Is Ben Lomond Tasmania’s next multi-day walking experience? If the Northern Midlands Council has their way, it could be.
A submission, prepared by the council, was lodged this month in response to a state government call-out for ideas to “inform and possibly create” the next big walk.
“Ben Lomond National Park, a mere 50 kilometres from Launceston city and airport, is the most accessible alpine environment in Australia,” Northern Midlands Council general manager Des Jennings wrote in the proposal’s cover letter.
Developing the bushwalking experience – particularly Legges Tor, the state’s second highest and most accessible peak – was noted as one of the key opportunities such a project would bring.
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International crack rock climbing, mountain biking, and interpreting the fauna and flora of a “pristine alpine environment” were also referenced in the cover letter.
Sample itineraries were provided in the submission tailored to the adventurous, solo, family, and older travelers. Potential opportunities for commercial partnerships were also identified.
The proposal builds on previous reports that investigated the potential role of Ben Lomond National Park in providing “a year round experience for visitors of all ages and abilities,” Mr Jennings continued.
“This National Park is a destination with huge potential far beyond its traditional snow emphasis and activities.
“Given the evidence provided in the proposal, Council is of the firm opinion that the Ben Lomond National Park ‘Iconic Walk’ is financially viable to develop, operate and maintain by the Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.”
Submissions to the Parks and Wildlife Service were for proposed walks no longer than four days and three nights, which could combine multiple travel modes such as bikes or boats.
Proposed walks were to be consistent with the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2016 and able to be operated and managed by PWS at neutral cost.
“Therefore any proposal should consider the opportunity to introduce a fee for the ‘experience’ and the facilities provided along the walk,” the PWS submission document read.
“If the track proposed comprises walk(s) that are currently available to the public with no additional costs (outside a park pass), the proposal should consider how to maintain some ability for the public to walk the track at no additional cost.”
Submissions closed on January 11 and entries will be shortlisted by an assessment panel against a criteria of visitation, environmental, economic and community considerations.
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