NPWS works to reopen fire-damaged Cape Baily walking track at Kurnell by Christmas

Mark Speakman and Gabrielle Upton at Kurnell, where green shoots are appearing after the devastating fire. Picture: supplied

Mark Speakman and Gabrielle Upton at Kurnell, where green shoots are appearing after the devastating fire. Picture: supplied

Work is under way to repair the Cape Baily walking track at Kurnell after the devastating Father’s Day fire, with the aim to reopen it by Christmas.

The track was closed after the fire, and visitors are being asked to observe the “track closed” signs while repairs are carried out.

Fire damaged Cape Baily track. Picture: supplied

Fire damaged Cape Baily track. Picture: supplied

Cronulla MP and Attorney-General Mark Speakman inspected burnt out areas of Kamay Botany Bay National Park with Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.

”Some parts of the park will take many years to recover, but thankfully there are already green shoots,” he said.

“NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is working hard to reopen it before Christmas and to restore it fully by the middle of next year.”

Mr Speakman thanked NPWS staff for their work and added “a huge thank you to the Kurnell and other units of the NSW Rural Fire Service for their great work in containing the fire and protecting life and property outside the park”.

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

The four kilometre Cape Baily track passes sand dunes, heathlands and hanging swamps along Endeavour Heights on the way to Cape Baily Lighthouse and Doughboy Head.

Mr Speakman said the fire which ravaged the area on September 3 caused damage estimated at more than $600,000, affecting about one third of the popular track.

“This included damage to about 700 metres of the elevated boardwalk which is now in the process of being replaced,” he said.

Mr Speakman said the first stage involved NPWs staff and contractors dismantling and removing the damaged sections.

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

“Sections in more remote locations will take some time to remove and the track will remain closed while the damaged sections are removed,” he said.

”Once this work is completed the replacement of the boardwalk and installation of new signage can begin.

“A helicopter will be required to deliver much of the boardwalk materials required for rebuilding, but the proximity to Sydney airport will limit the time available for this operation.

“We apologise for any inconvenience during this time, however we do ask that people observe the track closed signs for their safety and the safety of those working on repairing the walk.”