Walcha’s Apsley Falls visitor area is getting a makeover as part of a $180,000 upgrade to facilities at the popular campground.
Planning discussions are underway to update the main visitor precinct and the historic entrance archway as the Apsley Falls are an important place for the Walcha community and local indigenous people.
The upgrades are part of the NSW Government’s largest ever investment in national park’s visitor infrastructure totalling $346 million to deliver over 190 major projects.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service Area Manager Aaron Simmon said the whole project will acknowledge and celebrate this shared history.
“Upgrade and maintenance work has already begun with roads re-sealed, new vehicle barriers installed, walking tracks improved and refurbishment beginning soon on the very popular campground,” Aaron said.
“We’re having meetings with community representatives to give the entrance a long overdue facelift funded by a partnership between the NPWS, Transport for NSW and the Walcha Shire Council.
“The entrance archway is to be restored and re-located, enabling large, modern tour buses to enter the visitor area which will also be replanted with native trees and shrubs.
“It’s planned to keep the arch section as a historic feature and move it to a nearby spot in the visitor area, installing signs that detail the historic works the Walcha community undertook.
The Apsley Fall visitor area is one of the major attractions for people visiting the New England region. It supports local tourism and hospitality businesses and regional jobs. The growth in park visitation numbers is unprecedented, with an estimated increase of 92% over 2019-20.
National Parks and Wildlife Service has been working with Walcha Tourism Committee and Transport for NSW, as well as Amaroo Local Aboriginal Land Council, Local Landcare, Walcha Arts Council, and Walcha and District Historical Society to develop the entrance plan.
“We are also finalising the Soundtrails project where Apsley Falls will be a key site and will link to the Walcha Open Air Gallery. The project was developed in partnership with the New England High Country Councils, Story Project and National Parks and Wildlife Service and takes visitors on an exploration of the Walcha area and its fascinating history and features,” Aaron said.