NSW national park walking tracks to get huge upgrade

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NSW national park walking tracks
Many grey nomads love to take national park walking tracks. PIC: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Walking through Australia’s stunning national parks is one of the great joys of the Big Lap for countless grey nomads, and some are about to become a lot more accessible.

Shortly after deciding to slash caravan and campervan rego fees in the state, the New South Wales Government has revealed another traveller-friendly initiative by announcing it will spend $50 million upgrading several national park walking tracks.

The spend will be unveiled in the state budget on June 19 by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who said the investment was designed to ensure ‘more people can see some of the most beautiful places in New South Wales first-hand’.

“Our national parks are among the real treasures of New South Wales,” he said. “Getting outdoors and enjoying them is a great way to spend time.”

The money will be spent in Sydney, Port Stephens, Tweed-Byron, on the Macleay Valley Coast and the South Coast upgrading existing walking tracks, creating new ones, and adding new facilities such as barbecues and picnic areas, and more amenities.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reports that the Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk, which attracts more than two million visitors each year, will receive $9 million to build a new three-kilometre track between Georges Heights and Middle Head, and new visitor facilities along the way.

In the Royal National Park, a nine-kilometre section of the track between Garie Beach and Otford will be upgraded with elevated boardwalks, stone steps and staircases, with construction to begin in September. The Burgh Ridge Track, which is the popular main access track to the Figure Eight Pools, will also be upgraded.

At Wattamolla, also in the Royal National Park, new visitor facilities will be built, including new picnic and barbecue areas.
The SMH reports that the Government will also spend $8 million on a new 39-kilometre coastal walk in Ben Boyd National Park south of Eden. The proposed track will create a remote four-day coastal walk, linking the historic Boyd’s Tower to Green Cape Lighthouse and on to the Wonboyn estuary at Disaster Bay. Eco-accommodation will be built along the route, making it the first purpose-built hut-to-hut walk in a NSW national park.

The Murramarang South Coast Walk, which links the five major localities of Batemans Bay, Durras, Pebbly Beach, Kioloa and Bawley Point, will undergo a $3.64 million upgrade to fund the construction of new tracks linking existing trails.

In Arakoon National Park, on the mid-north coast, $6.7 million will be spent building 12 kilometres of new walking and bike paths around Little Bay, and upgrading the campground facilities. The works will begin in 2021 with final completion expected in 2025.

In the Tweed-Byron hinterland, the SMH reports that 50 kilometres of new walking tracks and infrastructure will be built on the doorstep of Gondwana World Heritage Area rainforest, costing $7 million.

The 20-kilometre coastal walk in Tomaree National Park, in Port Stephens, will also receive $7 million for improvements.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the funding was part of a $630 million investment in the state’s national parks estate.

“This funding will ensure our national parks continue to grow and are accessible to
everyone,” she said. “It will protect threatened species and preserve habitats for our wildlife.”

  • Do you think some national park walks are too ‘rugged’? Should more money be spent making them ‘grey nomad-friendly’, or is the wilderness the wilderness? Comment below.

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