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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Southeast Queensland Is Set to Score a Spectacular New Cliffside Climbing Track

Coming to Binna Burra Lodge, it'll use steel cables, fixed metal rungs, bridges and ladders to let climbers of all skill levels scale the cliff-face.
By Sarah Ward
September 22, 2019
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Southeast Queensland Is Set to Score a Spectacular New Cliffside Climbing Track

Coming to Binna Burra Lodge, it'll use steel cables, fixed metal rungs, bridges and ladders to let climbers of all skill levels scale the cliff-face.
By Sarah Ward
September 22, 2019
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It has been an immensely tough few weeks for southeast Queensland's Binna Burra Lodge, with the beloved Gold Coast hinterland site devastated by bushfires at the beginning of September. While the heritage-listed venue is currently planning its reconstruction process, including when it'll welcome patrons back through the doors, the iconic spot has announced a piece of good news — a new climbing attraction that'll open in 2020.

While a specific launch date is yet to be revealed — unsurprisingly, given that the 86-year-old site is in rebuild and fundraising mode — Binna Burra Lodge will become home to Australia's first commercial via ferrata. The Italian term translates to "iron path", and is used to describe cliff-face climbing routes that use steel cables, fixed metal rungs, bridges and ladders to let folks of all skill levels to make the journey.

Receiving $1.48 million in funding from the Queensland Government, the via ferrata will open up a section of cliff that's usually only accessible to highly experienced rock climbers (and even then, only by using special equipment). When it launches, anyone will be able to scale the track safely, enjoying its adventurous thrills and impressive views, with 30 people at a time able to use the system.

Binna Burra Lodge expects that its new addition will be popular, anticipating that more than 50,000 Australian and international visitors will flock to the region as a result. The via ferrata will join the site's range of existing outdoor activities, which — when the venue becomes operational again — include bushwalking, abseiling, flying fox, archery, camping and trekking through the hinterland.

Binna Burra Lodge's sky lodges, before September's bushfires. Via Binna Burra Lodge.

Via ferratas are common in Europe, especially through the Alps — and particularly in the Dolomites in Italy, as well as throughout Austria, Germany and Switzerland. If you're wondering how they work, they typically rely upon a length of steel rope, which is affixed to the rock at certain intervals. Climbers then attach themselves to the cable, while also stepping on metal pegs and rungs, and using ladders and bridges, to make their way through the course.

Binna Burra Lodge's via ferrata is expected to open in 2020. For more information, visit the site's website. To donate to the venue's reconstruction fundraising campaign, visit the GoFundMe page.

Top image: Binna Burra Lodge.

Published on September 22, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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