Trail through Anglesea Heath opens
PEOPLE can now get up close and personal to the Anglesea Heath section of the Great Otway National Park following the completion of the Yan Wirring Mirr walking trail.
Meaning “walk, listen, look” in the language of Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung, the $100,000 Yan Wirring Mirr trail will take visitors through heathlands considered one of the most floristically diverse in Australia.
About a quarter of the state’s plants can be found in the heathlands, including more than 100 species of orchids.
The 6km trail starts at the Bundjil Mirr Lookout, on Alcoa Boundary Track, which was completed last year as the first visitor facility in the heathlands since the area was incorporated into the Great Otway National Park by the Victorian Government in 2017.
From the lookout visitors can take in sweeping views to the west before following Bald Hills Road and Salt Water Creek through the park and then returning on a loop.
As well as unique flora, the new trail offers visitors a chance to listen and look for the 100 species of native birds and 30 species of mammals that also call the heathlands home.
Parks Victoria delivered the trail and lookout as part of the Anglesea Heath Establishment Project, which received Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning funding of $2.2 million to ensure the heathlands are protected and enjoyed by the community.
As well as bushwalking, the 6,500-hectare heathlands provide the local community and visitors with opportunities for nature appreciation, mountain biking, horse riding and four-wheel driving.
Planning is also under way for a new campground and visitor facilities in this section of the park.
“It’s wonderful to see this unique section of the Great Otway National Park become more accessible for visitors thanks to funding from the Victorian Government,” Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said.
“The new track and the other facilities planned for the heath are yet another reason for people to come and enjoy everything the Surf Coast has to offer.”
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the intention of incorporating the heathlands into the Great Otway National Park was to protect a beautiful area from inappropriate development.
“This trail showcases why that was so important.
“The Anglesea heathlands are home to many native species and our investment here ensures the natural heritage of this special area is preserved while allowing people to experience their beauty.”