New outlook for top tourist spots
THERE is no doubt the QAL lookout is high on the list of top spots to visit in Gladstone and with redevelopment work underway it is destined to become even more popular.
The current QAL lookout was built before the plant opening in the early 1960s and over the years a number of small changes have been made and information signs updated, however the site has essentially remained unchanged.
QAL managing director Phil Campbell said that annually 10,000 visitors took the opportunity to view one of the world’s industrial giants from the vantage point.
“The lookout has a long history and for many, it is the first and only impression many visitors have of QAL, so it is a very valuable asset.
“The facility upgrade will provide a fresh outlook of our operations and also reflect the strong future direction for QAL,” Mr Campbell said.
“The main features are three open-air interpretive centres which are interlinked by wheelchair accessible raised boardwalks and paths to provide a whole new experience for visitors.
“In alignment with the commencement of our mine to market tours earlier this year, which combine tours of QAL and Boyne Smelters, a series of interpretive panels will detail the past, present and future story of alumina and aluminium in Gladstone,” Mr Campbell said.
“We look forward to providing the Gladstone region with a new and exciting destination on the tourist trail and particularly encourage locals to revisit and enjoy what the new facility will have to offer.”
With more than 457,000 people visiting Gladstone annually, almost 2800 take advantage of the various industry tours through Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited (GAPDL).
Industry tours have become increasingly popular and in 2009, 1650 people toured QAL through guided tours compared to 700 in 2006.
The lookout is closed for about eight weeks during construction with an opening scheduled for September.
Exact dates for the reopening will be advertised in the local media and the QAL website.
The free weekly industry tours will continue to operate each Friday, departing GAPDL at 9.30am.
For bookings call 4972 4000 or for information about the lookout redevelopment call the hotline 1800 181 110.