Power’s park plan
Takeover of Mt Field accommodation
A NEW accommodation experience is being promised for Mt Field National Park as a private leaseholder takes on its campground and the Lake Dobson huts.
Rachel and Greg Power, who run the Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery at the Mt Field visitor centre, will take over the park’s accommodation under the State Government’s tourism expression of interest program.
The couple’s proposal has reached the negotiation stage with the Parks and Wildlife Service and could be up and running by midyear.
“It’s the ability to be a onestop shop for accommodation here, but also to increase the visitation and add some services,” Ms Power said.
Online bookings will be introduced to help deal with the massive influx of visitors to the popular park.
But improvements financed by the Powers could also be on the way. The couple already has had a development application approved for the $3.6 million, 70-room Mt Field Retreat outside the park.
They will discuss upgrades to the current facilities inside the park with the PWS, including ideas to overcome the current overflow of campers.
“Some of the ideas we’ve put forward are potentially maybe eco-cabins in areas that are already developed,” Ms Power said. “We’re not looking to change the park or change the current experience, but we’re looking to add to it.”
Mt Field experienced a 28 per cent jump in visitors to a record 189,000 in 2016.
Ms Power said the region could become a multi-day destination with the national park, Maydena Bike Park and Southwest National Park all on the trail.
The couple has opened Mountain Cafe and Fuel at Maydena ahead of the moun- tain bike park’s opening next year.
The Mt Field development takes the number of projects licensed or under negotiation under the EOI scheme to 23.
“This is an exciting proposal that will entice tourists to stay longer and spend more in the Derwent Valley region, and help achieve our goal to increase visitor overnight stays in regional areas by 70 per cent by 2022,” Environment Minister Elise Archer said.
Ms Archer launched a new Parks and Wildlife Visitor Guide yesterday, which includes Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.