The historic Hume and Hovell Track between Yass and Albury will receive major upgrades during the next two years with the assistance of $1.5 million in funding from the NSW Government.
The funding will allow for the replacement of 15 pedestrian bridges, new galvanised steel steps at 30 fence crossings, the regeneration of lookouts, new camping huts, upgraded track markers, visitor information signs and resurfacing of trails.
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and Member for Albury Justin Clancy announced the funding on 27 November as part of the government’s COVID-19 stimulus program, which aims to upgrade community infrastructure while supporting jobs and local economies.
“This $1.5 million will be allocated over two years – $750,000 this financial year and $750,000 next financial year – to allow for the planning and implementation of quality upgrades,” said Ms Tuckerman.
Mr Clancy said the upgrades are great news, particularly for people who enjoy the popular Burra Creek walk and Henry Angel Trackhead camp near Tumbarumba.
“There are many interesting spots to promote and explore along the track, such as early gold mining sites and old tunnels where dynamite blasting was first used for Australian mining,” he said.
The 426km track opened in Australia’s bicentennial year, in 1988, and offers a 20-day trek with 17 campsites to stay at between Yass and Albury.
The track is historically significant as it follows the footsteps of Hamilton Hume and William Hovell, who led an 1824 expedition from Sydney to Port Phillip to open up new southern grazing land and trace the flow of NSW’s western rivers.
NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the funding will underpin plans to expand the track’s appeal to a wider outdoor audience.
“When the track first opened in 1988 it was focused on hardcore hikers, but times change and there is now more potential to expand its focus to also accommodate walkers who prefer shorter options to the full 20-day hike,” she said.
“Hiker huts will be upgraded around Wee Jasper to attract more people from the Canberra area and shorter loop walks explored to add value to local tourism.”