When a club wins a $356,000 grant from the Murray Darling Basin Authority to repair, replace and refurbish its Cliff Top Walk, it knows it has long-term credibility for doing good in its community.
The Cliff Top Walk project was started in 1988 by the Rotary Club of Waikerie and was completed as a Waikerie Centenary Project in 1994, to mark the centenary of the town itself. The original path came about in 1894 as a walking route of the pioneers connecting the settlements of Holder and Waikerie.
This two-kilometre walk stretches eastwards from the Waikerie Ferry through the pumping station grounds to the lookout, and then along the picturesque clifftop. The height of the cliffs gives a fantastic view over the River Murray and the meandering floodplain. River floods are now not as frequent, but high river activity is still evident in a complex of terraces, hollows, wetlands, billabongs, backwaters and anabranches.
“When a club wins a $356,000 grant from the Murray Darling Basin Authority to repair, replace and refurbish its Cliff Top Walk, it knows it has long-term credibility for doing good in its community. “
In early 2020 the club, with the support of the Loxton-Waikerie Council, decided it needed to refurbish what is one of the major tourist attractions in the town. In a modest beginning, the club and the council shared a 50/50 split for the cost of new signage on the walk, with Rotary volunteers designing and installing the new and more detailed signage.
Members of the club then prepared a detailed report on the entire walk, with suggested upgrades and repairs, to a meeting of the Loxton-Waikerie Council. The entire Council supported the presentation and, having knowledge of the Federal Government Grants Program, facilitated a grant writer to apply for funding for the project. The club was duly rewarded with a successful application outcome.
The club is busy not only repairing the track itself and installing safety features; it is also adding steps, renewing a bridge, extra seats and lookout viewing areas. It has also decided to construct a specific viewing area designed for disability access.
The club expects to complete the works within 12 months, so it is a major project this year. Project Manager Graeme Thompson and a small management team oversee the work. Assisting with the project are Waikerie Community members and Cadell Training Centre volunteers.