Power’s park plan

Takeover of Mt Field ac­com­mo­da­tion

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - DAVID BENIUK

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.

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