Wollumbin National Park re-opened today, 24 September 2013.
Robyn Parker MP
Minister for the Environment
Minister for Heritage
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
WOLLUMBIN NATIONAL PARK TO RE-OPEN TODAY
Three months ahead of schedule Wollumbin National Park will reopen just in time for the school holidays, Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced today.
Ms Parker and Lismore MP Thomas George visited the park to say thanks to national parks staff for their hard work and acknowledged the community and local businesses for their patience while the summit track and car park were being cleared of debris.
“After being severely damaged by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in January this year the NSW Government committed $200,000 to rebuild the popular 4.4km Wollumbin/Mount Warning Summit Track,” Ms Parker said.
“The park was able to be re-opened ahead of schedule which will be welcome news to the more than 100,000 visitors to the park each year.
“The work includes repairs to the summit lookout platforms providing the panoramic views of the Tweed valley and surrounding ranges.”
Mr George said more than 10 tonnes of debris was cleared from the car park alone, which was wood chipped and used as mulch in nearby nature reserves, including Marshalls Creek, Cudgen and Wooyung.
“The Australia Day weekend storm caused significant damage to the mountain, including extensive blow-downs of ancient forest trees and three landslips on the eastern face,” Mr George said.
“The summit path has been re-routed in four separate locations due to the massive root-balls of the felled trees blocking the path.
“Everyone is to be congratulated for their hard work in getting our park back in good health and just in time for the school holidays.”
National Parks and Wildlife Service Northern Rivers Region Manager Mark Johnston said the clearing on Wollumbin was especially difficult for the crews. “Normally mountain tracks are cleared from the summit down, but because the 4.4km path was steep and blocked the clean-up began at the ground and worked up,” Mr Johnston said.
“This made the job more challenging and dangerous as discarded debris could not be rolled down the mountain.”
The NPWS engaged specialist arborists who abseiled between the top of trees with a chainsaw to remove dangerous overhanging limbs.
50 tonnes of gravel was airlifted into the park by a helicopter and dropped at various points along the summit track.
A team of NPWS ground staff has been working in the park since April 30.
All of the contractors, with the exception of one, came from the Northern Rivers.
Mt Trails, Tasmanian experts in building walking tracks in Australian national parks, worked on the track, and employed local indigenous workers.
For anyone interested in alternatives (or additional local attractions and activities) to a climb, please check out our blog posts at https://bigvolcanotourism.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/mt-warning-climb-alternatives/, done a few months ago, in the wake of the initial closure.