Picture it: it’s a grey Tuesday afternoon, you’re at work, and start to feel a…
Hikers and outdoorsy folk! Have you missed your beloved Namadgi National Park? We have some good news.
This vibrant slice of terrain located just south of Canberra was hit hard by the Orroral Valley bushfires in January 2020, with most of the Park closed for over 15 months.
But slowly—with the help of many dedicated volunteers—it’s come back to life, and it was announced yesterday that it will be largely reopening this weekend.
Apparently well-ahead of the original timeline, again thanks to those volunteers, Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman says it’s been a team effort.
“Our teams have worked hard to make the park safer for the community to get back into the Park well ahead of schedule, with a focus on critical issues with infrastructure and along public roads into the park,” says Minister Gentleman.
“Recovery work was able to progress faster than originally anticipated thanks to a combination of favourable weather conditions and the hard work of the recovery team, Roads ACT and various volunteer groups from within the community.”
While Minister Gentleman cautioned that some areas will stay closed, including “Yankee Hat Rock Art Site, the Orroral Campground and some roads” most areas will now be open to the public, including Mt Tennant and the Australian Alps Walking Track, Honeysuckle Ridge including the campground and Booroomba Rocks (pictured), Orroral Valley, Nursery Swamp, the Geodedic Dome and the tracking station and The Bimberi Wilderness Area.
“Because of the heavy rainfall in late March some public roads remain closed, which may restrict vehicle access in areas of the park. During that week over 200mm was dumped on the Orroral Valley in less than 36 hours,” said Minister Gentleman.
“The Yankee Hat Rock Art Site remains closed as we work on upgrades to the site with the Ngunnawal people to integrate their values, lore and knowledge into this work. This will take some time, but it is important that we have new infrastructure, signage and experiences that respects and values the Ngunnawal culture and celebrates the cultural significance of this site.
“For many Canberrans, they will be heading into Namadgi for the first time since the Orroral Valley bushfire in January 2020. The bush is still recovering, and the safety hazards brought about by the fires haven’t completely gone away.
“Many tree branches are still very fragile, so we ask that you avoid walking in fire-affected areas on windy days. Always keep to the tracks because after a wet spring and summer there’s a lot of thick regrowth if you head off the marked path.
“Before heading out into the Park, make sure you revisit our safety information and familiarise yourself with what you need to pack and drop into the Visitor Centre to stock up with water and nourishment and get the latest news from the friendly staff.”
Feature image: VisitCanberra.