New South Wales' Gondwana Rainforests Are Set to Score a New 46-Kilometre Multi-Day Walking Track
$56.4 million is being put towards the new track, which'll also include a new rainforest centre, four low-impact walkers’ hut precincts, camping areas and three suspension bridges.
June 20, 2022
If escaping into Australia's great outdoors, putting one foot in front of the other, and combining a leisurely walk — or an energetic hike — with soaking in the scenery is your idea of bliss, the past few weeks keep delivering welcome news. Firstly, the Snowy Mountains became home to a new nine-kilometre section of its Snowies Alpine Walk, complete with Australia's highest suspension bridge. Then, the New South Wales Government announced a massive 91-kilometre waterfront walking track from the Sydney Opera House to Parramatta. Now, still in NSW, the Gondwana Rainforests have been earmarked for a new excuse to get moseying, too.
As part of NSW's 2022-23 budget, Treasurer Matt Kean has added the new Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk to the list of upcoming projects that the state's residents and travellers alike can look forward to. Scoring $56.4-million in budget funding, it'll span 46 kilometres, all through stunning rainforest surroundings on the state's mid-north coast. And, there'll be two- and four-day route options.
Your starting point: a new Arc Rainforest Centre, which'll come complete with a stunning-looking hanging boardwalk that'll overlook the World Heritage spot. From there, as you roam along the trail, you'll wander over three suspension bridges. There'll also be four low-impact walkers' hut precincts, as well as new camping areas — because if you're committing to taking the full multi-day trek, you'll need somewhere to slumber along the route.
That budget cash will also go towards the Arc Rainforest Centre, which is designed to be an attraction in itself thanks to its viewing platform. It'll also include a new treetop skywalk, which'll feature an upper and lower deck so you can still make the most of it when it's raining — and spiralling walkways that'll take you down into the rainforest, to the existing six-kilometre Wonga Walk as well as the new Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk.
Back on the Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk itself, it'll meander through the Dorrigo and Bindarri National Parks, with about half of the 46-kilometre stretch charting existing tracks and trails. Hikers won't be short on spectacular sights; expect to see waterfalls, giant old growth trees and wild rivers along the way.
If you're excited about the huts and camping sites, they'll be operated, run and booked through NSW's National Parks and Wildlife Services.
And, the walk will have another big aim: becoming a place for folks to learn about and connect with the culture of the Gumbaynggirr people, the area's Traditional Custodians.
Exactly when the centre and walk will welcome in visitors hasn't been revealed as yet, however — so add this one to your future must-visit list, rather than packing your bags and popping on your comfiest walking shoes now.
"Through the NSW Budget, we're investing $56.4 million to offer a new way for people to enjoy the ancient World Heritage environment," said Kean.
"This project will drive increased nature-based tourism in NSW, further bolstering the contribution that national parks make to the state economy.
For more information about the Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk, head to the NSW Government website.