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Queensland Government plans for eco project west of the Gold Coast

Queensland Government plans for eco project west of the Gold Coast
January 31, 2020

Queensland Government plans for eco project west of the Gold Coast

The Queensland Government has partnered with Spicer’s Retreat to build a large ecotourism project west of the Gold Coast. The state government has contributed $2.5 million to support the $10 million project to open the Scenic Rim Trail for a long range six-day, five-night walking experience.

Each tour of around 12 guided walkers will hike to a new location each day and stay overnight in two new low-impact sustainable eco-camps within the Main Range National Park and three existing sites adjacent to the national park at Spicers Hidden Vale Retreat, Mt Mistake Farmhouse and Hidden Peaks Cabins.

As part of the project, Spicers Retreat will partner with the government to build two new eco-camps at the Main Range National Park. The key infrastructure, to be supported through the government’s Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund, includes the Amphitheatre Eco-camp and the Timber Getters Eco-camp within the Main Range National Park.

Each site will include modular prefabricated buildings with connecting raised walkways and supporting infrastructure including water tanks, solar energy and low amber lights to minimise nocturnal animal disruption.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said once it was finished, the Scenic Rim Trail in southeast Queensland’s high country would be one of the ‘Great Walks of Australia’.

Minister Jones noted “Eco and adventure tourism is a booming global market – it makes sense for Queensland to be a world leader in this space.”

Minister Jones expects the expanded walk to attract an extra 1300 tourists a year and pump an extra $5 million into the local economy adding that the trail “will include more than 27 kilometres of new public walking trails – making the entire walk more than 50 kilometres long.

“It will run from Thornton Trailhead to Spicers Peak Nature Refuge, within and adjacent to the Main Range National Park and the Gondwana Rainforests of the Australia World Heritage Area.”

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has issued authorities allowing for construction of the facilities and this follows approval from the Australian Government in July 2019.

DES has worked with the proponent to develop plans to ensure that the Park’s natural and cultural heritage values are protected, and the proposal is ecologically sustainable.

Spicers Retreats and Spicers Scenic Rim Trail founder Jude Turner welcomed the State Government’s funding commitment with Turner noting “having grown up in this region, my passion has always been to share it with others.

“The Queensland Government has supported ecotourism and the opportunity to share our incredible natural assets, as well as create local jobs and support the regional economy.”

Work on the project is under way and is expected to be completed in time for the first guided walkers in mid-2020.

Image of Main Range National Parjk courtesy of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science

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28th November 2017 - Ecotourism leaders gather in Adelaide

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20th June 2017 - Luxury ecotourism development approved for Christmas Island

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16th December 2015 - Valley Of The Giants Tree Top Walk achieves Advanced Ecotourism Certification

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23rd July 2015 - Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification Gains Global Approval

2nd May 2015 - Ecotourism in Protected Areas the focus of Myanmar conference

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