Light to Light Walk

A wild and spectacular 4-day coastal walk experience in Ben Boyd National Park.

Humpack off Greencape, Ben Boyd National Park_credit Scott BlanchThe upgraded Light to Light Walk will be an immersive 4-day experience that combines walking and eco-accommodation in one of the most dramatic settings in Australia. The project will deliver a spectacular 30-kilometre coastal walk supported by hut accommodation, located in the Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales.

What the project involves

The Light to Light Walk project will deliver tourism infrastructure to create a multi-day walk in the South Coast region of New South Wales. The project will upgrade and realign sections of the current track and provide overnight accommodation at 3 sites. This will enable the transformation of the existing Light to Light Walk into a hut-to-hut style walk, enhancing the region's reputation as an iconic Australian coastal nature-based destination and improving opportunities for visitor participation.

The 4-day experience will remain a public walk, managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The walk will be able to be undertaken as self-guided or through commercial tour operators offering various levels of help to individuals or groups, with NPWS fostering these partnership opportunities. The walk will also be able to be undertaken independently, staying at public campsites.

The Light to Light Walk will promote the important environmental, cultural and heritage aspects of the region, encourage sustainable development and provide physical and mental health benefits through increased access to the natural environment.

Additionally, the project will provide opportunities to strengthen local and regional partnerships, including working with the Aboriginal community.

The proposed walk has been awarded $7.9 million funding by the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund program, an initiative of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, that provides funding for infrastructure that supports regional economic growth, creates local employment opportunities, and drives growth in the visitor economy.

Planning for the Light to Light Walk has begun, and we are currently working through the design and approvals processes. The recent fire has impacted the planning work and delivery timeframe for the walk. Provided necessary approvals are granted, the first stages of construction are expected to start in 2021. Construction will be undertaken in a staged approach and is expected to be completed by late 2022.

More information about the impact of the fire on the Light to Light Walk can be found on in our June updates.

The existing Light to Light Walk is beautiful. The proposed changes will accommodate increasing demand and enhance the experience, making it a superior coastal walk. The improvements aim to diminish the perceived barriers by some visitors to undertaking a multi-day walk in a remote national park.

The Light to Light Walk will provide an opportunity to do the walk without carrying a heavy backpack or having to buy all the necessary equipment, including a large pack, cooking equipment, or a tent and will instead allow walkers to stay in a comfortable hut or established tent accommodation. Traditional pack style camping will still be possible in designated locations. The Light to Light Walk is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience is recommended as tracks may have short, steep hill sections, rough surfaces and steps.

The walk is expected to deliver benefits to the local economy, drawing new visitors to the region and providing opportunities for the tourism industry including tour operators, transport, accommodation and hospitality services. The project aims to be the key attraction to the region's tourism industry while encouraging people to protect and love their national parks.

Our national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. This includes providing visitor experiences and, where appropriate, new facilities including visitor accommodation.

We are conducting independent environmental assessments to examine the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and the measures required to mitigate any potential impacts to the environment. This supports the need to ensure that public visitation and enjoyment is compatible with the protection of conservation values.

The project will undergo further detailed design and assessment to ensure compliance with the park's plan of management and conservation management plans. Further stringent environmental, cultural heritage and cost-benefit assessments, involving our staff, key stakeholders and other experts will ensure the project meets environmental, cultural and economic aspirations.

The proposed Light to Light Walk will offer visitors an opportunity to experience a diverse range of landscapes while connecting with the dramatic coastline as they make their way from Boyds Tower in the north, to Green Cape Lighthouse in the south. The walk will provide new opportunities for learning about the cultural history and biodiversity of the park including the ecology of local landscapes, culture and wildlife such as seals, seabirds and whales.

Interpretation through innovative storytelling is one of the most effective ways to enhance a multi-day walk and achieve an 'experience of a lifetime' for walkers. Developing rich and engaging interpretation, including opportunities for local Aboriginal guided experiences, will be a key focus to immerse the walker in the natural and cultural landscape creating respect, a strong connection and sense of place.

Effective community and stakeholder engagement is critical to the success of this project. We will engage with stakeholders and interested community members in a meaningful and timely way.

In July 2019 we exhibited the draft amendment to the Ben Boyd National Park and Bell Bird Creek Nature Reserve Plan of Management (Light to Light Walk Improvements) and the Draft Light to Light Walk Strategy.

During the exhibition period, open house sessions were held at Pambula, Bega and Eden to provide opportunities for the community to drop in and talk to staff about the proposed walk. Attendees were asked to provide their input through online or email submissions.

These submissions will inform the Plan of Management Amendment and the Light to Light Walk Strategy for consideration by the Minister.

Those interested in the project are invited to register their interest and receive regular updates on the progress of the project.

Updates: June 2020

The upgraded Light to Light Walk will offer a new managed, immersive 4-day 3-night experience that combines walking and eco-accommodation in a dramatic coastal setting. The project will deliver a spectacular 30-kilometre walk supported by hut accommodation, located in the Ben Boyd National Park on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales.

  • 26 Jun 2020

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