Gilbraltar Peak Trail
The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is part of the Australian Alps National Park system located within the Greater Eastern Ranges along the Australian east coast.
By providing access to Gibraltar Rocks, the Gibraltar Peak Trail will make it an iconic and significant tourist destination in the region. The ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher officially opened the Gibraltar Peak Trail on 15 April 2012.
The most outstanding construction feature of this project is the trail itself. Apart from creating a route from the base to the upper reaches of Gibraltar Rocks, the trail has been designed and constructed in a way that takes the end user on a journey of discovery, showing new views and aspects and highlighting features that had not been seen before the trail was constructed.
As well as the aesthetics of the trail and the interesting natural features it uncovers, the trail tread itself was built on the native fragile sandy/granite soils that are not ideal for natural surface trail construction. The poor soil condition had been exacerbated by the 2003 bushfires that ravaged the Tidbinbilla Valley and surrounding areas. In early March 2012 Tidbinbilla received nearly 300mm of rain in a week, washing out roads, destroying bridges and tainting the landscape. Through all of this the trails Makin Trax designed and constructed at Gibraltar Rocks suffered very minimal damage and that was only to the areas that had been freshly built. This is a remarkable result for a natural surface trail built on poor soil. The sole reason for this result is the robustness of the Makin Trax track building system.
In addition to the original scope of works Makin Trax saw an opportunity to further enhance the significance of the trail by uncovering an area ideal for a man made platform to take in the view. This outstanding construction feature presented many technical difficulties (and included heli-lifting materials up to Gibraltar Rocks) but has added an incalculable value to the outcome of the overall trail. This is the jewel in the crown!
Another outstanding construction feature is a picnic table at the midpoint of the trail. Makin Trax designed and crafted this by hand, incorporating a large slab of local timber, mounted on a hand selected Mallee root. Makin Trax also took the opportunity to hand select some logs which were remnants of the tree replacement program in the ACT to craft some bespoke seating for the picnic table and trail side benches.