New Grand Cliff Top Walk

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Already a globally recognised landscape, the rugged beauty of the Blue Mountains cliff tops is a step closer to being more accessible to nature lovers through a new iconic walk.

By Ellen Hill

The 20km Grand Cliff Top Walk will offer magnificent views and a new overnight bushwalk.

The mammoth four-year project to renew and connect existing tracks to create a spectacular walk spanning the escarpment and linking the tourist towns of Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba, crosses lands managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Blue Mountains City Council.

Work to join existing tracks and pathways, complete missing links and improve lookouts has hit the halfway mark.

Walkers can stop and enjoy a night in a mountain village choosing from many accommodation options and complete the track the following day.

The Grand Cliff Top Walk is accessible from different locations, which allows walkers to tailor the length of their walk.

The most visited national park in NSW with about 8 million visits a year, Blue Mountains National Park is home to some of the oldest and most popular bushwalks in Australia.

NPWS Blue Mountains Branch director David Crust said track infrastructure was designed to last at least a century while providing a better and safer visitor experience.

"Once completed, this will be an iconic walk that will give access to this beautiful and unique World Heritage area to many more visitors,” Mr Crust said.

"Building a track in such rugged areas that 1500 helicopter lifts have been undertaken in the past 12 months to bring in equipment, shows how challenging this terrain is.’’

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So far, NPWS staff have crafted 1169 steps and built 5121 metres of track designed to blend in with the landscape and eliminate erosion along the paths.

The painstakingly-built steps were often carved from stone, in keeping with the area's traditional 100-year-old sandstone paths, and as part of a strategy to future-proof the track against damage from bushfires, Mr Crust said.

Funded as part of the largest ever State Government investment in visitor infrastructure in NSW national park history, the $10 million Grand Cliff Top Walk is on target for completion in 2023.

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