What’s the project about

In recent years remote long distance ‘wild’ walking trails have become popular, attracting users wanting to experience nature and the sense of wilderness (for example the Appalachian Trail in the USA and the Bibbulmun Track in WA), and, for some trails, engage in a cultural experience (for example the El Camino de Santiago trail). Walking is also the most popular recreational activity. Australia has several popular long distance walking trails, including: the Larapinta Trail in central Australia; the Thorsborne Trail in far north Queensland; the Australian Alps Walking Trail in the high country of ACT, NSW and Victoria; and the Overland Track in the central Tasmanian highlands. As well, there are several popular coastal trails including the Great Ocean Road walk in western Victoria and the Cape to Cape walk in WA.

Whilst these trails are attractive to walkers wanting to experience nature and the sense of wilderness, long distance trails in urban areas offer a different experience and would likely attract a different type of walker, primarily tourists. These walkers would be in addition to those who use specific sections for typical local recreational purposes. Coastal trails are particularly attractive and popular given their proximity to the ocean.

In WA, the planning system ensures that as residential development occurs adjacent to the coast, an adequate coastal foreshore reserve is created, and a range of recreational facilities built, including paths. The urban area of the greater Perth region now extends from Dawesville in south to Yanchep in the north, around 150km: this is longer than the Cape to Cape track, which takes between 6-8 days to walk from end to end.

This project is a walking trail resources as a guide for walkers,

Project aim and objectives

The central aim of this project is to 're-conceptualise' the existing coastal paths as a long-distance coastal urban walking trail for the greater Perth region. To achieve this, the following resources and tasks will be created and carried out:

  • Create a series of maps in different formats showing the existing and future local tracks, paths and trails that would form the trail, including beach walking sections where no coastal path or track exists;

  • Identify the areas where both a coastal trail does not exist and beach access is either difficult or not allowed (for example the Kwinana Industrial area), and either negotiate access or propose an alternative route or solution;

  • Map the various social and cultural points of interest associated with the trail;

  • Map the commercial resources (cafes etc.) that could be used by walkers;

  • Map the facilities that walkers may use (toilets, drinking taps etc.);

  • Show the public transport links to the trail;

  • From the above data, create a website, and later a book. The development of a smart phone App will also be explored. This interactive website will be useful in keeping the information about the trail up todate; and

  • Develop a promotional strategy for the trail.

More information

For more information, please contact Garry Middle on the link below.