Contact: Graham Burgess (President) 0416 325266

Walks Contact: Margaret Carr 0417 275977

Email: illawarra@npansw.org.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NPAillawarra

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Meetings

Illawarra Branch business meetings are held quarterly. All members are invited to attend and contribute to the discussion. The Branch also holds occasional social events and information nights.

A special weekend is planned at Mt Keira

The weekend of 30th June and 1st July we are hosting a meeting of NPA NSW State Council and have planned some special events to coincide with the meeting. We encourage branch members and their families to take part in one or more of the following events.

There are limits on numbers and booking is essential so don’t leave it too late. For bookings contact Graham Burgess: 0416 325 266, 4261 7657, npaillawarra@gmail.com

Saturday afternoon 30th June –  1 hour presentation “Upland Swamps of the Sydney Region” by renowned local expert, author and NPA member Ann Young. A great chance to learn about what we all see at Maddens Plains each time we drive to or from Sydney.

Sunday morning 1st July – choice of walks with morning tea.

  1. Guided tree tour at Mt Keira Scout Camp – Enjoy an easy guided walk to learn about the rainforest trees of the Illawarra Escarpment with local expert, author & NPA member, Leon Fuller followed by morning tea. 1km, Grade 1
  2. Mt Keira ascent – Mt Keira Scout Camp to Mt Keira summit and return via Dave Walsh and Mt Keira Ring Tracks. Morning tea along the way. 4km, Grade 3.
  3. Mt Keira Summit Park nature walk – Join us for morning tea then take a stroll around the nature trail at the Summit Park. 1km, Grade 1.

A date for your diary – Saturday afternoon 1st September

The branch AGM is being planned for Saturday afternoon 1st  September. Our special guest speaker will be Dianne Thompson OAM talking on the wild horses of the Snowy high country and the impact they have on the ecology of the region. She’ll give the environmental perspective on the state government’s plans to protect them.

Current projects

Great South Coast Walk (GSCW)

President Graham has been busy engaging with local politicians, councils and tourism bodies to brief them on the status of the rapidly evolving GSCW. Check out the web site at greatsouthcoastwalk.net 

The GSCW is not a track in itself. It is the linking of numerous tracks along the coast to form one superb walking experience. More than that, it is a challenge that will keep walkers coming back.It will reward them, not only with an appreciation of the magnificent coastal landscapes, but with a sense of satisfaction at having completed one of the world’s great walks. We hope it will become one of Australia’s iconic walks and a focus for the Illawarra and South Coast regions, attracting people from interstate and overseas.

A coalition of coastal bushwalking groups from Illawarra to the Far South Coast, together with Canberra Bushwalkers, has endorsed the emerging development of the GSCW and is actively working to promote the concept of a mainly coast walk from Royal National Park to Mallacoota just over the border in Victoria. This concept is in line with long-distance walks in other states and internationally.

We think the GSCW will be complementary to our long awaited Illawarra Escarpment Walk and in fact includes the escarpment section that can be walked now from Stanwell Park to Austinmer as the suggested route.


As well as our busy activities program and participation in many local events, we continue to advocate for nature protection in our unique region. We take an active role in discussion of the Illawarra Escarpment and its urban interface.  In particular we have a long term aim of promoting an escarpment walking track. We continue to lobby politicians and other decision-makes, but have received little satisfaction so far.

We have been outspoken on the current development of a management plan for Mt Keira. We are monitoring what role will be allowed to mountain biking in this plan and on the escarpment generally. We have been represented on council committees covering these areas but the recently elected council has not yet established new community reference groups.

We are taking an increasing interest in the ecological health of Lake Illawarra and will make a submission on Council’s Coastal Zone Management Plan. We are also involved in planning issues at Tallawarra, particularly preserving the abandoned ash ponds as bird habitat. The establishment and maintenance of a green corridor from here to the escarpment is also a particular concern.

We have a burgeoning and ongoing association with Bushwalk the ‘Gong, a local initiative which has introduced many younger people and families to bushwalking through social media. In turn this is bringing us some new, young members and more awareness of the power of social media. We hope that our partnership and combined activities will make some contribution to addressing the challenges that social media is posing for park management.

Our president, Graham Burgess has been working with Destination Wollongong on producing walks brochures for the region.

The branch continues to express its concerns about mining in the Sydney water catchment.  On 4th December, member Dr Peter Turner, who is also Mining Projects Officer for NPA, gave a presentation to Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining and others at Corrimal library. Peter has been researching impacts of longwall coal mining on the water catchment for many years and follows developments of the Illawarra’s coal mines closely.

On the same day branch member and renowned author Ann Young gave an author talk at Thirroul library on her new book, Upland Swamps in the Sydney Region. This will likely become the go-to reference for those wanting to learn about the very important environmental areas formed by the upland swamps and often affected by underground mining.

Mailing address:

Illawarra Branch, National Parks Association of NSW Inc

PO Box 847, Wollongong NSW 2500

email: Illawarra Branch