Victoria Is Set to Score New Coastal Walking Tracks, Campsites and a Hot Springs Resort
They'll be funded through a $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package as part of the 2020–21 State Budget.
The Victorian Government isn't set to deliver the 2020–21 State Budget until Tuesday, November 24, but it has been revealing some of its details and funding plans in the lead up to that date. And, as the announcement of $200 vouchers for regional getaways made clear, it's focusing on getting Victorians to explore their own backyard — and the entire state — in a big way now that this year's two period of lockdown have come to an end.
Also already revealed as part of the budget: a heap of cash directed towards projects in regional areas that Melburnians will want to visit. If you like moseying along the coast, camping by the water and heading to a hot springs resort — another one, in addition to Peninsula Hot Springs — then you're in luck.
For folks keen to hit up the Great Ocean Road, that area of the state is set to receive $47.5 million in funding. From that money, $23.8 million will be used to build a coastal walking trail that meanders by the sea and through the hinterland, spanning from Fairhaven to Grey River. It'll extend the existing Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail, and will include up to five new swing suspension bridges with impressive views of the Surf Coast. Around $2 million will go towards creating more campsites along the Surf Coast, too, while $18.3 million is earmarked for upgrading visitor facilities and infrastructure in the area, like toilets, viewing platforms, trails, beach access and car parking — and installing free public wi-fi.
In the Gippsland region, $18.5 million is being set aside for a number of projects — including several places to spend a hefty amount of time. Over at the Cape Conran Coastal Park, $3.5 million will go to building ten eco-pods to stay in, all from sustainable materials. Next, $1.5 million will be spent on Metung Hot Springs, to create a new year-round geothermal mineral spring that can welcome 250 guests. And, another $1 million is destined for the proposed Nunduk Spa and Eco-Resort at Lake Wellington.
The Gippsland funding will also use $3.5 million to restore the timber trestle Snowy Rail Bridge so it can be used safely by pedestrians and cyclists, plus $2 million for additional camping spots in East Gippsland. Another $2.8 million will go towards making Mallacoota Inlet easier to access, and $3.85 million to do the same for the Point Hicks Lighthouse, with $350,000 earmarked for expanding the Raymond Island koala trail.
From an overall Victorian Tourism Recovery Package clocking in at $465 million, cash will also be allocated to a range of other areas — including the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing hiking trail, the Grampians Peak Trail, Mackenzie Falls, the Murray River Adventure Trail, Wilsons Promontory, the Mallee Silo Art Trail and the new National Centre for Photography in Ballarat. For wine-lovers, the funds will also be used to help expand the Prosecco Road winery district, and to establish accommodation at Dal Zotto Wines.
Exact timing around all of the above hasn't been announced — and it's a hefty list, so it's safe to say it won't all happen quickly. Still, if you didn't already have a sizeable number of places to visit across the state, you will in the future.
For more information about the Victorian Tourism Recovery Package, read the Victorian Government announcement.
Top image: Great Ocean Road, Visit Victoria
Published on November 21, 2020 by Sarah Ward