Tweed Byron Hinterland Walk draft master plan: Public consultation

This draft master plan outlines the key concepts for the proposed 3-night, 4-day Tweed Byron Hinterland Walk between visitor nodes in Mount Jerusalem National Park and Nightcap National Park.

Birds Nest fern (Asplenium nidus), Nightcap National Park. Biogeographical area of the Nightcap and Kooynum RangesThe proposed walk is the centrepiece of the Tweed Byron Hinterland Trails project, part of the largest ever investment in national parks' history. It will be an invigorating and immersive multi-day experience that traverses the ancestral lands of the Widjabul Wia-bal and Minjungbal People of the Bundjalung Nation.

Public exhibition of this draft master plan provides an opportunity for members of the community to have a say in relation to this activity proposed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

What is being proposed?

The Tweed Byron Hinterland Walk (working title only) is a 36-kilometre, 3 night/4 day walk from the Manns Road trail head in Mount Jerusalem National Park near Uki, to Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park.

The proposed walking track route includes:

  • 27.3 kilometres of existing walking tracks and trails (i.e. park management trails and old logging trails)
  • 8.3 kilometres of proposed new walking track.

Most of the multi-day walking track will be constructed and maintained to Class 4 standard (Australian Walking Track Grading System). Class 4 tracks are hiking tracks suited to self-reliant or guided bushwalkers with only basic directional signage. Track surfaces are largely natural except where prevailing environmental conditions necessitate improvements.

Three new remote walk-in camps will provide basic facilities such as tent platforms and remote toilets designed to accommodate a sustainable number of low-impact walkers at each camp.

A number of short walks and side tracks off the main walk will offer additional walking opportunities. The visitor nodes at the start and end of the walk will support and enhance the signature multi-day walk experience.

The route alignment of the multi-day walk reflects extensive environmental planning and stakeholder consultation to minimise potential environmental and cultural heritage impacts and optimise the visitor experience.

The walk will broaden access to this beautiful part of the world, strengthen the appeal of New South Wales as a walking destination and provide opportunities for a more diverse range of visitors to enjoy our spectacular national parks.

This project will boost the local economy by extending visitor stays and providing greater opportunities for visitors to explore the Northern Rivers region outside tourist hotspots such as Byron Bay.

We are consulting with Aboriginal communities and developing partnerships to highlight the area's rich cultural heritage, including opportunities for Aboriginal-guided experiences.

The proposed walk has been carefully designed to ensure the natural and cultural values of the parks, including threatened species, ecological communities, and Aboriginal cultural and historic heritage, are protected and conserved.

A Review of Environmental Factors has been prepared to consider the environmental impact of the proposed walk on lands managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Review of Environmental Factors includes detailed assessments of the proposed route's natural heritage values and the Aboriginal cultural heritage values. It examines the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and the measures required to mitigate any adverse impacts. The Review of Environmental Factors can be read in conjunction with the draft master plan to provide a detailed picture of the proposed works.

Extensive consultation and fieldwork with a range of interested groups, including the Widjabul Wia-bal Native Title Claimants, the Wollumbin Consultative Group and Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council, have resulted in adjustments to the proposed route alignment to avoid areas of exceptional environmental and cultural significance.

The project will ensure a sustainable visitor experience while also maintaining, protecting and conserving park values in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

At the end of the public consultation period, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will review all submissions and prepare a submissions summary report which will be made available to the public for information.

The draft master plan will be finalised once community and stakeholder feedback has been considered. It may be adjusted to meet issues raised during the exhibition, any additional environmental and cultural assessments and local design issues.

Construction will commence on the project in 2023.