$800,000 accessibility upgrade at Bald Rock National Park complete
The awe-inspiring granite gardens of Bald Rock National Park are now more accessible, with the completion of a $800,000 upgrade of the Bald Rock walking track.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Principal Project Officer Dirk Richards said the upgrade means that all community members, including those using wheelchairs or with restricted mobility, can visit this impressive geological feature.
“Bald Rock’s water-streaked dome, which rises over 200 metres above the landscape, is the largest exposed granite rock in Australia,” Mr Richards said.
“The previous track which wound from the carpark to the base of the rock was badly damaged in the 2019–20 bushfires, with parts of the bitumen track melted by the extreme heat and impacted by falling trees.
“Over the past 8 months, we’ve realigned sections of the 450-metre walking track and widened and resurfaced the track to make it wheelchair-accessible and wide enough for 2 wheelchairs to comfortably pass one another.
“National parks are such important places for our community, and we want to remove as many physical obstacles as we can so that everyone can visit and enjoy our region’s extraordinary natural places.
“We’ve also constructed a small picnic area with a shelter and seating at the base of the rock so that visitors can relax and enjoy a picnic while they admire the jaw-dropping monolith or wait for friends and family who made the summit climb.”
Over the last 18 months, the Bungoona walking track, which also takes visitors to the top of Bald Rock, has also been upgraded in various sections after being damaged in the 2019–20 bushfires.
Visitors wishing to extend their stay can pitch a tent or park a caravan at Bald Rock campground and picnic area, which offers 13 tranquil bush campsites, picnic tables, toilets and barbecue facilities.
Visitors to NSW national parks contribute more $73 million annually to the northern New England high country economy and national parks help to generate more than 400 direct and indirect jobs for the region each year.
This $800,000 upgrade project was funded through the NSW Government’s largest investment in national parks history, with $450 million for more than 200 visitor infrastructure projects.
Visitors are advised to check the NPWS website for up-to-date information on any track or precinct closures before leaving home: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/bald-rock-national-park