Opening up National Parks in Qld

ECO-TOURISM in the Whitsundays got a welcome boost on August 6 as National Parks, Recreation and Sport Minister Steve Dickson officially opened a new mountain biking trail in rainforest south of Airlie Beach.

Minister Dickson said the world famous Whitsunday Great Walk track through the Conway National Park would now function as a 36 kilometre dual walking and biking track, opening up the area to a new recreational activity.

"The Newman Government is committed to unlocking Queensland's national parks for more residents and visitors to enjoy," Mr Dickson said.

"People already come to the Whitsunday region to hike, sail, kayak, and enjoy nature. Now they can add mountain biking to the list of attractions.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has been working extensively with local interest groups and Mountain Bike Australia to ensure the track design was safe and fits environmental requirements.

"When mountain bike tracks are designed and built correctly they should have very minimal impact on the natural environment," he said

Mr Dickson said he was focused on finding similar ways to open up National Parks land for recreational use and eco-tourism opportunities across Queensland.

"In particular I am looking at a proposal to open fire trails and management roads in the majority of Queensland's National Parks to mountain biking and horse-riding.

"Eco-tourism is set to be a major part of our plan for growing the tourism pillar of Queensland's economy, which is why we are working to increase certainty and opportunity for operators across our national park estate."

More information about the Whitsunday Great Walk and camping is available at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.



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