REGION - One of the Grampians National Park's most popular walks, the MacKenzie River Walk between Zumstein Picnic Area and MacKenzie Falls, has reopened following major flood and fire damage.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith announced the reopening during his visit to the Grampians.
Mr Smith said the $450,000 project was one of the most significant achievements of the Grampians Flood Recovery Program.
"This project is part of the Victorian Coalition Government's $19.7 million flood recovery program and is one of the last to be completed in the Grampians," he said.
"The Mackenzie River Walk is a great example of the outstanding works carried out on a range of visitor facilities throughout the Grampians over the two year recovery program."
Footbridges were replaced at Zumstein Picnic Area and numerous realignments, repairs and upgrades were made to the 3.5 kilometre walking track.
In addition, two new river crossings have been constructed near the base of MacKenzie Falls.
The reopened section of MacKenzie River Walk was closed in late 2005 for safety reasons.
Bushfires a year later further affected the track, while additional flood damage was sustained in 2011.
Mr Smith said the flood recovery work had resulted in the walk being redesigned to provide a better experience for visitors.
"An enormous amount of hard work has been undertaken by Parks Victoria staff in the last six months to oversee the construction of footbridges and rebuild walking tracks in extremely challenging locations," Mr Smith said.
"Between MacKenzie Falls and Fish Falls, the walk now follows the river and gives visitors the opportunity to experience the river at close hand.
"The steep gorge and sheer rock walls rising above the river add to the experience of what is a stunning landscape."
Mr Smith thanked the community for their patience during the recovery period and encouraged visitors to rediscover an area that's been closed for seven years.
For more information on the Grampians National Park, visit www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963.