sites is supported.