About us

First kilometre of track cleared in Wollumbin National Park

Media release: 30 May 2013

The first kilometre of the 4.4km Summit Track in the Wollumbin National Park, closed since ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald struck in January, has been cleared however, the hardest is yet to come the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) warns.

The NPWS Regional Operations Co-ordinator John Fisher said the aim is to have the summit track open for the summer holidays, but clearing timber is dangerous, challenging work.

“There is still loose timber hanging overhead so specialist arborists are required to climb trees with rope harnesses to remove damaged branches”, Mr Fisher said.

“Normally crews working to clear debris from a mountain would start at the summit and work down, so they can roll discarded logs and branches downhill”, he said.

“It’s just not possible on Wollumbin as the very is access is blocked by piles of debris, so in this case crews had to start at the base and are working up.

“Needless to say extreme care is taken to ensure that large felled trees will not roll from one work site towards another.

“At the same time specialist arborists are climbing trees to remove hanging timber at various sites around the park.”

Prior to the closure, the park near the Queensland border was attracting 100,000 visitors a year. But ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald and local tornadoes caused extensive blow-downs of large forest trees and landslips in the park.

The first sites to be cleared on the mountain, which has an elevation of 1,156 metres, were the helipads.

“Four of the five helipads on Wollumbin are now operational for emergency evacuations,” Mr Fisher said.

NPWS staff clearing timber in the Wollumbin National Park have also had additional training from NSW Ambulance on treating chainsaw and timber crush injuries and snake bite.

Mr Fisher said future wet weather could slow the work rate, as could strong winds.

Mr Fisher stressed that the Wollumbin National Park is still a very dangerous place and strictly off limits to the public until work is completed.

Contact: Lawrence Orel

Page last updated: 07 March 2014