Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

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Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby JulianS » Fri 07 Jun, 2019 2:35 pm

Stay tuned for release of the full draft plans, but this post by the ABC would suggest that there are some pretty significant changes afoot for Ben Boyd National Park.

https://www.facebook.com/abcsoutheastns ... 3970915722

Further searching indicates funding was actually announced about 12 months ago (https://www.edenmagnet.com.au/story/546 ... -facelift/) for "the first purpose-built hut to hut walk in a NSW national park".

I'd be keen to know if anyone knows more about this "Great Walks of Australia" group. Frankly, I find some of the language used on their website - considering they are referring to National Parks - pretty insulting ("independently owned", "private trail", etc).
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby Zapruda » Sat 08 Jun, 2019 8:31 pm

This is incredibly sad news. Money talks I guess...
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby FionaShedden » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 9:05 am

Draft Plan of management for Ben Boyd and draft strategy for Light to light have just been released for comment:

https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/consult

Not as bad as I first feared, sounds like there will still be camping available but only at designated sites.

Will be interested though to see what cost it is hopefully much less than 3 capes pricing which just seems over the top!
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby GregR » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 9:42 am

FionaShedden wrote:Draft Plan of management for Ben Boyd and draft strategy for Light to light have just been released for comment:

https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/consult

Not as bad as I first feared, sounds like there will still be camping available but only at designated sites.

Will be interested though to see what cost it is hopefully much less than 3 capes pricing which just seems over the top!


Agree with Zapruda- very sad indeed.

There are already designated campsites, doesn't need to be Glamped up! I've seen no evidence of these existing sites being "mucked up" to indicate a need to change the current format.

The track is already accessible to anybody that can carry a pack and accessible to those who can't via section day walks via saltwater creek and Bittangabee Bay. Not actually sure how you re-route a 30km track to make it a 4 day "experience"
Looks like my walk there in October could be my last.

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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby FionaShedden » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 11:55 am

Seems like it's a way to make money to me - it clearly has no value just being as it is (I am being sarcastic here).

Iwill be reading through tonight in detail and then will put through a submission. Not that I feel that will make any difference, but at least I put something forward.

I haven't yet completed this yet but heard it is awesome - aiming to do in January.... definitely need to get in before it gets made "approachable".
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby LachlanB » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 12:38 pm

FionaShedden wrote:I haven't yet completed this yet but heard it is awesome - aiming to do in January.... definitely need to get in before it gets made "approachable"


I don't think you'll be the only one trying to walk it before it gets done over. It's been on my 'To Do, sometime' list since I moved to Canberra 5 years ago, and I think the time has come to finally walk it...
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby crollsurf » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 1:03 pm

Looks like they are going for the fee-paying, restricted numbers model like The Overland Track. As nice as the Light to Light looks, it ain't the OLT and I cannot see it getting those sort of numbers for many years.
I'm not against it so much but I'm with GregR, I'm thinking about getting down there soon just in case.
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby GregR » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 10:05 am

crollsurf wrote:Looks like they are going for the fee-paying, restricted numbers model like The Overland Track. As nice as the Light to Light looks, it ain't the OLT and I cannot see it getting those sort of numbers for many years.
I'm not against it so much but I'm with GregR, I'm thinking about getting down there soon just in case.


My walking buddy that I'm going to do the L2L with, has had a call today from the NP folk in Merimbula to discuss the proposal. (He is visually impaired so he didn't write as his emails tend to be in "code")

It seems that a 30 bed bunk house is proposed at the Green Cape Light house for the 3rd night, and something similar at Hegarty's and Mowarry Pt.
Booking will be strictly on line- if its anything like Wilsons Prom it will be problematic.

If you don't want to use booking system then you can carry a pack all the way from Boyds to Saltwater creek and camp with any bogans that are there, and likewise at Bittangabee. Why would I want to carry a full pack that far to effectively car camp? This point was not lost on the NP Merimbula person

its already an underused asset, by glamping it up, will it become magically somehow popular. I suspect not. it is a long way from the 2 major capitals (8 hr drive), its a short walk (30kms), and I see no reasoning behind trying to fabricate a OLT or 3 Capes experience which already had/has massive popularity. I understand the "build it and they will come" philosophy, but the logic here evades me.

Any way my friend will be discussing the matter further with someone from HQ in Sydney later this week and if anything of note comes out of this I'll be back

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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby Warin » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 10:46 am

My thinking is .. if the huts are close to car access then the car type people will use it. Nothing wrong with that, hopefully they do day walks...

But if they want longer distance walkers then the huts will have to be away from apparent or real car access.
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby johnf » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 5:39 pm

GregR wrote: Not actually sure how you re-route a 30km track to make it a 4 day "experience"
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Original they were going to continue the walk to Disaster Bay. The heritage assessment came up with some Aboriginal sites. I think they are still hopeful they can negotiate some extension in the future.
Since the commercials around the potential revenue were probably locked in early to get the approvals, they didn't want to revert to a 3 day walk. The 4th day is suppose to be checking over the historical lighthouse then going up to the Disaster Bay lookout (assume that would be a road bash). The plan also mentions some undefined cultural experience on that day.

The whole walk can be done in a day, I can't imagine stretching it out to 4.

The plan mentions a budget of nearly $8M. I can't see it stacking up as paying its way. I don't see the rational of setting up new camps with hut accommodation (near) Mowarry Point and Hegartys Bay. It would seem a better experience to stay at Saltwater Ck and Bittangabee and less environmental impact. The walk is only 10km per day so staying at Saltwater Ck and Bittangabee gives some more options for relaxation and hanging around. The beach near Mowarry point is ok to swim in good weather (no surf just a tiny beach and don't mind the great whites at the actual Point itself), but it it not that relaxing compared to Saltwater Ck where there is the creek itself to explore, sitting on the dunes in most weather, walking around the extensive rock platforms etc. It seems to be an artificial construct to make the walk feel more remote and for the walkers not to feel ripped off when they realise what they are paying in comparison to simply car camping at SWC and BTB. The cost of supporting 3 full time rangers at the huts (and Green Cape) is just too much. If the walk is not a commercial success the cost of these rangers will impact on the NPWS budget elsewhere. Better in my view to use the existing campsites and extend the successful camp host system.
On the whole the changes just seem to have a commercial feel about them. I think the walk could be promoted with a positive impact on coastal tourism but with less environmental impact setting up new huts.

It is currently a very nice walk and the re-routing plan should make the walk a bit better as it will follow the coast more and pass a few more features. So that is nice.
The main reason it is not widely popular (though I think on average there would be 6-10 walkers on each section now) is it is an 8 hour drive to get there and for most people it is either a 40 or 60km walk retracing steps as there are no transport options at the end unless your group is big enough for a car shuffle. This will be the biggest issue for any promoted "great walk". Will there be a commercial return for providing this service? Otherwise it will die.
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Re: Ben Boyd - Light to Light Walk

Postby Zoe Bee » Wed 07 Aug, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi guys. You can join our FB group to find out what you can do if you oppose the L2L 'upgrades':

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2407149849559446/

We will have a formal submission ready for anyone to send to National Parks very soon, so join the group to stay in touch!
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