Bunbury’s newest nature walk features the highest highs, dragonflies and panoramic views

Craig DuncanBunbury Herald
The view from Maidens Reserve lower walkway.
Camera IconThe view from Maidens Reserve lower walkway. Credit: Craig Duncan

Stretching deep into the Kalgulup Regional Park, at the end of a winding path or a towering staircase, sits one of Bunbury’s newest tourist spots.

Maidens Reserve lookout walk has reopened to the public after a $5 million face lift, making it one of Bunbury’s premier spots to enjoy panoramic views of nature or enjoy an intense workout.

Beginning its renovations last April, the project aimed to make the site more accessible, updating the walkway and adding signage to share the region’s history with visitors.

The newly refurbished entrance to Maidens Reserve.
Camera IconThe newly refurbished entrance to Maidens Reserve. Credit: Craig Duncan

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The project is ahead of schedule, opening unofficially to the public on February 21.

A newly-laid wheelchair accessible track stretches 670 metres around the dune, allowing access to the first of two lookout points.

The first lookout sits 45m high, with the second a colossal 67m above sea level.

Those wanting a more direct route can climb the leg burning 153 steps to reach the summit.

The final stretch of stairs from the lower viewing platform.
Camera IconThe final stretch of stairs from the lower viewing platform. Credit: Craig Duncan

Disability Services Minister and Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he hasn’t yet climbed the newly renovated walkway, but remembers the view from the top is spectacular and will be well worth the climb.

“We have created a unique regional park for the people in Bunbury with Kalgulup, and improving the infrastructure within the park has been an important part of this development,” he said.

“I’m really keen to get up to the wheelchair accessible area to have a look at the infrastructure there and the opportunities for people with varying abilities to enjoy this area too.”

Environment Minister Reece Whitby said he is pleased to see one of Bunbury’s most popular viewing spots reopened.

“This redevelopment was made possible by a $5 million investment from the State Government and complements conservation efforts undertaken as part of Plan for our Parks,” he said.

““Projects like this are a big deal for regional Western Australia, which will benefit from our Government’s investment in and commitment to nature-based tourism.”

The view from atop Maidens Reserve.
Camera IconThe view from atop Maidens Reserve. Credit: Craig Duncan

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson said there are still upgrades to be made to the reserve, such as adding signage, planting more natives and adding additional accessibility measures in the coming weeks.

Once complete the walkway will be jewel on-top of the Kalgulup National Park as a whole.

“Kalgulup is a Noongar word meaning ‘place of fire’,” the spokesperson said.

“Noongar stories, wisdom and lore were shared around campfires, and fire was used for hunting, ceremony and caring for country.”

The two dunes that form the Maidens are the highest point in Bunbury, with one reaching 65m high, and the newly renovated dune sitting 66m above sea level.

“From Noongar people to early seafarers, overland explorers and modern cartographers, the dunes have been a valuable navigational aid and mapping reference,” the spokesperson said.

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