Over the last two years, Western Australians have been out rediscovering their passion for WA’s natural places and local attractions in increasing numbers. The demand for adventure trails also grew and prompted significant investment and intensive community consultation in the creation of trail networks across WA including the Great Southern Region.
One of the most exciting opportunities provided by the Great Southern Adventure Trails (GSAT) project is a network of trails proposed for the Valley of the Giants, situated in Walpole-Nornalup National Park. The trails proposal comprises 38 kilometres of cycling trails and eight kilometres of walking trails. This includes 15 kilometres of shared-use trails which, when combined with the existing Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail that pass through the national park, offer a myriad of trail loops and experiences in Walpole, Nornalup and surrounding areas.
While this project showcases the unique environment of the region, particularly endemic species like the giant tingle trees, it is an opportunity for local tourism businesses to leverage off the trails and sustainably grow the local economy, providing future job opportunities for local families.
A key part of the project has been extensive community consultation to ensure the Valley of the Giants trail network offers a diverse range of experiences that showcase the beauty and uniqueness of the valley. “Ensuring the trail alignment is sensitive to the landscapes, and protecting the natural environment and its values, is extremely important and is the basis for a high-quality trail,” said DBCA’s coordinator of the Recreation and Trails Unit, Kerstin Stender.
Wander amongst the great karri and tingle trees of the Walpole Wilderness National Park in this video to find out how DBCA has been working closely with the local Minang and Pibelman Traditional Owners as part of the trails project to lengthen and improve accessibility to the Ancient Empire walkway. This will include an extension of the pathway by 280 metres, which will cater for wheelchair access.
We acknowledge the Minang and Pibelman people of the Noongar nation as the Traditional Owners of the land through which these trails pass.
This article is an extract from ‘Trailing Ahead’ by DBCA’s Communications and Community Engagement Officer Mike Wood. You will find the full article in the latest issue of DBCA’s quarterly magazine Landscope (Vol 37/No 3 Autumn 2022).
© Trails WA Projects 2022