CONSTRUCTION has begun on the Great Southern Walk, a new multi-day experience that will take walkers on a 67km adventure through the northern Illawarra and the Royal National Park.
Work is underway on the first section of the track on the Illawarra Escarpment, linking Bald Hill with Stanwell Park.
State MP for Heathcote, Lee Evans said the ‘walk’ will connect Sydney’s Kamay Botany Bay National Park, along the coastline of Royal National Park, then to Bulli Tops in the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.
“This is an exciting project, the five-day, four-night journey will follow an ancient route through stunning coastal scenery and places of national heritage significance,” he said.
New camping and accommodation facilities are earmarked for sites along the route, so walkers of all levels of experience can enjoy an overnight walk in the NSW bush.
Mr Evans said the walk will deliver nature-based tourism that supports Aboriginal owned businesses. An Expression of Interest process is underway to provide opportunities for Aboriginal people to bring visitors onto Country and showcase local culture.
The Great Southern Walk project is part of the biggest infrastructure investment in the history NSW national parks. It will showcase our spectacular coastline and become an iconic destination attracting local and international visitors to our region. This is expected to boost local tourism and create local jobs.
NSW national parks already attract more than 60 million visits a year, and Mr Evans said that more people are looking for unique, multi-day adventures in nature, which this walk will deliver.
Mr Evans said since 2019, the NSW Government has secured 600,000 hectares for addition to the national park estate to protect threatened habitats, wildlife and cultural heritage in perpetuity.
National park management and visitation generates $18 billion in economic activity annually and supports more than 74,000 jobs. About 75 per cent of the economic benefits of national parks are delivered in rural and regional NSW.
The Great Southern Walk Project is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to deliver more than 200 visitor infrastructure projects across by 2024, including 750km of new and upgraded walking and mountain-biking tracks, 61 new or improved picnic and visitor areas, and 36 campground upgrades.
For more information on the walk visit HERE.
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