Parts of Namadgi National Park are now welcoming visitors once again, following the devastating Orroral Valley bushfires which burnt more than 80% of the area.
The Visitor Information Centre and a substantial amount of land remains closed, however areas in the Corin and Naas/Boboyan Road Precincts, including Gibraltar Falls, Corin Dam and Settlers Walking Track, have reopened to the public.
ACT Environment and Heritage Minister Mick Gentleman said he was pleased to see visitors welcomed back into the park but warned there was still a long road to recovery.
“Campers will be happy to know that both the Woods Reserve and Mt Clear campgrounds have also been re-opened and are taking online bookings. Dedicated camper trailer spaces are now available at Woods Reserve for the growing demand for this type of recreational camping,” he said.
“While many parts of Namadgi are now accessible, please be aware that they may still be fire-impacted.
“When setting out to explore the park, take proper precautions, plan your visit carefully and let someone know where you intend to go.”
The ACT Government’s recovery efforts in the area include the creation of 26 temporary ranger and field officer jobs for the repair of walking trails and Lower Cotter Catchment restoration.
The government has also established a feral deer monitoring program and replaced 19 kilometres of rural land fencing damaged during the fires.
Mr Gentleman said the forced closures had also resulted in the updating and improvement of infrastructure in the areas.
“The Namadgi team has taken advantage of the closures, undertaking an ambitious spruce up of Woods Reserve campground, with infrastructure improvements, weed and erosion control, ecological restoration and fire mitigation works designed to lessen the impact of any future bushfire on this much loved campground,” he said.
“Honeysuckle, Orroral Valley and Bimberi Wilderness Area remain closed as major works are required to restore public access roads, walking trails, low-level crossings and fire trails.”
The long-term recovery response will continue for the next three years with details of the comprehensive plan set to be released in the coming months.