Blue Mountains Climbing Access
by Mick Holton
Blue Mountains Cliffcare reports that negotiations with Rail Services Australia (RSA) have resulted in revised public access to Mt Boyce being along the rail access corridor from Blackheath linking a car park above the cliffs. A three strand fence has been erected between the railway and this access road. RSA advises that climbers should not cross the railway tracks - as has been the conventional access to date.
SRC Mount Boyce Access Update
We have been advised (by Gabriel Fantin, Infrastructure Maintenance Engineer - Rail Services Australia) that climbers can now legally drive to the Mount Boyce climbing area car parks from the Blackheath end of the rail-side access track that begins near the entrance to the Meditation Centre.
Note however, that there is no vehicle access for the general public from the Mount Victoria end of this access track.
RSA has installed a three-strand wire fence between the access track and the rail lines to facilitate climbers' safe access to Mount Boyce. This is in the interests of all concerned and is intended to eliminate the need for climbers to cross the active rail lines by walking in from the tourist area beside the Great Western Highway (the old access route as described in guide books).
Please use this new access opportunity sensibly to ensure it is not withdrawn. Do not cross the active rail lines and at all times keep well clear of the rail tracks and passing trains.
This update was supplied by Kevin Westren, Access Officer - Sydney Rockclimbing Club.
Thanks to Cliffcare and Sydney Rockies for their on-going work with regards to access and conservation of your favourite places.
In the first week of October 2000, the locked gate was reinstalled at the Clarence end of the rail-side access track between Bell's Line of Road and the "cross roads".
This recently developed sport climbing area is situated north of Bells' Line of Road and located within the boundaries of Blue Mountains National Park. The NPWS has inspected the area but has not yet given approval for climbing pending receipt of a satisfactory environmental report. Blue Mountains Cliffcare assisted with the preparation of a Report of Environmental Factors which was lodged in July 2000
The NPWS has imposed a ban on all climbing and abseiling on the Three Sisters from 1st July 2000. A rehabilitation programme is planned and the situation will undergo review during the next five years. Offenders will face a $200 on-the-spot fine and heavier penalties could be applied
Cosmic County has no legal access. Travelling via the SRA road is (and always has been) prohibited and walking-in from the nearest public road would require crossing railway property (even where the rail line passes through a tunnel the easement legally comes to the surface), and although the 'County' cliffs lie on Crown Land there is still the matter of obtaining permission to cross the adjoining private land.
The following summary of the past and present situation provided by Julian Watson on 21 June 2000:
Issues involved with the area were too specific for the previous managers of the area, the Central Tablelands Heritage Trust.
The area was revoked from the CTHT, to become vacant Crown Land.
A Land Assessment was undertaken, which recommended that the area be dedicated as a reserve (values include conservation and recreation).
Head Office is now involved in addressing legal issues. Staff of head office have apparently been to have a look at the site.
The issue is now before the Executive of the Department; Before rededication, they will need to address legal issues (liability, etc).
This may mean that DLWC may need to issue a policy, so that the land dedication can have recommendations which adhere to that policy.
We may be looking at a couple of months or more before an answer is provided from the Department.
Access Issues For Other Climbing Area