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Ranger Grant Wilcock assessing the damage to a sign on the track. Image: contributed.

Upgrades ahead for Angourie walking track after fires

Pat Fordham|

Restorations on the Yuraygir National Park’s famous Angourie walking track have commenced, with an excavator and materials being flown in over past weeks.
The restorations were needed due to extensive fire damage in the area caused by the infamous 2019 bushfire crisis, which ravaged the region in August to December of that year. The assets lost in the blaze included toilet blocks, board walks and a timber bridge which crosses Mara Creek.
John Kennedy, Team Leader Ranger in the Clarence Region believes the loss of this infrastructure accounted for over $1.5 million in damage, which after fourteen months, has now been re-couped through grants and insurance.

“Some of it (funding) comes from disaster recovery funding, which is granted to the national parks. All of our assets are actually on an asset register and they’re insured and after these sorts of events, we make a claim to our insurer and they verify that those assets were there and they have been damaged and that’s where a lot of the funding comes from, it’s under an insurance claim,” Mr Kennedy says.
When the team at the Yuraygir National Park were assessing the damage, they decided they would upgrade the track and its facilities, instead of just replacing the existing infrastructure. This includes adding drainage structures every 50 metres beside the track, along with 150 metres of elevated board walk. The Team Leader Ranger believes that these upgrades will hopefully make the walk better than ever.
“We’ll have an announcement, we’ll open it, we’ll have a magnificent walk through some beautiful real estate that we can all enjoy,” Mr Kennedy says.
The work on the track is expected to take around four and a half months to complete, with the local National Parks and Wildlife Service instructing people to stay off the track until late June, in hopes of achieving the best possible outcome.
“We should have a better than ever walking track by the end of it, which should be fantastic for our visitors,” the Team Leader Ranger says.