Time to pull out all stops for Bloom­field

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Bloom­field Track drive is filled with amaz­ing scenery, fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries, im­por­tant his­tory and unique world-ac­claimed ecol­ogy. But just be­cause our re­gion has so many amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, we as­sume trav­ellers get to en­joy them all. Most trav­ellers make just one or two short stops be­tween Cape Trib and Cook­town, hardly enough to sus­tain a good tourism econ­omy in places like Cape Trib, Wu­jal Wu­jal, Ay­ton or Rossville. How do we get them to stay longer? Just as im­por­tantly, how do we get them to un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the area and pass the story on to their grey nomad and back­packer friends? Or go home and bore their fam­i­lies to tears? Sev­eral strate­gies spring to mind, but one ob­vi­ous and sim­plest to fix is good qual­ity, in­ter­pre­tive sig­nage. Some beaut, funny signs warn­ing of cas­sowaries and ram­pant horses (or uni­corns?) around Cape Trib are mem­o­rable and much-pho­tographed. But fur­ther Up the Bloom­field Track it gets dis­grace­ful. A com­bi­na­tion of hid­den, out­dated, mouldy and un­friendly signs tells the vis­i­tor that here is a place with no merit, no value. If you have driven the Track much, it’s easy to see that cur­rent sig­nage is a dis­grace. Places such as the Bloom­field Block­ade site, the stran­gler fig, Em­ma­gen Creek, Don­a­van’s Range look­out, Cowie Beach, Woobadda Creek, Bloom­field River look­out, and a few spots around Wu­jal Wu­jal, Ay­ton and Rossville could do with some bet­ter ways to in­vite and in­form the trav­ellers that th­ese are places of in­ter­est. Last week, Wu­jal Wu­jal mayor Clif­ford Har­ri­gan hosted a meet­ing in­clud­ing Ju­lia Leu of Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and busi­ness, tourism and gov- ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Cook­town to Port Dou­glas to dis­cuss im­prove­ments. It was agreed that the Bloom­field Track was an ex­ist­ing and valu­able prod­uct which badly needed pro­mo­tion. It was con­sid­ered that the time was right to fit this into national land­scape and state tourism strate­gies. As a group, we want to take ac­tion dur­ing 2013, which is the 30th year of the Bloom­field Block­ade and 25th An­niver­sary of the World Her­itage sta­tus or the Wet Trop­ics. Such a con­cept would lead to ac­tiv­i­ties which and op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­ploy­ment. Specif­i­cally, as a group, we de­cided to im­me­di­ately de­velop and start to im­ple­ment a ac­tion plan to iden­tify, record and find ways to pro­mote the Bloom­field Track Drive con­cept, and find suit­able ‘‘book-ends’’ at Cook­town and maybe Port Dou­glas to turn the drive into a re­al­ity. Do you know of any places or ex­pe­ri­ences that you think trav­ellers could en­joy? Please let us know. It’s im­por­tant for all of us.

WOOBADDA CREEK: just one of the many de­lights to be found on the Bloom­field Track

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