Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk master plan now on public exhibition
The master plans for the Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk and Arc Rainforest Centre are now on public exhibition.
This significant milestone marks a crucial step forward in the delivery of this major $56.4 million project, which will expand the opportunities available for people on the NSW North Coast to experience nature in ways that are positive and meaningful to them.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is seeking feedback on draft master plans for the proposed Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk and the Dorrigo Arc Rainforest Centre, as well as a new draft plan of management for Dorrigo National Park, Bindarri National Park and Bindarri State Conservation Area.
These plans provide a comprehensive framework that balances conservation, sustainable tourism, and the protection and celebration of cultural heritage.
The Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk focuses on maintaining low-impact visitation with sustainable facilities, incorporating shorter walking options for day visitors and less experienced walkers.
The Walk is part of a network of 13 Great Walks being established across New South Wales to offer world-class multi-day walking experiences.
The proposed new Dorrigo Arc Rainforest Centre is a reimagining of the existing visitor centre with a new, accessible pathway leading into the national park designed to be the most accessible Gondwana Rainforest experience in Australia.
It will offer people with limited mobility the opportunity to feel, touch, and breathe in the World Heritage-listed rainforest around them while they learn about this unique ecosystem.
Public information sessions will be held online on Wednesday 8 November and in-person on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 November at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.
Interested parties are invited to complete an online survey or make a written submission on the draft plans which can be viewed at Dorrigo Escarpment great walk project.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 15 January 2024.
Quotes attributable to NPWS Acting Director North Coast Glenn Storrie:
"The Dorrigo rainforest is among the oldest on the planet; a living evolutionary record of Earth's first ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. To experience these rainforests is to experience something unforgettably profound and moving, and we want everyone to have that opportunity."
"The views from the escarpment are fantastic but it's only when you get down into the forest and spend some time surrounded by the giant trees that the magic of this place truly comes alive."
"The public exhibition period presents a unique opportunity for the community to contribute to the shaping of this iconic destination.
"I encourage everyone – individuals, organizations, and community groups – to actively engage in the consultation process and provide your valuable feedback."
"The current ramp from the rainforest centre is steep and limiting for some people, especially those with mobility issues. A key component of the new plans is to develop a welcoming and inviting experience so that more people feel comfortable and safe to venture beyond the visitor centre."
"By creating accessible, engaging and immersive experiences for visitors in our national parks, that reflect the aspirations of local communities, we can help to build a strong legacy of support and advocacy for conservation."