The Andrews Labor Government is creating a new world-class eco-tourism experience along the Great Ocean Road with a new coastal walking trail to allow visitors to explore from Torquay to Skenes Creek uninterrupted.
Minister for Environment and Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio visited Fairhaven today, to launch the Great Ocean Road Trail Masterplan and release the first look at the new trail route, location and design of new infrastructure.
The Labor Government has invested $25.5 million to plan and construct the trail between Fairhaven and Grey River, with the Federal Government contributing $350,000 for planning through the Geelong City Deal.
The 90-kilometre walking trail will traverse Gadubanud Country along the Otway coast, boasting new breathtaking views from suspension bridges, some spanning over 160 metres as well as camp sites, lookouts, boardwalks, river crossings, carparks, and day visitor areas.
The new trail will provide a full 7-day 6-night hike, day walks, half-day walks and shorter loop trails.
New dedicated walking paths will allow visitors to ‘tread lightly’ and safely, leaving minimal impact as they connect with this environmentally and culturally significant landscape.
The trail will be a drawcard for Victoria, link communities along the coast and support local businesses by encouraging longer stays in the region all year round, including outside traditional holidays.
It’s anticipated the trail will attract more than 70,000 visitors each year and extend the length of stay of over 200,000 people to the region in its first five years and deliver an extra $38 million in visitor expenditure.
The trail masterplan has been shaped by over 12 months of community and stakeholder consultation, with over 3,000 responses received.
The Labor Government is working with the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, Parks Victoria and Eastern Maar to deliver the trail, ensuring it respects and promotes the rich cultural heritage of the area.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023.
For more information visit forestsandreserves.vic.gov.au/initiatives/great-ocean-road-coastal-trail.
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“This new attraction will give visitors more opportunities to enjoy our iconic Great Ocean Road.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This trail will showcase the unique environments, landscape and rich cultural history of the iconic Great Ocean Road and provide a boost for local communities.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Major Events, Tourism and Sport Steve Dimopoulos
“With new walking trails, camping sites, lookouts and suspension bridges, this trail will supercharge eco-tourism for the region and help local businesses all year round by drawing more people to stay longer and explore more.”