A visitor ‘gateway hub’ is the jewel in the crown of a draft master plan for the Freycinet Peninsula.
The hub aims to take parking pressure off the Wineglass Bay trail head and ‘serve as an anchor point’ for a new transportation strategy for visitors to the national park.
“The visitor gateway hub will serve as the point of connection between visitor arrival, Coles Bay and the Freycinet National Park,” the plan read.
“It aims to provide solutions to the parking pressures at the Wineglass Bay trail head, as well as to assist in resolving parking within the township.
“It will also provide a single interface for visitors, to obtain the information they need regarding experiencing the Freycinet Peninsula, including accommodation options, places to eat, and things to do.”
The draft Freycinet Peninsula master plan was released for public comment on Saturday, which outlines the vision of the popular tourist spot for the next 20 years.
Other initiatives in the plan include: a transportation strategy, improved sewerage and experience nodes’ that improve existing infrastructure.
A new visitor gateway hub is the primary initiative underpinning the master plan. The hub will serve as the point of connection between visitor arrival, Coles Bay and the Freycinet National Park: functioning as the anchor point for the new transportation strategy. It aims to provide solutions to the parking pressures at the Wineglass Bay trail head, as well as assist in resolving parking within the township. It will also provide a single interface for visitors, to obtain the information they need regarding experiencing the Freycinet Peninsula, including accommodation options, places to eat, and things to do.
A new network of transport connections will be the foundation of the new transport strategy. The master plan moves away from traditional road and car connections. The new system will operate from the visitor gateway hub. It will comprise of a new shuttle bus system moving people in and out of the national park, supported by a boat transport system. There will also be new shared-use trails to provide walking and cycling options. The pedestrian connections promote walking to nodes within the town and will assist in addressing local level traffic issues. Importantly the transport connections will also be experiences, so that when integrated with experience nodes, journeys are created and stories revealed.
Nodes will be used to enhance the visitor experience and support the transport strategy. The ‘experience nodes’ will primarily be existing nodes at which infrastructure and service improvements are proposed, including upgrades to facilities and new interpretation. Two new experience nodes at Moulting Lagoon and Honeymoon Bay are planned to achieve the concept of a visitor journey through the Freycinet Peninsula.
A staged approach to rolling out improved sewerage infrastructure in the Freycinet Peninsula will be carried out. The most pressing issues will be resolved quickly to ensure there is a significant improvement in the visitor experience and improve the environmental impacts on the national parks and fisheries.
Visitors to the area has increased from 186,000 in 2011-12 to 301,000 in 2017-18. It is anticipated this could increase to as many as 330,000 visitors per year by 2022. Glamorgan Spring Bay deputy mayor Cheryl Arnol said residents and community groups had consistently raised issues about infrastructure and the impact tourists have had on the area, particularly at Coles Bay.
She said all councillors had been eagerly awaiting the plan’s release to see what plan the state government had for the area, but she hadn’t had the chance to read it thoroughly.
Glamorgan Spring Bay was one of a number of stakeholders who participated in the formulation of the plan.
Premier and Tourism Minister Will Hodgman said the draft Freycinet Peninsula master plan was developed by the state government in consultation with stakeholders such as the council, East Coast Tourism, the Freycinet Association and the Freycinet Destination Action Group.
Mr Hodgman said the plan aimed to “protect and manage the values that make the Freycinet Peninsula special for both visitors and locals”.
“Freycinet is one of Tasmania’s premier tourism hotspots, with locals and visitors flocking to the area to experience the region’s stunning natural beauty,” he said.
The draft master plan is available for public comment until July 23.