The southern walking tracks in the Permanent Park Preserve (PPP) have been officially re-opened, with immediate effect, meaning the entire PPP is now open in full to managed visitation.
Tracks open are:
- Mt Gower Track
- Goat House Track
- Smoking Tree Ridge
- Boat Harbour
- Mutton Bird Point
- Rocky Run
- Middle Beach
- The Clear Place
- Valley of the Shadows
- Max Nichols
- Kim's Lookout
- Mount Eliza
- North Bay
- Old Gulch
After a further systematic search of the settlement and formal and informal track network in the PPP, no new myrtle rust infection points have been detected. As of Wednesday, 29 March, there were no active spores at known sites.
Successful treatment of known myrtle rust sites, extensive and ongoing monitoring together with establishment of hygiene stations and rigorous protocols have meant that the entire PPP can be safely reopened.
Critical hygiene practices are in place
It is important that the community and visitors work together to consistently and effectively implement the necessary hygiene practices to manage the risks posed by myrtle rust. We thank you for the responsiveness and willingness to help that has been shown.
The LHIB and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff will continue to be located at key track heads during high-traffic times to demonstrate and assist with correct hygiene protocols and provide information to walkers before they set out.
Additional hygiene stations have been set up at frequently visited places, including the airport, liquor store, museum, and community hall.
Continued vigilance is essential
Myrtle rust can be undetectable on infected plants for 10-12 days and spores have a life of up to 3 months. Regular checks for myrtle rust will continue on the island, along with the rapid treatment of any future detected outbreaks. The re-opening protocol includes triggers for review should myrtle rust be detected again, and at one month after re-opening.
We are also working with airlines and travel agents to further enhance biosecurity measures before visitors arrive on the island, to minimise the risk of myrtle rust being transported onto the island in the future.
The reopening of the PPP is a result of the combined effort of the community, visitors, LHIB and NPWS cooperating for the continued protection of the unique values of Lord Howe, and our thanks are extended to everyone involved.
Chief Executive Officer