Monday, August 19, 2013

Australian Walking Track Grading System

Mike has shared with me a great resource on track grading.
Here is a small excerpt and a link to the original page.

It has an excel spreadsheet that grades trails and tells you how to promote them.
Example photo below.

Background to the Australian Walking Track Grading System
The Australian Walking Track Grading System is a technique for uniformly grading walking tracks and communicating that grade to the walking public. 

The aim of the Australian Walking Track Grading System is to encourage people who are not regular or confident bushwalkers to get out there and give it a go. It is specifically designed to reassure entry level walkers, particularly the disabled or people walking with children, that a particular track is suitable for their skill level.

Under the new system, walking trails are graded on a difficulty scale from grades one to five.

  • Grade One is suitable for the disabled with assistance
  • Grade Two is suitable for families with young children
  • Grade Three is recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
  • Grade Four is recommended for experienced bushwalkers, and
  • Grade Five is recommended for very experienced bushwalkers

Friday, August 2, 2013

Whale Watching Platform Design

We have an opportunity to put our final design concept directly to the TSC Construction Planning team at a site meeting. Interested parties are welcome.

Appointment on Norries Headland
It was resolved at our last meeting to prepare a written brief as an adjunct to Dan Plummer's Concept plan.
The NSW Govt grant matched by TSC work and project management means about two thirds of the plan may be affordable.
Our brief is couched in generic terms so that management of labour coordination, materials handling and protection of the environment is left to those best able ensure the best outcome.
1 AMENITY Build a low level terrace / deck of minimal visual impact. No hand rails.
2 SAFETY Minimize trip hazards and height of deck. Visitors will include small children and elderly.
3 SUSTAINABLE Balance of amenity, cost, durability,
future maintenance.
4 FUNCTION Anticipate the movement of people at this lookout. eg lead additional visitors around (behind) those already seated. Best views are to the east and south so try to pitch seating to different quadrants of this panorama. Provide comfortable seats. Anticipate that some visitors will want to venture further than the platform.
Interpretive signage may inform visitors of Whale Migration also of Major Landmarks-Cape Byron, Hastings Point, Woolumbin - Mt Warning, Kingscliff 
5 RESPECT  and ensure the beauty of this point,its natural wild exposed ruggedness is not spoilt.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Minutes of Meting 9th July 2013

Attendees: Faye, Anthony, Mike
Apologies : Luke, Ron, Elaine
                 I (Mike) would also apologise for the limited notice of meeting.
                 I have added more names from the original group of interested people
                 for future notices.
Discussions 1 Thank you to Ant and Luke for driving the activity of the
                        group over the past year.
                     2 Update re Whale watching platform. Community Building Grant
                       was successful and funds have arrived into Caba SLSC account.
                       TSC Rod Keevers has conducted an inspection of the site to assess the potential environmental impacts. He feels the themeda grasses impacted can be managed in the site works. Our group will be included in a further site visit/ discussion of DA.
ACTION mike to advise group of date and time of that meeting. Mike also to prepare a description of the design concept that our group had agreed upon.
                       3 Faye advised that Dunecare have allowed for one of the signs they are having made to be dedicated to the Whale migration information. Faye said she will ask Suzi to do a mock up of a concept and forward that to us for comment/ input.
                       4 Destination Tweed and TSC are collaborating on assessing Recreational Trails. Several press reports suggest Bill Tatchell and Barry Longland are key drivers for this report. ACTION mike to contact Destination Tweed .
                       5 Networking ACTION Ant to explore connections with Pony Club and Mountain Bike Groups . Mike to attend the CEDC meetings.
                       6 Refocussing. The group has been distracted by the Whale Watching Platform. Resolved to recommence the auditing of our priority trails.

Monday, June 24, 2013

$30,000 study into Tweed Trails

Just saw in the council minutes of a motion that might help us / lead to more people using trails around Caba.

CNL-13 [NOM-Cr B Longland] Walking Trails Within the Tweed Shire

Councillor B Longland moves that Council provides $5,000 towards the cost of completing a
study and report on opportunities for the expansion of walking trails in the Tweed Shire, with the project to be managed by Destination Tweed.

With the current closure of a number of the Tweed's walking trails, including the Mount
Warning Track, and the impact this is having on local business, it is timely to review the
region's ability and capacity to position itself as a centre for soft adventure tourism.
A study on the trails; what we have, what we can do and what needs to be done, will greatly assist in
our understanding of our current position and inventory, as well as providing the rationale
and supporting documentation for grant funding applications.

The cost of a study and report is estimated by Destination Tweed (DT) to be $30,000, with funding of $15,000 from Destination Tweed and $10,000 from the Caldera Institute.

Council Meeting Date: Thursday 16 May 2013
Page 26

This project will support the development of longer term product diversity which will both
provide the region with a point of difference and assist in developing economic opportunities
for local business.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Concerns over size of the size and construction of the Whale Watching platform

Hello Everyone
Kieran has asked for some more feedback on the points that he raises below.
Can you please leave a comment below as to what you think of this.
I'll add mine in a minute.
From: kierankinney 
Subject: Re: boardwalk plans
Date: 10 May 2013 5:34:21 PM AEST
To: bodhi aldridge 

thanks very much for that Nick.

My initial reaction to this plan, though it is professional and appears attractive, is that it is an overdevelopment of the site. In launching the idea initially I was really only interested in tidying up that first area as you arrive on the site and provide a zone for people to stop ,sit and hopefully choose to go no further.This zone measures about 15m beyond the last bit of boardwalk. (lets call it the scuzzy area!) I envisaged a boardwalk and seating there.The existing plans looks great for that area! I like it very much. 

The rest of the site, should, in my mind, remain informal. This east facing bluff of the headland is actually a rather small site, very wild and wooly, I would want to retain that wildness, that essence. In short I think the plan, in its current form, is an overdevelopment of the site and rather heavy handed.

The headland is under enormous pressure from visitation...The provision of comfort seating at the 'arrival' zone will actually go a long way to reducing trampling and erosion, as many people, i believe, will choose to rest here and go no further. That is really an important consideration. 

An alternative to boardwalking large slabs of the bluff is to formalise track ways on that eastern bluff with discreet and subtle use of stone flagging... large beautiful slabs of stone (sourced locally) placed with great finesse and design into the landscape to guide people away from certain areas and help reduce the erosion and trampling of vegetation.

Dont get me wrong..I love extensive boardwalks..but this site is very small and full of subtle beauty underfoot, this will be lost i think, with such a large development.

When visiting europe many years ago i noticed the organic way old cultures have formalised ancient trackways in wild places...invariably using local stone flagging and steps.. Stunning and beautiful. Yes there are logistical issues and cost issues. I will admit that. But we can start small.

Any way... thats another discussion. I thoroughly like the plan for the first 15 metres ,then it loses me after that I'm afraid.I'd advocate limiting the boardwalk structure to that first 15m. I'm keen to hear any opinions and open up discussion if people feel strongly either way.I have included a few pics that go some way to illustrating my ideas about stone flagging. 

best wishes, kieran

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Opinion / Support Request from Cabarita Beach /Bogangar Residents' Association

Hi everyone.

I just received the message below from Suzi asking for our opinion on signage topic, plus help to gather pictures and text that would be displayed.

In my opinion I'd like one of the signs to be a map of the walking trails in the area to be on display in the Pandanus precinct. I'd also like some historical information on the village and surrounds.

Can you please respond with what topics you think would be interesting and if you are available to help design the signs?


Dear Anthony

As you know our association has received funding to design, in conjunction with Tweed Shire Council and Cabarita Dune Care, 20 signs on the Caba beach area - particularly Cabarita Hill and the park there.  6 will be large (the same size as the current Rocky Shores one) and 14 will be small A5 size.

We are seeking input (and approval) for our ideas.

I've asked Patrick about this one
One of the large ones  we thought would be valuable would explain Coastal Processes - particularly Dunes and rips.

I am asking for your opinion on this, and, if you or someone from the club would like to collaborate with us on the information gathered for the sign.

What do you Anthony and the Trails group think?

The other large ones  would be 
1. Flora in the area (including pandanus, banksia, Nodding orchid, Calitris Pines)
2. Fauna in the area (inlcuding Glossie Black cocokatoos, Microbats, Reptiles, Bandicoots, Green se Turtles, Brahminy Kite)
3. Whales (placed on the cliff top after the new boardwalk is extended.)
4. The Littoral Rainforest sign would be reproduced and we would get 2 - one for main beach entrance and one for Cabarita Hill.

The small ones would identify specific Bush Tucker plants on the track to Goanna Track.

So Anthony and group - do these topics for signs seem a good idea to you?  
We have said in our application we would liaise with groups in Caba - however we feel very happy steaming ahead with Dune Care.

Is there anyone reliable & competent you can think of who would be good to liaise with to gather pictures and wording?  

Looking forward to hearing your response. 


Suzi Bourke
Secretary CBBRA
  ph   0417349274

Cabarita Beach /Bogangar Residents' Association inc.
President: Neil Moores  Vice President: Terry Kane
Secretary: Suzi Bourke   Treasurer: Melissa Jones
Correspondence: PO 2095, Kingscliff. 2487.
Email:     Web:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bird Spotters Wanted

A few of us might like to help with this initiative?

I regularly see the cockatoo birds with yellow tips and tails in the heath behind Ti-Tree Ave, but think it's only spring and summer they are here. They eat the flowers in our silky oak and neighbours gum.

I've also seen the ones with the red under their wings down at the Hastings end of the land behind the beach. Near the lagoon with disused picnic tables.

Which of the birds have you seen?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Whale Watching Platform Grant Approved

Letterhead - Premier.jpg

PO BOX 152

Dear Applicant

I write to advise you and offer my congratulations on your organisation’s successful application, number CBPP-6291-15857-12-13 for NORRIES HEADLAND WHALE WATCHING PLATFORM in the 2012 NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program (CBP).

The NSW Government is committed to renovating infrastructure and strengthening our local environment and communities.

Renovating our infrastructure is central to achieving economic growth.  The right infrastructure, in the right places, not only boosts productivity and competitiveness, but makes a difference to people’s quality of life.  The NSW Government trusts and encourages local energy, innovation and ownership and work to strengthen community relationships.

Shortly NSW Government officers will be in contact with you to resolve any outstanding issues and if satisfactory a draft contract offer will be forwarded to you by the end of April for funding of $16,289 for your organisation.

I wish you every success with your project which I am sure will provide improved local infrastructure for the benefit of your community.

Yours sincerely


Barry O’Farrell MP

Friday, April 12, 2013

Minutes of Meeting April 11

Present: Luke, Ron, Anthony, Graeme
By Proxy: Mike, Faye, Elaine

Purpose of meeting was to elect the new leader.

Mike won unopposed and has full support of everyone for the 12 month tenure from June 1st.

(Mike is overseas till then.)

Concerns raised about clearing land 10 meters wide alongside the power lines.
Need to find out more about this.

Anthony & Luke will progress relationship building and networking with Tweed Tourism till Mike takes over.

Action: Anthony to arrange a meeting with Anne Duke. (Sent message this morning)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meeting Tuesday 26 March 2013

Attending :
Luke Porter (L)
Ron Hankin
Elaine Hankin
Nick Aldridge
Anthony Idle

Just a quick meeting to discuss possible funding and working with Tweed Tourism to get the trails maps published.

Main issue to be addressed by group is leadership for next 12 months to achieve the above.

Will be a meeting at 6.30 pm Thursday 11 April at the Surf Club to discuss further.