Blue Mountains News

Stage One of Darwins Walk revealed as part of Grand Cliff Top Walk opening

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 25 May 2024 - Posted: 26 Mar 2024
A significant portion of Darwins Walk has reopened after a four-year closure brought on by the devastating impacts of successive flooding events.

The reopening of the upper section of Darwins Walk, which connects Wentworth Falls village with the Blue Mountains National Park, was part of the opening of the Grand Cliff Top Walk, a two-day walking experience traversing the heart of Blue Mountains bushland.

A joint initiative between Blue Mountains City Council and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), the Grand Cliff Top Walk project saw the two organisations work closely to renew and connect existing walking tracks and complete missing links, to create the 19-kilometre track.

This project has significantly assisted with the replacement of numerous footbridges, sections of track re-alignment, track re-surfacing, and the construction of raised boardwalks.

The work on Darwins Walk has been planned across two stages. Stage One, the upper section from Wilson Park to Fletcher Street, equates to around two-thirds of Darwins Walk. Stage Two, the lower section, is more technically challenging and involves a complex re-design. Ittravels through an important area of Temperate Highland Peat Swamp on Sandstone, a nationally listed Endangered Ecological Community.As a result, repair work is still progressing, with the reopening expected in March/April 2025.

"The reopening of Darwins Walk is a really significant step for our community after the devastation we experienced in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to natural disasters and flooding,” Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said. “Darwins Walk is a historically significant and much-loved part of our extensive walking track system.”

In addition to the work on Darwins Walk, Council has also replaced hundreds of steps along Prince Henry Cliff Walk between Elysian Rock and Tarpeian Rock track and installed a new footbridge spanning a landslip from 2021 and repaired access from Olympian Parade to Olympian Rock Lookout, making the descent much easier. The project will also provide lookout upgrades along Prince Henry Cliff Walk, and park improvements at Gordon Falls Leura.

The Grand Cliff Top Walk opening is the first significant addition to the Blue Mountains walking track network in seven decades.

“Grand Cliff Top Walk is a testament to our commitment to preserving and sharing the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains. The walk is the perfect introduction for beginners to the beauty of the Blue Mountains, or a great two days of walking for seasoned visitors,” Cr Greenhill said.

"The Grand Cliff Top Walk is not just about exploration; it's about connection – with nature, with our heritage, and with each other.

“It's a journey that invites everyone to be a part of the Blue Mountains story."

The Grand Cliff Top Walk was officially opened by NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe, Local Member Trish Doyle and Mayor Greenhill at Wentworth Falls picnic area on Sunday, 24 March. Read the Media Release

Darwins Walk will be officially opened in 2025, once Stage Two is completed.

This project has been funded with $4 million from the Australian and NSW Government's Bushfire Local Economic Recovery fund, and $440,000 from Blue Mountains City Council.

For more information on Darwins Walk, visit here.

For updates on Council’s ongoing work to improve amenities along Grand Cliff Top Walk visit here.

 
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