Protecting natural and cultural values
Heritage-listed for its biodiversity and home to about 90 per cent of the Aboriginal rock art in Victoria, the Grampians National Park was established to protect environmental and cultural values of national importance.
To protect these natural and cultural values in the national park, activities including camping, abseiling and rock-climbing aren’t permitted within some highly sensitive areas called Special Protection Areas, with the exception of a current exemption for existing licensed tour operators that offer rock climbing and abseiling at Summerday Valley in the Grampians National Park until 31 March 2020.
What are Special Protection Areas?
Special Protection Areas are places that are particularly special or are at significant risk. This could be because it is a protected Aboriginal site, or have a threatened species of plant or animal that is vulnerable to human activity. These geographical areas protect specific natural or cultural sites where special management focus is required.
The Grampians National Park Management Plan outlines Special Protection Areas that cover 33 per cent of the park and have been in place since 2003. Page 11 of the Grampians National Park Management Plan outlines activities that can take place in Special Protection Areas, including bushwalking and picnicking.
To protect these areas of significance and ensure they are preserved, some recreational activities are not permitted within their boundaries, such as trail bike riding or hunting.
Can I go abseiling or rock climbing in a Special Protection Area?
No, with the exception of a current exemption for existing licensed tour operators that offer rock climbing and abseiling at Summerday Valley in the Grampians National Park until 31 March 2020.
Are Licensed Tour Operators permitted to operate in Special Protection Areas?
No, with the exception of a current exemption for existing licensed tour operators that offer rock climbing and abseiling at Summerday Valley in the Grampians National Park.
These operators have been issued a variation to their existing licences for three months, providing strictly conditional authorisation to continue undertaking their activities in three designated areas – Barc Cliff, Back Wall and a section of Wall of Fools – within Summerday Valley until 31 March 2020.
There are no other exemptions to the existing restrictions within other Special Protection Areas in the Grampians National Park.
Parks Victoria is building the Grampians Peaks Trail in the national park – is this damaging rock art sites and the environment?
The alignment of the track has been mapped out in partnership with Traditional Owners and conservation scientists, and complies with all necessary environmental and cultural heritage assessments.