Myles Dunphy wrote that national parks, "should consist of a true wilderness and roadless core" (1934), so it sits at the heart of the national park idea.

Protected wilderness in our national parks is, however, rarely pristine, but it does contain the best natural remnants left of our once intact natural environment. Wildlife within wilderness is conserved by managing ecological disturbances.

Since the early days of conservation Australians have made significant economic and social sacrifices to preserve and rehabilitate the integrity of wilderness values. We have redirected the forest industry to preserve rainforests, stopped limestone mining at Mount Colong and diverted sewage to protect sensi­tive Blue Mountain catchments, halted woodchipping at Coolangubra and logging at Chaelundi, and cancelled the Franklin Dam.

Wilderness is a magic place, a talisman for future generations. When you visit a NSW wilderness you gain insight into your place in nature. Sometimes it comes as a shock, you may not be as fit as you thought, you rely on your bushwaking buddies to help you see a sunrise, and broad horizons, then comes unexpected encounters, some good, some not, you come back stronger, and over time something of raw nature brushes off on you.

A Roy Morgan poll has found 90 per cent of Australians support the protection of Australia’s wilderness areas. Support is high across the political spectrum, with 86 per cent of Coalition voters, 92 per cent of Labor voters and 94 per cent of Greens voters agreeing wilderness should be protected.