Concrete boardwalks give tourists a new experience of Uluru

Posted: March 15, 2010

Visitors to a new viewing area at Uluru will watch the sun rise from platforms constructed from the Rocla PermaTrak concrete boardwalk system.

The viewing platform is the largest item of infrastructure in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory. The $21 million development includes new car and coach parking areas, shade shelters, toilets, 11 kilometres of new roads, 1600 metres of walking tracks and two large viewing platforms.

More than 300,000 tourists visit the area each year, contributing an estimated $400 million to the Australian economy. Visitor numbers had outgrown the old parking and viewing area.

The new Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area is landscaped into dunes approximately three kilometres to the south-east of Uluru, in a section of the park previously closed to the public.

The platforms are set into the top of the dunes, giving visitors an elevated view of the famous monoliths: The location of the platforms allows tourists to see both Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) and Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) and capture both icons in a single panorama.

The pathways leading to the platforms and looping back to the parking areas are compounded of laterite with a small amount of concrete, to match the surrounding red soil. Small edge restraints on the path discourage visitors from wandering off and disturbing the dune vegetation.

The two concrete boardwalk platforms, situated about 70m apart, are mounted on steel sub-structures varying in height from ground level to 1.5m.

Rocla manufactured the PermaTrak treads with a red oxide admixture specified by the architects and designed to integrate with the landscape.

The PermaTrak reinforced concrete boardwalk system was specified by Jackman Gooden Architects (NT) for its durability, low maintenance and integral finish. The system was installed by ProBuild (NT).

The new viewing area was officially opened in October by the Anangu traditional owners and the Federal Minister for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon. Peter Garrett.

“The traditional owners were involved in choosing the site,” Mr Garrett said.

“They want these visitors to come here, to feel the spirit of the country, to enjoy the wonderful landscapes and to learn more about them and their culture.”

(Taken from Rocla – November 2009)

Topics: Boardwalk Materials, Boardwalk Design