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Atherton hiking and biking trails win achievement award for QPWS

Atherton hiking and biking trails win achievement award for QPWS
November 4, 2015

Atherton, one of Queensland’s best destinations for bushwalking and mountain biking, has received statewide recognition after its trail networks won at the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF) Awards in Brisbane last week.

The Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park (AFMBP) and Mt Baldy walking trails won the QORF Government Achievement Award for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), which was a joint winner in that category with Ipswich City Council.

National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles congratulated QPWS rangers and Atherton community on the recognition for Herberton Range’s world-class mountain-biking and hiking trail network that now draws thousands of visitors, including many internationals, each year.

Dr Miles stated “these networks demonstrate the QPWS commitment to providing a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities for the community, while protecting the natural and cultural values of the environment.

“The 60 kilometre mountain-biking network through tall forest has been professionally built to international standards, it attracts international competitions – which of course introduces thousands of visitors to the beautiful Atherton Tableland, and brings benefits for the economy.”

QPWS Principal Ranger Andrew Millerd said the Government Achievement award and a further nomination in the Outdoor Places and Spaces category for these projects were tributes to the group effort involved in building and maintaining the AFMBP network.

Millerd added “QPWS developed a partnership with the Tablelands Outdoor Recreation Association (TORA) to help establish clear objectives for trail development.

“Subsequent partnerships were established with the local community, local council, industry experts, trail-building consultants and, most significantly, with Tablelands Cycle Sports (TCS) for ongoing trail maintenance.

“Five years and $1.3 million later, we have trails that provide opportunities for riders of all backgrounds and abilities, and are attracting riders from all over the world.

“We worked hard to get the information and signs right, and ours are considered the new benchmark for mountain biking signage.

 “The Mount Baldy walking track complements the AFMBP. Since 2009, we’ve seen bushwalker numbers increase more than five-fold. The increased use and interest from local community led us to upgrade and extend walking tracks in the Baldy Mountain Forest Reserve, with 4 kilometres added to the tracks.

“The Atherton area now attracts more than 10,000 bushwalkers a year and the numbers are steadily increasing.

“Atherton is now a top destination for outdoor recreation. Local business operators are already seeing benefits from these projects as mountain biking continues to grow as a sport worldwide. These benefits are expected to increase as visitors stay to experience and enjoy the mountain-biking and walking networks.”

Held on Friday 30th October 30th at Riverlife Brisbane, the QORF Awards  recognised excellence, commitment and dedication to outdoor recreation.

The full list of Award winners included: 

• The Queensland Government Award for Encouraging Participation in Outdoor Recreation - Cycling Brisbane
• The K2 Basecamp Encouragement Award - Jemima Michell
• The Riverlife Award for Excellence in Outdoor Instruction and Education - PCYC State Youth Leadership Program
• The Brisbane City Council Outstanding Achievement Award (Organisation) - South Passage
• The Queensland Government Environmental Award - Healthy Waterways
• The Brisbane City Council Outdoor Event Award - Grin ‘n’ Bear It Challenge
• The QORF Government Achievement Award - Ipswich City Council & Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service
• The Queensland Government Outstanding Achievement Award (Individual) - Damien Boicos
• The Nature Play QLD Award - Natureweavers
• The QORF Award for Outdoor Places and Spaces - Queensland Moto Park

Former QORF Chief Executive Donna Little was made a Life Member of the Federation, joining a select group of long time QORF supporters.

As Chief Executive of QORF between 2008 and 2013, Little was acknowledged for being “tireless in her pursuit of opportunities to increase participation in outdoor recreation for all Queenslanders.”

For more information on QORF and its awards go to www.qorf.org.au

Trail files for riders and the mountain-biking tourism industry are available at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/herberton-range/mountain-bike.html

Images: Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park (top, courtesy of Damien Breach Photography) and QPWS Rangers Andrew Millerd and Michael Overland with the QPWS' QORF Award (below).

2nd October 2015 - OUTDOOR RECREATION STAKEHOLDERS TO CREATE FIRST NATIONAL SET OF OUTDOOR SAFETY STANDARDS

23rd June 2015 - QORF EVENT TO EXPLORE FUTURE OF YOUTH CAMPING AND OUTDOOR RECREATION

15th June 2015 - FUTURE OF CAIRNS IRONMAN LOOKS ASSURED 

13th May 2015 - CAIRNS’ INDIGENOUS TOURISM ICON RE-LAUNCHED AFTER $13 MILLION UPGRADE

13th January 2014 - QUEENSLAND NATIONAL PARK ECOTOURISM PROPOSALS MOVE TO NEXT STAGE

12th September 2013 - QUEENSLAND ECOTOURISM PLAN RELEASED

21st September 2012 - MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS FOR HERBERTON RANGE STATE FOREST 


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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