Australian Alps Walking Track management strategy 2005 – 2008

Revised edition, June 2005
Australian Alps Liaison Committee, November 1997

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Introduction

The Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) traverses the Great Dividing Range from the doorsteps of Canberra to the forested country east of Melbourne (or visa versa). The track passes through Namadgi, Kosciuszko, Alpine and Baw Baw National Parks as it crosses state boundaries between the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.

The track covers a total of 650km of south-astern Australia’s mountain country including spectacular tracts of alpine and sub alpine scenery, iconic rivers such as the Murrumbidgee, the headwaters of the Snowy, the Murray and the Mitta Mitta. It crosses large expansive wilderness areas and takes in the highest mountains of Australia. It links a landscape of not only natural beauty but of human occupation, exploration, hardship, nation building and endeavour through the legacy of aboriginal routes, stockmen’s huts, fences, old towns, ruins and former sites of mining and hydro electric endeavours.

Walkers can start the track at either Walhalla or Tharwa or any point in between. The entire walk can take anywhere from six to ten weeks in total but many people choose to walk sections, particularly in the Brindabella, Jagungal, Bogong High Plains or Baw Baw areas. It is not a continuous formed walking track but a connection of linked tracks, trails, informal routes and unmarked areas where good navigation skills are required.

The track is the defining physical link of the Australian Alps National Parks cooperative management program between the states, territory and Commonwealth. It is a tangible example of the “one park” concept of consistent and integrated management across the state boundaries.

This strategy is designed to ensure that states and territory work cooperatively to manage and promote the route of the AAWT as a continuous entity.

It builds heavily on the initial strategy developed in 1997 that had a focus of establishing and branding the track. This has largely been achieved as well as the development of a map guide and track notes.

The focus of the current strategy will be:

  • to co-ordinate post 2003 fire repairs;
  • to foster and develop links with relevant Aboriginal communities in order to better understand and interpret the routes or pathways of the mountains;
  • to deliver appropriate information on the track primarily through the AANP web site including interactive feedback from web site users.