The Wangetti Trail is a proposed trail between Palm Cove and Port Douglas through the World Heritage rainforests of North Queensland. Meandering through the mountains, hikers and mountain bikers will experience the spectacular environment where the rainforest meets the Reef. This unique trail experience is intended to not only obtain global recognition, but also educate the public about cultural heritage and the environment. The project is currently in the business case phase and Bligh Tanner is assisting the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID) with its funding submissions and has been collaborating with trail designers from World Trail, Ecologists from Aurecon, and economists PWC to understand how to deliver the ambitious project.
Bligh Tanner’s team spent one week in the field to review and verify approaches to engineering challenges along the proposed Wangetti Trail, successfully reviewing all six proposed camp sites and the associated access tracks and services for each. Our team collaborated with the local Yirrganydji rangers to understand the cultural significance of the site and learn from traditional knowledge of the area. Based on location, there will be varying levels of service for each campsite; i.e. the more remote campsites may have a lower level of service in terms of water, wastewater, and amenities. Bligh Tanner has provided a range of creative options for each remote area, providing solutions with environmental, social, and economic benefit for the area.
We also inspected the many waterway crossings such as ravines and local seasonal streams, as well as the two major crossings on the trail. Two suspension bridges were proposed to cross significant river systems, and in such remote conditions provided extreme engineering challenges. The first is a 35 m span across a rocky ravine with beautiful swimming holes. This bridge would certainly prove to be one of the hero or ‘instagrammable’ moments which is the vision of the trail. The rocky gully and high-level gorge at this crossing is well-suited to supporting the proposed cable suspension bridge at the currently blazed route, and will be a fantastic addition. The other crossing is far more challenging involving a 100 m wide river estuary over croc infested waters (think Indiana Jones).
Our intrepid explorers returned to Brisbane wiser, sorer and with a greater knowledge and appreciation for the community and the environment. The business case for the trail is being submitted in the near future, and with success, construction is targeted for mid-2019. Bligh Tanner has been extremely thankful and proud to be a part of such a great project and look forward to being a part of future design stages – and we look forward to you, our clients and collaborators, joining us on the trail one day.