Fire-damaged Cape Baily walking track at Kurnell reopens for holidays

A badly burnt boardwalk on the four kilometre track after the September fire. Picture: supplied

A badly burnt boardwalk on the four kilometre track after the September fire. Picture: supplied

The Cape Baily walking track in Kamay Botany Bay National Park has re-opened after the fire on Father’s Day, which devastated large parts of the park.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) achieved its target to make the track at Kurnell accessible for the Christmas holidays.

Cronulla MP and Attorney-General Mark Speakman said remaining fire-damaged materials had been removed and the walk made safe.

“Closure signage and website alerts have been removed,” he said.

“Replacement materials have been ordered and reconstruction of the boardwalk is expected to start early in 2018 and be finished mid-year, subject to weather conditions.

“I thank again the Kurnell and other units of the NSW Rural Fire Service who battled the fire and NPWS staff for their diligent repair work.”

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”.

Long-term damage: Mark Speakman says some parts of Kamay Botany Bay National Park will take many years to recover after the fire on September 3. Picture: supplied

Long-term damage: Mark Speakman says some parts of Kamay Botany Bay National Park will take many years to recover after the fire on September 3. Picture: supplied

The four kilometre 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.

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

Burnt bushland at Kurnell. Picture:supplied

Mr Speakman said a helicopter would need to deliver much of the boardwalk materials, but the proximity to the  airport would limit the time available for this operation.

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