The pilot stage of a 230-kilometre Great Eastern Trail walk along the state's East Coast could be ready for operation as soon as this year, developers say.
The first stretch of the walk would see a 29-kilometre trail laid out between Bicheno and Lagoon Beach near Elephant Pass.
Pilot stage project facilitator Andrew MacGregor said while the Bicheno to Lagoon Beach stage would require little new infrastructure, some of the remaining stages between the trail’s endpoints at Musselroe Bay and Swansea would require more work from developers.
“I think that most of it will be done within say five years,” Mr MacGregor said.
“There are some sections which will be a lot longer than that; there's a couple of really complicated sections that will require a lot of work but that's no reason why people can't start using the trail.”
Mr MacGregor said the trail would be designed to emulate similar walking experiences popular in Europe.
“It's designed so you can have a bushwalk with a pack on and go for long walks, but it's also designed as what’s called a step-on step-off, so that somebody can stay in accommodation overnight somewhere along the trail.
“The next day they can maybe walk to the next accommodation and not have to carry their gear because the accommodation people will forward that through for them.”
Much of the discussion surrounding construction of the trail has involved the maintenance of habitats for endangered and protected species.
Great Eastern Trail working group member Melanie Kelly said developers were particularly mindful of encouraging users of the trail to respect the environment around them.
“The trail is looking at doing beach walking in certain stretches and we have some of the most significant shorebird beaches possibly in Australia,” Ms Kelly said.
“It's absolutely paramount that we look after those really sensitive values, particularly the shorebirds nesting and foraging on the beaches and obviously the Aboriginal heritage values.
“We’ve got to look after what we've got, otherwise you don't really have anything valuable for people to come and see.”
Break O’Day mayor Mick Tucker said he expected the trail would prove popular with tourists.
“Council sees this as a truly unique way to explore our region and we hope it will give Tasmanians and tourists alike a new reason to visit Break O’Day,” Cr Tucker said.