Friday, February 23, 2024

Tasmania progresses next Iconic Walk designs

Tasmania’s newest world-renowned walk has taken the next steps towards development.

Minister for Parks, Nick Duigan, today visited the proposed location of the $40 million, multi-day, hut-based Next Iconic Walk project on the West Coast with West Coast Council Mayor, Shane Pitt.

“This walk will be a game-changer for the West Coast region. It will complement the growing suite of great tourism products and experiences that are available, and under development, on the State’s picturesque West,” Minister Duigan said.

“We saw first-hand the planning that is underway for this exciting project and learned about the design concepts. A lot of effort has gone into the selection of the track alignment to capture the stunning features of the Tyndall’s landscape.

“We were thrilled by the effort that has gone into making the very most of this walk experience, with the proposed hut sites offering views perched over glacial lakes; the Indian ocean to the west and the rugged outline of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) to the east.

“The West Coast was selected as the location for Tasmania’s Next Iconic Walk because of its extraordinary landscapes and links to hydro-power and geological exploration heritage. The stunning vegetation and scenery will undoubtedly make this walk a “must do” on the international walking scene,” he said.

The track route is now confirmed, and hut concept plans recently completed, the Minister confirmed.

An Environmental Impact Assessment and detailed plans for the huts and camping ground will be released for public comment in the first half of 2024.

Following a review of public feedback, a Development Application will be lodged with the West Coast Council.

“Tasmania punches above its weight. Our state is recognised as a multi-day walking destination right across the world and new products and innovations such as this reinforce this state’s global brand reputation for nature-based experiences,” Minister Duigan said.

“It will be the next natural step for visitors and Tasmanians to get out into our great outdoors, challenge themselves, and experience our beautiful reserves.”

This project is expected to generate 139 jobs during construction, and a further 40 jobs in areas of tourism, hospitality and transport as part of ongoing operations.

“Not only will the walk deliver economic and social benefits to both the West Coast community and the State, but it will also build on the success of the Overland Track, the Three Capes Track, and enhance our reputation as one of the great walking destinations of the world,” Mr Duigan said.

Several Tasmanian businesses have been engaged to lead the design and delivery of the project, with construction expected to begin in 2025/26, subject to approvals.

The 28 kilometre three-day, two-night walk between Lake Plimsoll and Lake Margaret Power Station is expected to open in 2029. 

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