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Dookanelly to Possum Springs Realignment Under Construction


When the Long Gully Bridge was destroyed by fire in 2016 the replacement, Bilya Djena Bidi, was built downstream opening to walkers in 2017.  It was, for convenience, connected to the existing Track using mostly long boring 4WD roads popular with campers whose 4WD vehicles dig deep holes spanning the entire track width, treacherously deep when water-filled in winter.   

The spectacular views of the previous alignment were lost.  Add to that the flooding risk when Bell and Chalk Brooks met the Murray River in flood near Tumlo Plantation and walkers had little choice but to wade chest deep through muddy flowing water. 

The Foundation’s 2017 Vision Survey highlighted members’ strong desire for the Track to be realigned away from roads.  So, a small team of Support Volunteers (SVs) set to work with a list of candidate sections and since 2019 have been steadily constructing realignments after obtaining approval through Parks & Wildlife’s Disturbance Assessment System, DAS.  DAS requires documented planning and stakeholder liaison to ensure that all environmental and heritage values are considered and adequately addressed. 

Fast forward to August 2023 and, after exhaustive route selection away from roads and including wonderful high points, and DAS, a team of SVs has completed Campaign 1 readying 6.1km of trail.  Add to that the sections constructed by a specialist contractor and we’re on the downhill run, so to speak. 

The majority of the 17.7km realignment should be ready for walkers by mid-2024 so look for further announcements.