Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion
Stokes’ Campground And Day Use Area Officially Opened
Victor P Taffa
Redevelopments totalling $800,000 have been completed at the Benwenerup Campground and Stokes Inlet day use area, providing world-class recreational facilities.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion yesterday officially opened the new visitor facilities. These replaced old structures which were destroyed by bushfire in 2006 and a storm flood the following year.
“The State Government is committed to ensuring visitor and recreation facilities in our parks and reserves are of the highest standard for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” Mr. Marmion said.
“The new works in Stokes National Park include 6 km of improvements to Stokes Inlet Road, including access to the inlet, several cement causeways and a new entry station and interpretation shelter.”
“At Benwenerup campground, there is now access for people with disabilities; 14 new camping bays with several large group sites; four waterless toilets; two camp kitchens equipped with sinks and barbecues; a viewing deck; and a new interpretation shelter.” Mr. Marmion said.
“The rebuilt Stokes Inlet day use area also has universal access; extended car parking for long vehicles (including boat trailers); three unisex waterless toilets; two day use kitchens with sinks and barbecues; a staircase to a viewing platform; and new on-site interpretation material.”
“The 4 km Stokes Inlet walk trail has also been resurfaced and is suitable for assisted wheelchair access.” Mr. Marmion said.
“The trail includes three new viewing decks overlooking Stokes Inlet with several new interpretive plaques providing information on native plants, animals and geology. Indigenous and European history will be added soon.” Mr. Marmion said.
Stokes National Park extends over 10,660 ha, 80 km west of Esperance.
The inlet, the largest and deepest of a number of estuaries around Esperance, is isolated from the sea by a sandbar that only breaks every few years.
It is popular for camping, fishing, bird watching and wildflower spotting.
The rebuilding was undertaken by Department of Environment and Conservation crews from Esperance and its south-west forest areas; traditional Aboriginal custodians of the area Esperance Nyungars; South Coast Natural Resource Management; and local contractors and suppliers.