Bandahngan Aboriginal Area closed for rehabilitation work

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will temporarily close Bandahngan Aboriginal Area at Urbenville while essential rehabilitation and improvement work takes place.

Border Ranges National Park co-managed under an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Githabul people, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

The popular site includes unregulated camping areas at Tooloom Falls and Bandahngan Loop Road and is expected to reopen in June 2021.

NPWS Area Manager, Damien Hofmeyer, said NPWS had been advised by the Githabul Aboriginal community that the sacred Aboriginal area required a period of rest.

"Bandahngan Aboriginal Area is a natural jewel of NSW, and judging by its popularity amongst visitors, many people agree," he said.

"Unfortunately, drought and a period of high visitation, has meant the ecology of the site has taken a hit. If we want to continue to enjoy this beautiful landscape in the future, we need to step in now and make sure it doesn't decline any further.

"Based on advice from the Githabul Aboriginal community, and our own observations of the area, we have made the decision to temporarily close the site for an extended period," said Mr Hofmeyer.

Chair of the Githabul Corporation, Charlie Ord, said the Bandahngan Aboriginal Area is one of the Githabul people's most sacred places.

"We want to share our culture and sites, but we also need to protect them," said Mr Ord.

During the closure, NPWS will focus on improving the health of native vegetation and waterways as well as developing a new plan of management for the site to reduce environmental impacts.

"We thank everyone for their patience during this time," said Mr Hofmeyer.

During the closure period, visitors will be redirected to alternate camping areas including Richmond Range, Border Ranges and Koreelah National Parks as well as campgrounds in Urbenville and Woodenbong.