26 September 2023

NSW walks to build nation’s hiking hub

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is working to establish a network of 13 magnificent Great Walks in the State’s national parks as part of a plan to transform NSW into a bushwalking mecca.

Welcoming DPE’s NSW Great Walks Strategy, the Minister for Environment, James Griffin said NSW was the best State in Australia to explore nature on foot.

“These 13 NSW Great Walks cover more than 630 kilometres, from our sun kissed shorelines, highest summits, and rainforests millions of years in the making,” Mr Griffin said.

“Our magnificent multi-day walks shouldn’t just be for the more hardcore hikers, which is why we’re offering many styles of walk and accommodation so visitors from far and wide can enjoy the diverse landscapes in our nearly 900 national parks and reserves,” he said.

“Hiking in nature is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the world, and our Great Walks will help bring more visitors to our rural and regional areas where they boost local economies.”

Mr Griffin said the Strategy would help deliver durable walking tracks, protect environmentally sensitive areas, withstand severe weather, and provide infrastructure to meet future population growth.

In its Strategy, DPE said Great Walks were defined as multi-day walking experiences of two or more days that were predominantly located within national parks, and featured on- or off-park overnight accommodation options enroute.

It said five of the 13 Great Walks were already open to the public: the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage Walk in the Gibraltar Range National Park; Grand Cliff Top Walk in the Blue Mountains; Green Gully Track in Yarrowitch; Nadgee Wilderness Walk in Nadgee; and Yuraygir Coastal Walk in Angourie.

The Department said a further eight walks were in development for Dorrigo National Park; Beowa National Park; Murramarang South Coast; Kosciuszko National Park; Tomaree National Park; Mount Jerusalem National Park and Nightcap National Park; Gardens of Stone and Wollemi National Parks; and from Sydney’s south to the Illawarra.

“The NSW Great Walks are designed for people with varying levels of fitness, experience and knowledge,” DPE said.

DPE’s 15-page Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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