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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Most of Namadgi reopens this weekend

Most areas of Namadgi National Park that have been closed due to bushfire damage sustained in January 2020 re-open today (Friday 9 April), well ahead of the original timeline, the ACT Government announced. 

Mick Gentleman, Minister for Planning and Land Management, encouraged the Canberra community to get back out into the Park and experience the areas that had been closed for over 15 months after the Orroral Valley fires, which burnt more than 80% of the area.

Areas opened include:

•    Mt Tennant and the Australian Alps Walking Track
•    Honeysuckle Ridge including the campground and Booroomba Rocks
•    Orroral Valley, Nursery Swamp, the Geodedic Dome and the tracking station 
•    The Bimberi Wilderness Area.

The Yankee Hat Rock Art Site, the Orroral Campground, and some roads remain closed.

Recovery work was able to progress faster than anticipated thanks to favourable weather conditions and the hard work of the recovery team, Roads ACT, and volunteer groups, Mr Gentleman said.

Teams have focused on infrastructure and public roads into the park.

He said some public roads remain closed because of heavy rainfall in late March, when more than 200mm was dumped on the Orroral Valley in under 36 hours. This may restrict vehicle access in areas of the park.

Yankee Hat remains closed as the ACT Government works 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,” Mr Gentleman said.

“For many Canberrans, they will be heading into Namadgi for the first time since the Orroral Valley bushfire in January 2020,” he said. “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. Drop into the Visitor Centre to stock up on water and nourishment, and get the latest news from the friendly staff.”

Visit the ACT Government’s Namadgi National Park website for information on what’s open and safety advice.

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