Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

More than four years after being destroyed in devastating bushfires, the facilities which make Guy Fawkes River National Park one of the region’s most popular visitor destinations have returned from the ashes.

Ebor man Gavin James Gardiner was jailed for three and half years for deliberately lighting the fire that destroyed the viewing platforms, pathways and pedestrian barriers at Ebor Falls in November of 2019. The completed new upper deck of the Ebor Falls visitor precinct was opened yesterday by Member for Northern Tablelands Marshall, joined by Armidale Regional Council Deputy Mayor Todd Redwood and other dignitaries.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services has planned the official opening of the entire $3 million redevelopment of the Ebor Falls visitor precinct on 4 May.

“Considerable planning has gone into developing an accessible tourist experience which will act as the ‘eastern welcome mat’ to the region,” Mr Marshall said.

“We’ve used the devastation caused by the Black Summer bushfires in 2019/20 to hit the reset button and develop a breathtaking suite of new amenities which unlock the true potential of this stunning natural wonder.

“Visitors are already being drawn to the first of the three new viewing platforms over the spectacular Guy Fawkes River gorge.

“These incorporate raised viewing areas with upgraded carrying capacity, giving breathtaking views of the 120-metre drop twin waterfalls.

“A dedicated seating area has been built, which brings visitors closer to the mist of the falls and builds capacity for cultural and nature tours in future.

“All pathways have been constructed to inclusive access standards, enticing visitors of all age and ability to experience the area.

“This universal access approach has been extended to a dedicated water supply for firefighting and flushing toilets – it is good-bye to the old long drop.”

Mr Marshall said one of the more exciting aspects of the project was the renewed pedestrian connection to Ebor village.

“Ebor village has been connected to the falls by a pathway running alongside Guy Fawkes River,” he said.

“Pathways, partnered with expanded parking infrastructure and promotional signage will encourage a greater portion of the 140,000 visitors to the falls each year to base their day trip out of Ebor.

“This will be of huge benefit to the local hotel, café and petrol station with the potential for hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income each year.

“These new platforms are guaranteed to cement Ebor Falls as one of the State’s seven best waterfalls.”

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