Snowies Alpine Walk project update
The Snowies Alpine Walk is a Commonwealth and State Government funded project to build an exceptional multi-day trek across the alpine roof of Australia in Kosciuszko National Park in Monero Ngarigo Country. We hope you enjoy this update. You can also view online.
Snowies Alpine Walk – what’s in a name?
A compelling name which is grounded in its location plays an important role in the ultimate success of any new walk in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace. It helps to spark initial interest, support search behaviour and promote consideration especially amongst the diverse markets who will be key to building visitation during existing low and shoulder seasons. NPWS has undertaken extensive research amongst domestic and international walkers to better understand what makes for a compelling walk name. This coupled with some additional testing and consultation, helped to narrow down possible options.
The “Snowies Alpine Walk” emerged as the preferred name for the multi-day walk being constructed in the Thredbo-Perisher precinct of Kosciuszko National Park. It will now replace what was always the working title of Snowies Iconic Walk. Importantly the research also reinforced our existing conviction that appropriate acknowledgement of Country must be a core component of any name selected. To this end, further consultation will be undertaken with the region’s Aboriginal communities to ensure that an endorsed acknowledgement of Country will feature in the full walk name.
To recap the project, the 55-kilometre 4-day walk will expand on the existing walking track network across the park’s spectacular alpine and sub-alpine areas to link the resorts of Charlotte Pass, Guthega, Perisher and the historic Bullocks Flat.
Day 1 Guthega to Charlotte Pass – 9 kilometres
Day 2 Charlotte Pass to Charlotte Pass via Main Range – 22 kilometres
Day 3 Charlotte Pass to Perisher Village – 13 kilometres
Day 4 Perisher Village to Bullocks Flat – 11 kilometres
The Snowies Alpine Walk project is a premier addition to the range of outstanding non-winter nature tourism experiences on offer to significantly boost summer visitation to the park and improve year-round employment stability.
The walk will broaden access to this beautiful part of the world, strengthen the appeal of New South Wales as a walking destination and provide opportunities for a more diverse range of visitors to enjoy our spectacular national parks.
Kosciuszko National Park track upgrades
NPWS is currently delivering an exciting range of new and upgraded visitor infrastructure in NSW national parks following record investment by Government. As the summer construction season kicks off, some existing walking and cycling tracks in Kosciuszko National Park may be temporarily closed to complete essential maintenance and upgrades.
NPWS is aiming to minimise closures and inconvenience to visitors:
- Most works will have traffic control on site and/or small detours where possible
- Tracks may be closed whilst materials are flown in and when works are being undertaken in areas where a temporary diversion is not appropriate
- These closures are not expected to take more than two days for each occurrence
- These closures will be sign posted and prior notice will be given where possible
- There will be limited or no works over the Christmas to New Year period or at Easter.
These works will increase the sustainability, safety and durability of the walks and cycling tracks, enabling them to remain open for longer during the year for visitors.
There’s a lot of work happening in the area so always check NPWS alerts for the latest park closure information. Things may change day-to-day so check in regularly to ensure you have the latest information. A detailed list of proposed works is also available on theproject webpage.
Guthega to Charlotte Pass
The Illawong Walk is one of the tracks due for upgrade this summer, as part of the biggest infrastructure investment in NSW national parks history, delivering $450 million of priority works that boost nature-based tourism across the state generating benefits for regional communities and economies.
So, whilst the construction of stage 2 of the Snowies Alpine Walk from Illawong Hut to Charlotte Pass is largely complete, the renewal works on the existing section of track between Guthega and Illawong Hut will delay the opening of the full section for a few months.
Walkers seeking a sneak peek of the new track in January can commence at Charlotte Pass and walk to Illawong Hut (approximately 12.5km return) including experiencing the new Spencers Creek suspension bridge – Australia’s highest suspension bridge at an elevation of 1,640m above sea level. Ask at the Snowy Region Visitor Centre or information kiosk if you require transport services to complete your chosen walk.
The Guthega to Charlotte Pass walk is expected to officially open in March 2022.
Charlotte Pass to Perisher Village
Work has also re-commenced on the third stage of the Snowies Alpine Walk, featuring a new section of track which will link Charlotte Pass and Perisher Village via Porcupine Walk. Around 4.5 kilometres of the 10 kilometres of new track have now been completed.
This walk will provide spectacular views of the Thredbo Valley and Bullocks Flat as well as extensive views of the Main Range.
Upgrades to the existing Porcupine Walk, funded by Kosciuszko National Park visitor use fees, have also commenced and will continue over the summer concurrent with the stage 3 works. The estimated completion date for this full section is mid or late 2022 (weather dependent).
Perisher Village to Bullocks Flat
As part of the Commonwealth and State Government’s Regional Recovery Partnerships program announced in June, the Snowies Alpine Walk project received an additional $10 million in funding to deliver a 11.4-kilometre walking track between Perisher Valley and Bullocks Flat.
The Project Team has been busy preparing the various tender documents and contracts for the upcoming construction season with works due to commence after Christmas and continue into 2023.
The final track alignment has been fine-tuned using ground-truthing to ensure any potential impacts on identified natural and cultural features along the route are minimised. Whilst the expected snow load for this new section will be lighter than on alpine tracks, the steep terrain through dense vegetation, coupled with a 700m vertical descent as illustrated in the Google Earth image below, will provide plenty of challenges for track construction teams.
NPWS – THREDBO VALLEY TRACK – REOPENED
The Thredbo Valley Track has reopened. Hopefully we get a reasonable run of dry weather this week!
Keep checking the alerts page on the NPWS website as there are other closures throughout the upcoming riding season.