Time to pull out all stops for Bloomfield
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 A combination of hidden, outdated, mouldy and unfriendly signs tells the visitor that here is a place with no merit, no value.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