The New South Wales (NSW) government announced it is planning to create Australia’s greatest urban walking trail, encompassing the Harbour foreshore, Barangaroo, and CBD, and including iconic landmarks such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
According to a media release on Tuesday, the “Great Walk” will link major tourist attractions and offer two loops, the first of which is designed to take half a day. The second, a full day’s walk, will extend to Darling Harbour and back past the Chinese Garden of Friendship and Hyde Park.
The government is set to carry out feasibility studies into the project, which will involve developing routes, considering wayfinding options such as signs and maps, and consulting key stakeholders, including the City of Sydney.
Premier Dominic Perrottet highlighted the importance of developing new and innovative ways to improve what may be taken for granted.
“This route has the potential to become the greatest and most iconic urban walk in the country,” he said.
He added that this walk would be appreciated by locals and would be the one walk visitors must do when conditions allow them to return safely to Australian shores.
The NSW government said they would also look into the use of digital platforms as wayfinders, allowing walkers to plan their journey, as well as access key information as they arrive at different sites on the walk.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said this iconic walk along the Harbour foreshore and through the CBD will build on current initiatives to encourage people to enjoy NSW.
“We recently launched our “Renew” advertising campaign to encourage people to reconnect with our great state and developing projects such as the Sydney “Great Walk” fit well alongside other initiatives such as Sydney’s “Longest Lunch” and the six-day “ELEVATE Sydney” celebration to be staged on the Cahill Expressway,” Ayres said.
Beginning on New Year’s Day 2022, this six-day festival will see Sydney’s Cahill Expressway, which overlooks Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour, transformed into a giant stage that will play host to over 180 performing artists, including Tim Minchin, Baker Boy and Marcia Hines.
“We want people to get out and enjoy the best NSW has to offer, and if this encourages more people to visit and enjoy the city in a healthy way, it’s a win-win outcome,” Ayres said.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the “Great Walk” would showcase not only the Harbour and Sydney’s most iconic locations but also incorporate art installations, soundscapes, and enhanced infrastructure.
“We will also look at developing special sections of the walk so that people may do a history component in The Rocks or a dining and eating component through the CBD,” he said.
He added that the walk could also meld with the great work already in progress on the existing Yananurala walk, a City of Sydney initiative in collaboration with First Nations’ representatives that highlights Aboriginal history and culture at locations along the Harbour foreshore.
No dates have been provided on when the “Great Walk” is expected to be completed.