Extended closure of Sublime Point walking track due to rock fall risk

The Sublime Point walking track will remain closed to walkers over the summer period due to a high risk of dangerous rock falls and landslips.

Damage to metal stairway on Sublime Point walking track, Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Graham Bush said that the escarpment edge is in a very unstable state following a series of heavy rainfall events.

'Safety is our number one priority, so we’ve unfortunately had to extend the closure of the Sublime Point walking track,' said Mr Bush.

'Over the past year, we’ve had an unprecedented number of landslips and rockfalls along the escarpment, impacting a number of our walking tracks and trails.

'Our team has worked incredibly hard to reopen all other walking tracks across the Illawarra.'

'While we have repaired the damaged sections of the Sublime Point walking track, and implemented warning signage and rainfall thresholds for closing, an independent geotechnical assessment conducted in October has found that the risk to walkers is still too high for us to safely reopen this track.

'We know the Sublime Point walking track is extremely popular, especially over the summer period, and we understand that visitors will be disappointed with the extended closure.

'It’s vital that people adhere to this closure, as the track is unsafe, and there is a significant risk of further landslides and rockfall.

'We’ve found large rocks and boulders on the walking track that could have caused serious or fatal injuries had walkers been in the area when they fell from the cliff edge.

'NPWS is seeking further advice from geotechnical experts to understand what measures might be available to us to reduce the risk to a safe level,' said Mr Bush.

The Sublime Point walking track attracts more than 130,000 visitors per year and is regularly assessed for visitor safety.

Visitors to the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area are encouraged to check the NPWS Current alerts webpage for any closures in the area.

For more information, call the NPWS Illawarra area office on 02 4224 4188 or visit Safety in NSW national parks for park safety guidelines.