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Skywalk attraction opens 100 metres above Western Australia’s Murchison Gorge

Skywalk attraction opens 100 metres above Western Australia’s Murchison Gorge
June 14, 2020

A new elevated platform - jutting out up to 25 metres over and 100 metres above the Murchison River Gorge - had been opened in Western Australia’s Kalbarri National Park

The $24 million project, which involved the construction of two cantilevered walkways, has been built to attract more people to the region with the steel structures, which are anchored deep into the sandstone, allowing visitors to look down into the gorge through steel mesh.

Rory Chapple, Skywalk project officer with Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, said the 100-metre drop is not as big as that at the Grand Canyon, but the Kalbarri project does rival its United States' namesake in size.

Chapple told media “(the walkway) extends 25 metres out over the gorge edge, which is further than the Grand Canyon Skywalk in America, so it is really quite spectacular.

"More than 1,000 tonnes of sandstone was excavated out of the top of the gorge to put the concrete beams in and they have been anchored deep down into the sandstone at the back and that holds the whole structure into place.

"So, it is quite complex engineering."

In a statement announcing the opening, Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the Skywalk would boost local tourism which had been hit hard by travel shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

He advised “the Kalbarri Skywalk is projected to inject up to $73 million in additional expenditure over the next decade into the local economy and create jobs for tourism businesses, accommodation providers and associated service industries.

"There has never been a better time to get out and explore all that Western Australia has to offer."

Art by the local Indigenous Nanda people is incorporated in the design of the project including play areas and the walkway leading to the platforms.

The Skywalk platforms are accessible for people using wheelchairs.

One in three Western Australian tourism businesses unlikely to survive border cto survive border closures
This week has seen the Tourism Council of WA (TCWA) advise that a third of tourism businesses in Western Australia say they will collapse if the state borders don’t open soon.

Reporting on a survey of its members, TCWA advised that one in three (34%) businesses said they are not viable with interstate restrictions, while only 26% agreed their business could replace out-of-state visitors with Western Australian visitors.”

Advising that local tourism alone is not enough to keep the sector viable, TCWA Chief Executive tolf 9news “this shows that interstate visitors are vital for tourism businesses to survive and retain jobs in their regional towns.”

Images: The Skywalk platforms over Murchison River Gorge. Courtesy of Parks And Wildlife Service WA.

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6th June 2020 - Easing of Western Australia’s Coronavirus restrictions sees Premier tell people to get out and do what they enjoy

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2nd May 2020 - Western Australia reopens national parks for local camping

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17th April 2020 - Western Australia looks at early raising of Coronavirus restrictions

27th March 2020 - Access restricted to Kimberley and remote Western Australian Aboriginal communities

5th February 2020 - Tourism WA supports industry impacted by coronavirus

29th January 2020 - Tourism Council WA happy with Western Australia’s best summer but fears challenges ahead

29th January 2020 - Ecotourism accommodation planned for Western Australia’s Millstream Chichester National Park

24th January 2020 - Australia’s first glass bridge proves a popular attraction for outback Queensland

6th January 2020 - Researchers put a value on national parks’ impact on mental health

3rd November 2019 - Safety concerns see glass bridges closed in China’s Heibei province

22nd October 2019 - Pilbara tourism operator claims second Western Australian excellence award

23rd September 2019 - Installation commences on $24 million Kalbarri Skywalk

4th September 2019 - Watarrka National Park opens its new viewing platform

9th July 2019 - More funding for Western Australia’s national parks and reserves

22nd January 2019 - New walking trail opens in Wellington National Park

1st September 2018 - Tourism WA backs Asia-Pacific’s biggest mountain bike event

9th August 2017 - Australia’s great outdoors needs to be more accessible for nature-based tourism

16th May 2017 - Rock wallabies released into Kalbarri National Park

1st February 2017 - New national park for the north Kimberley

29th October 2015 - Western Australian Government commits $20 million to build skywalks in the Kalbarri National Park

8th May 2014 - $7.7 million revamp for Kalbarri National Park

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