THE NSW Government has proposed a major $56 million investment into the state’s Dorrigo National Park inland from the north coast, including a new multi-day walk and visitor centre, that promises to put NSW on the global ecotourism map.
The four-day Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk will consist of three suspension bridges and 46km of walking track that winds through Dorrigo and Bindarri National Parks, past waterfalls, giant old trees, and wild rivers.
Travellers will be able to stay at four purpose-built communal low impact walkers’ huts and camping areas with tent platforms and composting toilet, owned and operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Also part of the proposal, the Arc Rainforest Centre will feature energy-efficient, sustainable design and recycled materials, a boardwalk and lookout over the World Heritage rainforest, flexible event spaces, and spiralling walkways that connect to the existing 6km Wonga Walk and the new Dorrigo Great Walk.
The aim of the project is to connect more people to nature and Aboriginal culture, breathe life back into ageing infrastructure, generate ongoing jobs, and increase tourism revenue to help regional NSW towns recover from drought, the 2019-20 bushfires and COVID-19.
NSW Environment Minister, James Griffin, said the project was part of the biggest capital investment program in the state’s national parks ever, adding that the rainforest at Dorrigo is “even more spectacular than the Daintree”.
“This is about having people come to national parks as tourists, and leave as conservationists,” he said.