A walk in progress: Construction starts on 39-kilometre Gidjuum Gulganyi Walk in Tweed Byron hinterland

Construction is underway on the Gidjuum Gulganyi Walk, a new 39-kilometre multi-day walk stretching from the new Unicorn Falls car park in Mount Jerusalem National Park to Minyon Falls in northern New South Wales.

Bar Mountain, Border Ranges National Park

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Senior Project Officer Daryl Moncrieff said the walk will deliver a world-class bushwalking experience and will help to foster advocacy for environmental conservation and sustainability.

"The hinterland of the Northern Rivers is one of the most biologically diverse parts of Australia, protecting some of the last remaining refuges of the ancient Gondwanan rainforests," said Mr Moncrieff.

"Our national parks play a critical role in encouraging locals and visitors alike to value and protect the hinterland environment, and the rare and threatened species that call the area home.

"The Gidjuum Gulganyi Walk, and the new shorter walks linked to it, will provide opportunities for a diverse range of visitors to enjoy 3 spectacular conservation areas – Mount Jerusalem National Park, Whian Whian State Conservation Area and Nightcap National Park – and will strengthen the appeal of the Northern Rivers region as a walking destination," said Mr Moncrieff.

The route includes 28.4 kilometres of existing walking tracks, park management trails and old logging trails, which will be upgraded to walking track standard, and 10.8 kilometres of newly constructed walking track.

Three new remote, walk-in camps will be built to provide basic facilities such as tent platforms, shelters and toilets. These camps have been designed to accommodate a sustainable number of low-impact walkers.

"The walk was designed according to a minimal impact approach, using existing trails and disused logging tracks and allowing the natural elements to determine the route to reduce the need for further disturbance in constructing new trails," said Mr Moncrieff.

"Advice was also sought from Widjabul Wia-bal Native Title holders and the Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) to ensure the route did not impact areas of cultural significance.

"The track's name – Gidjuum Gulganyi – was decided by Widjabul Wia-bal native title holders and the Wollumbin Consultative Group.

"It means 'Old People's Track', in recognition that the trail passes through the ancient traditional lands of the Bundjalung Nation, who have occupied the area for many thousands of years.

"It is a priority for NPWS to work closely with Aboriginal communities on this project and provide opportunities for them to share their culture and participate in, and benefit from, the regional tourism industry," said Mr Moncrieff.

Once complete, the 3-night, 4-day Gidjuum Gulganyi Walk will form part of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service network of 13 Great Walks across New South Wales.

Construction of the walk is expected to be completed mid-2024.

For more information, visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website.

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