The Member for Warren-Blackwood Ms Jane Kelsbie MLA officially opened the Elephant Rocks to Waterfall Beach section of the William Bay trail on Monday 20 December 2021.
Minang elders, the Traditional Owners of the land on which the trail sits, attended the opening ceremony, and conducted the Welcome to Country.
Stakeholders such as the Great Southern Development Commission, the Shire of Denmark, residents, tourism and environmental groups were also present to witness the opening ceremony.
Under the McGowan Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, $15 million has been allocated to the Great Southern Adventure Trails (GSAT) project.
Momentum is picking up with this being the third completed GSAT project, after the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail, and the extension to the Harewood Forest walk trail.
The new trail, as well as wider improvement works at William Bay National Park, has benefited from genuine partnerships with local elders and Aboriginal rangers during both the planning and building phases.
Minang Traditional Owners played a significant role in assessing the proposed alignment and monitoring the disturbance of the land during the construction.
Aboriginal rangers, together with departmental staff, were able to culturally map the entire coastal area before any alignment was earmarked. Together with elders’ knowledge of the area, this detailed mapping informed elders about any unknown sites and values in the area.
Developing this new, hardened surfaced alignment, has allowed the department to re-route the long-distance Munda Biddi Trail so that cyclists can now safely ride from William Bay into Denmark, improving the rider experience and avoiding the vehicle traffic on Madfish Bay Road.
The new hardened trail surface allows all-access for the first 200m of the 2.6km trail from the Greens Pool end. Adaptive bikes, wheelchairs and pushers can make the gradient up to the Elephant Rock lookout.
The spectacular views from the lookout above Elephant Rocks will encourage all those looking for that inspirational photo that showcases this unique and awesome coastline.
Planning is well under way to join the new William Bay trail to the WoW Trail at Lights Beach and through the Denmark Windfarm to Ocean Beach road, then joining the bike path along the Wilson’s Inlet to Denmark.
With more trails on the way the GSAT team at Parks and Wildlife will keep delivering and getting projects completed on the ground.
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