Another accidental death at an Australian beauty spot has yet again raised the question of what more – if anything – can be done to improve safety in these wild, naturally stunning areas.
In the latest incident, a woman died after falling 50 metres from McKenzie’s lookout in the Moreton State Conservation Area west of Nowra on the NSW south coast. Witnesses confirmed the fall was an accident.
Back in 2019, it is understood a 13-year-old boy slipped and fell to his death at the same lookout. But the issue of safety at popular – but rugged – spots is not one restricted to one particular location.
Earlier this year, a woman in her 50s was carried to safety by rescue crews after falling from a ledge at Dales Gorge in WA’s remote Karijini National Park.
Back in February, a 22-year-old man fell to his death from Gibraltar Falls in the ACT’s Namadgi National Park.
Just a week earlier, a 19-year-old man fell to his death while walking across rocks in front of the same falls.
And last year, a 58-year-old woman fell more than 40 metres to her death from the top of a waterfall in Far North Queensland.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has previously said nobody wants to see national parks filled with obtrusive fences, but sometimes it has little choice.
“Before people enter dangerous areas such as cliff tops and tidal rock shelves, we urge them to think about the consequences of their actions,” said an NPWS spokesperson. “Safety is also a personal responsibility and park management encourages visitors to be aware of their own physical abilities and experience when deciding on which activities to undertake in our national parks.”