Pedal power tourist push
Mountain biking is poised to become a tourism drawcard in Karratha after a funding announcement pledging new facilities at the local visitor centre.
The Karratha Visitor Centre has been approved for a State Government grant to build a coffee shop, ablution facilities, a laundromat and clubrooms for the Burrup Mountain Bike Club.
It is anticipated the clubrooms would be the catalyst for further development of the tracks in the Karratha hills, which already attract international riders through competitions such as the Dr Baynton’s six-hour challenge, despite not yet attaining an official status.
KVC manager Jane Knapp said the clubrooms would help unlock the hills tracks’ potential.
“We have been told our tracks are potentially world-class with a bit of work,” she said.
“We’ve got perfect terrain for it so it would be silly not to get into adventure tourism and WA’s whole mountain bike strategy. There are no sanctioned tracks in North West WA so if we could be close to being the first sanctioned track up here to get points towards national competitions that would be massive.”
Ms Knapp said construction of all facilities would be undertaken by local companies, with an aim for completion by the end of the year.
“We haven’t signed any contracts as such but the process has started and approvals will be in shortly, hopefully,” she said.
Mining and Pastoral MLC Ken Baston said the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grants empowered local centres to compete in an increasingly online world.
“Support for innovation will help sustain and grow the tourism sector, which means more jobs and opportunities in local communities,” he said.
The Roebourne and Port Hedland Visitor Centres were also successful in getting grants totalling $162,475 across the three Pilbara centres.