One of Australia’s oldest bushwalking tracks was officially reopened in Blackheath on October 28 after an almost decade-long restoration worth $4.8 million.
The Blue Mountain’s Grand Canyon Track, which is more than a century old, has undergone a 4.5 kilometre restoration across some of the most challenging terrain for walking track construction in Australia.
NSW Upper House Liberal MP Shayne Mallard officially opened the track after joining senior National Parks and Wildlife staff and industry leaders on the five kilometre walk.
"I am in awe of the dedication and passion of the team who over the last nine years have painstakingly restored this historic walking track," Mr Mallard said.
"Three thousand huge sandstone steps have been hand laid into this huge project involving over 2000 helicopter drops.
"With 90,000 visitors annually the track is a key eco tourism destination and an anchor for future local and international tourism to the Work Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Parks."
More than 90,000 people use the track every year, more than triple its use since the project began in 2008. It is expected that more than a million visitors will use it from now until 2030.
There were 2000 loads of materials lowered into the narrow canyon with helicopters and more than 100 staff and contractors contributed to the track over nine years. The track remained partially opened during the project.
An exhibition commemorating the track and its restoration runs until November 29 at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre. FOr more details visit: www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/events/grand-canyon-pop-up-exhibition.