Contact: Graham Burgess (President) 0416 325266
Walks Contact: Margaret Carr 0417 275977
- Download Brochure: 12 Walks in the Southern Illawarra
- Download Brochure: 20 Walks in the Wollongong and Surrounds
- Download Brochure: Illawarra Escarpment Walking Track
- NPA Illawarra Branch flyer 2018
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.
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.
Illawarra Branch, National Parks Association of NSW Inc
PO Box 847, Wollongong NSW 2500
email: Illawarra Branch