Improving safety for Blue Mountains walking tracks

A number of walking tracks across Blue Mountains National Park have re-opened with improved safety thanks to the hard work of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff and contract trackworkers.

Escarpment and valley view from Lockleys Pylon Walking Track Blue Mountains National Park

NPWS Director David Crust said maintenance has been undertaken to the Valley of the Waters and Undercliff/Overcliff tracks at Wentworth Falls and Furber Steps at Katoomba, including track surfacing, drainage improvements, stepping stones, footbridges, safety barriers and step replacement.

'With over five million visitors each year, walking tracks are a really important opportunity for more people to experience and enjoy Blue Mountains National Park each year,' Mr Crust said.

'With more than 400 kilometres of walking tracks to manage across the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the job of maintaining access in rugged terrain and all sorts of weather is difficult and challenging.

'In the Blue Mountains, it is pleasing to know a small team of world-class NPWS staff specialise in building and maintaining walking tracks in some of the wildest places in Australia,' Mr Crust said.

This year, track construction was also supported by specialist track builders from Victoria. 

Although it isn’t easy, the job can be very satisfying said Senior Field Officer, Jon Darragh, who has been doing this gruelling work for well over a decade. 

'We always try to make our work last. A good track will ideally last decades, maybe even 100 years, so we have to take our time. 

'It has got to survive not just the wear and tear of thousands of visitors but the impact of floods and fires.

'And being in in a World Heritage Area means we have to make everything blend in with nature as much as possible,' Jon said. 

The National Pass walking track remains closed until further notice due to serious and dangerous rock falls.

For more information, visit the NPWS Blue Mountains National Park webpage

Photos: Before and after the restoration of 19th century heritage stonework on the Valley of the Waters Track (DPIE)

Damaged and incomplete stone stairs on walking track in Blue Mountains National ParkLooking up stone stairs on a walking track in the Blue Mountains National Park