Upgrading Bloomfield Track
PLANS are in motion to upgrade Bloomfield Track and highlight areas of cultural and environmental importance while preserving the area.
On Monday Wujal Wujal Shire Council hosted a meeting of local councils, business, tourism and government representatives from Cooktown to Cairns to discuss preservation and how best to promote the area.
Wet Tropics Management Authority manager of communities and partnerships Dr Paul Chantrill hosted the meeting and said there was a ‘‘common ethos’’ of agreement that more needs to be done to enhance the tourism experience of the Bloomfield Track.
‘‘We see this as a great opportunity for all councils, including the new Douglas Shire when it comes into existence, to celebrate and promote this outstanding tourism experience,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to work together to promote and develop the area, find a common branding approach and tying in all of those interesting things such as the history of the Bloomfield Blockade, which started the movement 30 years ago to establish it as a World Heritage area.
‘‘It can be as simple as having signs to show people the rich history, rich diversity and the connection with indigenous people, particularly the Wujal Wujal community which is a key partner.’’
Dr Chantrill said the aim was to slow people down, instead of using the track as an access to Cooktown, but rather to ‘‘go off the beaten track’’ and appreciate the hidden secrets of Bloomfield Track.
‘‘From hidden beaches, views of fringing coral reef seen nowhere else in the wet tropics to hidden waterways, there is an opportunity to experience nature and indigenous culture of the area and keep the frontier experience, while making much more of it,’’ he said.
‘‘ Interlocking the experiences off the Bloomfield Track to open up the rare and special environment, such a beautiful tourism experience needs to be preserved.’’
Following the meeting the group is going to do an audit, or action plan, to document special features of the area and share collective ideas and discuss where to develop signage and presentations to give people a chance to learn and understand more about the Bloomfield Track and the Daintree rainforest.
The next step will then be to seek funding and support to make it a reality and Dr Chantrill said this initiative ‘‘connects strongly’’ with the State Government’s Queensland Drive Tourism Strategy and also the Commonwealth’s National Landscape project, considering the Wet Tropics is listed in the top 15 landscapes in Australia for tourism.
JOINT EFFORT: Tara Bennett (Tourism Port Douglas Daintree), Mike D’Arcy (tour operator), Julia Leu (Division 10 Councillor) and Dr Paul Chantrill (Wet Tropics Management Authority) working to promote the Bloomfield Track