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Intro

Front view of young woman mountain biking in forest

The national park expansion delivers on a State Government election commitment and marks a key milestone under the ambitious Plan for Our Parks initiative.

The expanded Wellington National Park now covers 25,000 hectares, protecting high quality jarrah and marri forest and important habitat for a range of threatened and priority species.

The park attracts over 273,000 visitors annually and its expansion will provide additional opportunities for recreation, including mountain biking, bushwalking, camping, cultural education and adventure activities.

Keen mountain bikers will be able to enjoy newly opened Wellington National Park trails, with 15km of stage 1 completed and opened.

The initiative will ultimately see 120km of new mountain bike trails, including further trails in Wellington National Park, Westralia Conservation Park, Arklow forest block and Collie.

Works on the Wambenger Trails initiative have also seen the completion of the brand new Kaneang Wiilman Bridge, a 90m suspended bridge within Westralia Conservation Park that offers breathtaking views over the Collie River.

The bridge will form a key part of the 72km five-day, four-night Wiilman Bilya Walk Trail, currently under construction around Wellington Dam.

The combination of an expanded park and the improved trail network provides opportunity for Collie to become a recognised 'trail town' — with quality trails, outdoor experiences, facilities and services such as accommodation, hospitality, visitor information and more.

Collie tourism has seen huge growth in recent years, with monthly visitors to the Collie Visitor Centre between March and September this year increasing 77 per cent since pre-pandemic levels.

In September 2699 people checked in at the Collie Visitor Centre, compared to 1126 people in September 2019 — a 140% increase.

The first stages of works to improve facilities at Wellington Dam are also underway to better cater for growing visitation, including a re-alignment of Wellington Dam Road and the construction of expanded parking facilities, mural viewing points and a new kiosk building.

The State-wide Plan for Our Parks project aims to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves across the State by February 2024. There has already been over 350,000 hectares of new conservation land secured.

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Page reviewed 06 May 2022