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Sturt's Steps Art Trail, Sturt National Park

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by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia. https://www.facebook.com/paula.mcmanus1
Published May 27th 2021
Reintroduction of locally extinct mammals
Wild Deserts in Sturt National Park is now home to its very own Big Things!

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts


While you're on your next Aussie outback adventure, head to Corner Country and stop off at the Sturt National Park to check out the giant marsupial sculptures. Stay for a few days and explore the area and be sure to take a selfie or two with the amazing artworks made from leftover fencing wire.

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts


The wire net fencing was used to create a safe haven for locally extinct mammals such as bilbies, bandicoots and quolls which have been successfully reintroduced to the desert. This innovative project is part of the 'Saving our Species' program and sees the return of mammal species not seen in their natural habitat for over 100 years. The project will reintroduce at least 13 mammal species to three western NSW Parks including:

Greater bilby
Numbat
Brush-tailed bettong
Bridled nail-tail wallaby
Golden bandicoot
Burrowing bettong
Western quoll
Greater stick-nest rat
Western barred bandicoot
Red-tailed phascogale
Crest-tailed mulgara
Plains mouse
Mitchell's hopping mouse

The three parks involved in the project include Sturt National Park, Mallee Cliffs National Park and Pilliga State Conservation Area.

The fence, known as an exclosure, keeps our native species in and keeps the feral predators out. The 50 kilometres of fencing detracts cats, foxes and rabbits which were all introduced by early settlers.

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts


This art trail was commissioned as one component of the "Sturt's Steps" project, proudly funded by the Infrastructure NSW under the Restart NSW program. It's part of a major NSW Government funding boost to Wild Deserts and Milparinka Heritage & Tourism Association for their initiative that retraces the journey of explorer Charles Sturt through his Inland Expedition in 1845. ⁣⁣

During his exploration of western NSW, Sturt recorded the sighting of several small native mammals. These mammals have since disappeared in the wild due to the arrival of white man, agriculture and feral pests. In partnership with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Wild Deserts is working to restore this desert landscape

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts


The Big Bilby can be spotted guarding the NSW, SA and Queensland border at the Cameron Corner gate and The Big Quoll can be seen at the Fort Grey Campground; both were created by Gold Coast artist Ivan Lovatt Sculpture. The biggest of all at 5 metres long and 3 metres high is The Big Bandicoot, by Coonamble artist Brian Campbell Art which is at the Wild Deserts Visitor Area on The Dunes Scenic Drive.⁣⁣

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts


The Sturt's Steps Art Trail touring loop covers approximately 1100 kilometre of sealed and unsealed roads from Broken Hill to Milparinka, Tibooburra and Cameron Corner. At key locations along the Art Trail route, new interpretive sculptures will be constructed, creating an art trail from Broken Hill to Cameron Corner. Several of them will have local indigenous themes.

Go and see them! And when you do, take a selfie and tag the photo so that Wild Deserts can see how much we all love them! Please use the hashtags #BigBilby, #BigQuoll, #BigBandicoot and #WildDeserts

Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park
Sturt's Steps Art Trail Sturt National Park. Photo courtesy Wild Deserts
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Why? Take a drive from Broken Hill and travel on the Sturt's Steps Touring Route and be treated to a unique sight at Cameron Corner - three amazing wire sculptures: the Big Quoll, the Big Bandicoot and the Big Bilby!
Where: Sturt National Park, NSW
Cost: Free
Your Comment
How fabulous, Paula, they are beautifully made!
by Elaine (score: 3|8462) 124 days ago
Now that's art, being able to recognize the subject. I imagine the little ones would love the big ones.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|3114) 124 days ago
These are sensational; who would have thought wire could be so beautiful. Great photos as always Paula.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9028) 65 days ago
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