From February 2022, the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) will commence a significant upgrade project to the iconic Bald Head walk trail on the Flinders Peninsula within the Torndirrup National Park.
The Bald Head trail is a challenging 12.5km return trail traversing the ridge line of the peninsula which provides stunning views of the Southern Ocean around to King George Sound and of the broader city of Albany.
Many people travel to Albany specifically to challenge themselves on this spectacular walk trail. However, due to the increased visitation and the exposed nature of the trail, Parks and Wildlife staff have noted concerns around increasing sand blow outs, loss of vegetation caused by wind and water erosion, and a widening of the trail surface. These planned works will protect against further erosion and address existing impacts including stabilisation of trail edges for regeneration.
Under the McGowan Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, $15 million has been allocated to the Great Southern Adventure Trails Project which includes the Bald Head trail upgrade.
As there is no vehicular access on the trail, and to limit impacts to the surrounding environment, it will be necessary to use a helicopter to air lift some of the construction materials into the required work zones that are too heavy to carry by hand.
DBCA’s Project Manager, Jarred Pedro, says he “anticipates approximately 200 heli lifts will be required to supply the materials and remove old elements to identified landing sites along the trail”.
All heli operations will take place from the nearby Jimmy Newell Carpark which will be closed for safety considerations for the duration of the upgrade works.
There has been some minor erosion control works undertaken, and sections of duckboard were replaced between July and August 2021. Further sections along the trail will be replaced during these works.
DBCA’s Landscape Architect, Nic Camerer, has designed low impact stair and walkway structures utilising FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) to raise the trail above eroded areas and stabilise the sandy trail surface. This will protect the steeper sections of the trail and the surrounding delicate, coastal environment.
There will also be some revegetation using local native species to improve ground cover, to combat erosion and provide habitat for fauna.
The Traditional Owners of the area, the Minang people of the Noongar nation, are working with DBCA regarding signage and interpretation opportunities for the Bald Head walk trail and the broader Torndirrup National Park.
Construction is expected to be finished by August 2022.
The Bald Head Walk Trail will be closed from Isthmas Hill point onwards from 1 February 2022 due to the maintenance works. A downloadable map is available from Park Alerts. For your safety please adhere to and follow all signage and instructions from Parks and Wildlife staff and work crews. For more information, please contact the Parks and Wildlife Service Albany office on (08) 9842 4500.
We acknowledge the Minang people of the Noongar nation as the Traditional Owners of the land through which the trail passes.
© Trails WA Projects 2022