Fraser Island Great Walk gets even greater

VOLUNTEERS are helping bring the 52km extension to the Fraser Island Great Walk to completion with a working bee this week.

The extension is being advanced by the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) and the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) and being built entirely by volunteers.

Project coordinator, FIDO's John Sinclair, said a $25,000 Friends of Parks Grant had enabled the restoration of former forestry buildings near Lake Allom, to serve as a base for work on the track and eventually to serve as one of four shelters along this track extension.

He said volunteers, from as far away as Atherton, have contributed almost 800 hours on-ground work on the building renovation, surveying for the optimum route and track construction.

"We have been overwhelmed by volunteers who are keen to participate not only on this Fraser Island project but on other projects including helping to control weeds and monitoring projects," Mr Sinclair said.

"During 2014 volunteers working on bush regeneration and track projects will contribute more than 2,000 hours of on ground work in a cooperative effort to help preserve the natural integrity of Fraser Island."

This week Mr Sinclair and three of his sons will finalise and mark out the track that runs from Arch Cliffs on the Hervey Bay side of the island to Lake Garawongera where it links up with the existing Great Walk.

The Great Walk extension is known as the George Haddock Track to honour a volunteer who contributed much to Fraser Island and other Queensland national parks over more than 50 years of voluntary effort.

Mr Sinclair said because of the attractiveness of the features encountered and Fraser Island's sub-tropical climate and conditions conducive to walking at any time of the year, he confidently expected the George Haddock Track to become Australia's most popular long distance walk when the infrastructure was completed.

Topics:  fraser island hervey bay

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