After being closed for most of the last seven years, the Minnamurra Upper Falls viewing platforms and walking track at Budderoo National Park have now reopened.
The spectacular Upper Falls, reached via a five kilometre loop path, are the jewel in the rainforest Park’s crown and the reopening is expected to attract even greater numbers to the park.
The 500 metre elevated boardwalk cost $1.2 million to replace, reflecting the difficulty of conducting the work in the remote location. The old structure had to be helicoptered out of the rainforest canopy before the new materials could be brought in the same way.
The rotting timber of the old boardwalk has been replaced with fibre reinforced plastic, said to last 80 years.
While the stairs have been replaced with ramps, it is still not classified as wheelchair accessible due to swing bridges.
The Upper Falls work is the first milestone of the Minnamurra Rainforest reinvigoration project, a $4.7 million investment by the NSW Government over three years.
The next phase is the transformation of the old Visitors Centre into the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre.
It will see the Centre transformed into an attraction in itself, with the commercial facilities needed to hold events.
Taking inspiration from the way Tasmania has created revenue streams for their Parks, by investing in their facilities, the next step in the strategy will be to provide ’glamping’ accommodation onsite.
Over 100,000 people currently visit the Park each year, and it is a popular stop for school groups.