After being closed to the public for nearly six weeks, the popular Sublime Point walking track has been reopened ahead of schedule after a $320,000 upgrade by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Walkers have already been sharing their delight on social media with pictures of significant improvements like sturdy sandstone stairs and steel railings which replace the mud wood steps and the odd chain rail. The track has also been widened in parts to accommodate the increased foot traffic due to its popularity.
The Mercury understands getting the sandstone blocks to the site was a difficult task (due to terrain and the weight of the blocks) with a helicopter used to lower them in, a few at a time.
The work involved addressing safety concerns at a section at the base of the ladders and involved the replacement of a platform and landing, hand rail and steps.
It comes as walking tracks through the Illawarra escarpment become top of mind for the NSW Government and NPWS with a recent announcement of a multimillion-dollar project creating a 59-kilometre, five-day walk, beginning at Sumblime Point and ending at Botany.
Known as The Great Southern Walk, it's expected to be complete by 2024.
NSW national parks already attract more than 60 million visits a year, generating $18 billion in economic activity for NSW and supporting more than 74,000 direct and indirect jobs.
NPWS urges the public to remain COVID-safe.
As of Friday July 9, bushwalking for exercise was permitted.
"Constituents can travel more than 10 kilometres from home if they remain within the LGA," according to the NSW Health Minister's office.
"If [the walking tracks] are within a 10 kilometre distance of someone living in a bordering LGA, they would also be able to travel to them."
For details on the latest restrictions, please visit NSW Health's website.
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