Heli-lift heads up Great Southern Walk

A 2-day helicopter operation starts today, 10 May, carrying essential materials and supplies to the Great Southern Walk track at Bald Hill in the Illawarra.

A helicopter lifts tools and equipment to a NPWS work site.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Acting Area Manager Jon Watson said that, weather permitting, the helicopter will lift approximately 80 loads of sandstone, steps and rocks to the track route so work can continue on NSW’s next Great Walk.

“Residents of Stanwell Park can expect to see the chopper on Wednesday and Thursday this week as it carries materials from Maddens Plains in the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area to Bald Hill,” Mr Watson said.

“For public safety there will be temporary road closures in place at 2 locations along Lawrence Hargrave Drive.

“Sea Cliff Bridge will be closed intermittently to traffic as the helicopter passes, with no pedestrian access across the bridge for the duration of the operation. 

“The intersection of Lawrence Hargrave Drive and Otford Road will also be closed intermittently to facilitate an exclusion zone when materials are lowered. 

“We thank motorists and pedestrians for their patience and ask that they please follow all safety signage and direction of ground crew.

“NPWS often relies on helicopters to transport construction materials to new tracks as the location and rugged terrain makes vehicle access impossible.

“This will be the third heli-lift operation since February for this new walking track linking Bald Hill to Stanwell Park.

“We anticipate works will be complete on this small section of the Great Southern Walk by the end of June 2023,” Mr Watson said.

New and existing tracks across the Illawarra will ultimately form the Great Southern Walk, a 67-kilometre track linking Sydney’s Kamay Botany Bay National Park to the Illawarra.

The Great Southern Walk, one of 13 Great Walks in NSW national parks, is due for completion in 2024.

For more information, visit the Great Southern Walk.