Grampians Peak Trail – The FOGG Response

Friends Of the Grampians Gariwerd (FOGGs) support in principle the proposal for the Grampians Peaks Trail as set out in the Draft Master Plan and as presented recently at public meetings at Halls Gap, Wartook and Dunkeld.

However we do have concerns around the ‘On-walk hiker lodges’. In the document (page 40) it suggests that 3 lodges would be built along the trail initially, but that this could vary with “market forces”. Does this mean that there could later be pressure to build more lodges so this group of users can potentially do the whole walk using this type of accommodation? In some sections of the document one gets the impression that large sections of the trail will be able to be walked using this style of accommodation. With mega fires becoming a regular occurrence in Victoria and the Grampians having experienced 3 large scale fires in the past 8 … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles, Grampians Peak Trail

Grampians Peak Trail – Project Update May 2014

The trail will be constructed over a number of years in a staged process. The track and hiker campsites form the basis of the core infrastructure necessary. To create the Trail will require the development of approximately 80km of new trail and the upgrade of 64km of existing trails.

Stage One: Halls Gap to Borough Huts

(3 days/2 nights)

Delivery of Stage One is well underway and includes a three day/two night loop walk from Halls Gap to Borough Huts covering a total of 19 kilometres for the return trip. This stage is being delivered by Parks Victoria through $1.3M in funding provided on behalf of the Victorian Government by Regional Development Victoria.

 Stage One achievements to date:

  • An 8.7km track realignment from Mt Rosea to the Belfield Fire Line is complete;
  • Development of a design manual which sets a consistent style for tracks, bridges, signs and hiker camping areas
Read the rest
Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles, Grampians Peak Trail

Advisory Group Report

We have a new Advisory Group. Advertisements asking for expressions of  interest went out in April, and the new members were appointed in early June for a three year term. The first meeting of the new group was held last week. There are five returning members, (Rex Beveridge, Kevin Bolwell, Margo Sietsma, Donald Carter, Gil Hopkins), and ten new members ( Bill Weatherly, Cecilia Myers,  Faith Hardiman,  Ray Zippel,  Deb Millard,  Dick Gill, Tracey Skinner,  Barry Clugston,  Lisa McIntyre, Malcolm Matheson). I remain convenor but will probably hand over to one of the new members well before the three years are up.

Much of that first meeting was taken up with introducing ourselves, defining the role of the AG, our terms of reference, how it relates to the Traditional Owner Reference Group currently being formed, and  to the Fires Roundtable. Dave gave us a snapshot of the park and how … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Advisory Group, Articles

Grampians National Park Update – Northern Grampians Fire Recovery June 2014

Considerable progress is being made towards the reopening of fire affected areas of the Grampians National Park. The Mt Zero Rd (North)  re-opened  for the June long weekend, providing visitor access along the north eastern boundary of the park.

The rehabilitation of dozer-lines created during the suppression (fire-fight) phase is now complete, along with the treatment of trees that presented a clear and immediate risk to park users and staff along park roads.  Trail crews are completing tree risk and soil stabilisation works along walking tracks affected by the fire. Major trail works are commencing in the Hollow Mountain and Stapylton Amphitheatre to improve climbing access.

The September school holidays is the next major milestone for a number of projects including;

  • The re-opening of MacKenzies Falls car park with access to the base of the falls (no kiosk facilities)
  • The re-opening of the Stapylton Amphitheatre climbing area from Mt Zero
Read the rest
Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Advisory Group, Articles

Grampians Walking Tracks Support Group

This group, which sits under the Community Association of Halls Gap, share our enthusiasm for the Grampians. I asked the president David Witham (who is also a FOGG member) to tell us a bit about what they do and what some of their plans are.

For a number of years the Group has been accumulating money from its donation boxes situated at strategic points around the National Park and organising working bees with various bushwalking clubs to help maintain the tracks.   Perhaps surprisingly we have had difficulty in spending much of that money on projects within the Park.

Parks management have now developed a proposal to which we are happy to contribute.    Summer Day Valley, accessed from the walking track to Hollow Mountain, has been the most popular single area for rockclimbing in the Grampians for the last 25 years or so.    In particular it has been used intensively by … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles