Public exhibition of this master plan provides an opportunity for members of the community to have a say on this activity proposed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
What is being proposed?
Unicorn Falls is approximately 15 kilometres south-east of the village of Uki on South Chowan Road within Mount Jerusalem National Park. The Unicorn Falls master plan is the second of 4 separate master plans for different precincts within the Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project which aims to increase nature-based tourism, boost regional visitor economies and improve community wellbeing.
As outlined in the proposed amendments to the plan of management (Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project), this master plan includes proposals to:
- develop a day use area at Unicorn Falls on Chowan Creek, South Chowan Road, in Mount Jerusalem National Park
- develop a camping area next to Manns Road, near Unicorn Falls, in Mount Jerusalem National Park.
The works at Unicorn Falls will provide basic facilities on South Chowan Road for day visitors to enjoy the falls and surrounding rainforest. The day use area will feature picnic tables, a toilet and parking for seven vehicles. This will protect the natural and cultural values from the impact of informal visitation at Unicorn Falls due to the lack of visitor facilities. It will also serve as the trail head and drop-off point for the multi-day walk to Minyon Falls.
The campground, located about 1 kilometre away on Manns Road, will provide seven low key campsites for visitors and walkers. New walking tracks will link the campground to Unicorn Falls and the Whiskey Creek Trail (approximately 200 metres away), providing connections to the multi-day walking track network.
The master plan illustrates the design concepts developed for the precinct. It presents a picture of planned visitor infrastructure improvements at the site including site plans and diagrams. Environmental assessments have been undertaken for the designs of both the day use area and campground. This has concluded there will be minimal impact on the park's cultural and natural values. After public exhibition, the master plan is amended and implemented subject to further investigation, design and environmental impact and cultural heritage assessment.
Why is it needed?
The proposed multi-day walking track commences at Unicorn Falls and finishes 45 kilometres to the south at Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park. The developments at Unicorn Falls will act as the northern visitor hub.
The purpose of the proposed day use area at Unicorn Falls is twofold:
- to act as the trailhead drop-off point for walkers
- provide a small day use area for visitors to enjoy the beauty of Unicorn Falls and the surrounding rainforest environment.
No facilities are currently provided at the site and parking is restricted to several informal bays on South Chowan Road. There are no formal paths and visitors often walk across the top of the falls to get to the pool below, creating a slip hazard. The steep descent to the pool has also led to erosion and presents a safety hazard. There is evidence of trail bike riders riding through the creek above the falls and the proposed picnic area, which is degrading the natural values of the site.
The development of the Manns Road campground will provide a new recreation opportunity for the local community. And, although the camp sites are not critical for the success of the multi-day walk, it will also allow users of the trail to stay overnight before commencing their journey if preferred.
Where can I see a printed copy of the master plan?
Printed copies are available for viewing at:
- NPWS Murwillumbah office – 1/135 Murwillumbah St, Murwillumbah
- NPWS Byron Bay office – Tallow Beach Road, Byron Bay
How can I comment on the master plan?
The Unicorn Falls master plan is on public exhibition until Monday 13 July 2020. You are invited to comment on the master plan before this date.
While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for the precinct. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:
- Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
- Note which page of the document your comments relate to.
- Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.
- Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.
Your comments will be used to finalise the master plan before further assessments are undertaken.
Your comments on the master plan may include 'personal information'. The Department complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see our privacy page. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.
A summary of issues raised in public submissions may be made publicly available. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.
If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.
Have your say
Public exhibition is from 12 June to 13 July 2020.
You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:
- Post your written submission to:
Unicorn Falls Master plan submission
NPWS North Coast Branch
PO Box 1236
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
- Email your submission to: email@example.com
- Make a submission online by using the online form below.