Snowies Alpine Walk project update - January 2021

The Snowies Alpine Walk is a $17 million Regional Growth - Environment and Tourism Fund project to build an exceptional multi-day trek across the alpine roof of Australia in Kosciuszko National Park. We hope you enjoy this update.

Mount Lee walkway

The Mount Lee steel mesh walkway was finished on time and on budget last year and is open to walkers. The purpose of these works was to realign 1.7 kilometres of the Main Range walk to protect one of the rarest plant communities in the world, the windswept feldmark, which is a critically endangered ecological community.

The first stage of rehabilitation of the old track has now been completed using organic coir matting for moisture retention, erosion control and to encourage natural regeneration.

Windswept Feldmark on Mount Lee is being actively rehabilitated after the Main Range walk was diverted, after initial rehabilitation work.
Windswept Feldmark on Mount Lee is being actively rehabilitated after the Main Range walk was diverted, before rehabilitation.

New walking track from Guthega to Charlotte Pass

Now that the snow has melted, construction is again underway on stage 2 of the Snowies Alpine Walk project between Illawong (near Guthega) and Charlotte Pass. The new section of track is approximately 5.6 kilometres long and will offer a well-graded walk of steel mesh, rock paving and gravel. The new walk will showcase expansive views of the Snowy River and Main Range.

Construction of the track by Steelworks Engineering is well-advanced and the installation of the bridge over Spencers Creek will commence in early 2021. The track remains closed and visitors are requested to avoid the area whilst works are undertaken. The track is expected to be opened to walkers in late April 2021.

The Illawong walk is currently open, but walkers may encounter delays over summer with helicopter operations in the area and some minor track upgrades.

New steel mesh walkway above the subalpine heath, with views to Mount Twynam and Blue Lake.

Charlotte Pass to Perisher via Porcupine Rocks

New rock paving being constructed near Charlotte Pass Resort.Work has now commenced on this new section of track to link Charlotte Pass and Perisher Valley villages (via Porcupine Walk).

The new track will start near the Charlotte Pass Resort and will set out towards the Ramshead Range where it will continue across the top of the escarpment through to Porcupine Rocks. The track will then continue onto Porcupine walk through to Perisher Village. This section of track is planned to be completed before mid-2022.

The new track will generally be constructed of rock paving (or pitched rock) which is extremely durable, will not erode, blends with the local natural surroundings and will not shift due to forces of moving snow-loads. Elevated steel mesh boardwalks will be constructed to avoid impacts on sensitive habitats that support threatened species and ecological communities such as alpine reptiles, mammals, invertebrates and bog communities. A hardened gravel surface will be used in flat dry areas for improved comfort durability and walkability.

The Porcupine Walk will remain open during this time, but some minor delays may be experienced during upgrade works planned for late 2021 and early 2022.

Perisher to Bullocks Flat

Stage 4 of the project envisions a new track starting at Perisher Valley then heading south across the plateau before traversing downslope to meet the existing Bullocks track near Lake Crackenback Resort. Totalling 11.5 kilometres, this section is currently being planned and costed.

A detailed analysis of several route options, including field investigations to identify threatened species and Aboriginal heritage has been completed. The final alignment will maximise the visitor experience, minimise environmental and heritage impacts and reduce construction costs. The track will mainly have a natural surface with rock paving at the higher elevations and steps on steeper sections. Construction dates are yet to be announced.

Seamans hut toilet nearing is completion.

Seamans Hut toilet

Seamans Hut is a scenic spot to stop and refuel along the Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk. The new toilet at Seamans Hut will cater for the increasing numbers of Summit trail walkers from early 2021 and will also cater for back country adventures during the winter period.