New sustainable tourism projects for Queensland’s National Parks

A six­ day walk amid subtropical rainforest, waterfalls, and mountain hills could be Queensland’s next eco-tourism attraction, after a proposed Scenic Rim Trail project recieved Government backing.

The sustainable tourism project, located 116km south-west of Brisbane in Main Range National Park, would combine low-impact walking trails, mountain bike tracks, and two new ecocamps, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the landscape.

The project will be constructed and maintained by tourism entepeneurs the Spicers Group. National Parks Minister, Dr Steven Miles, said the Queensland Government would provide assistance to the Spicers Group, as they go through a range of approval processes.

Artists impression of the ecocamp and trail.

The Spicers Group is owned by Flight Centre boss Graham Turner, and owns nine boutique tourism ventures worth upwards of $70 million, including the Sangoma boutique resort in the Blue Mountains.

Dr Miles suggested this made the Turners “well credentialed” when it came to conservation activities.

“They’ve bought and set aside about 8000 hectares of the Scenic Rim for nature refuges and been involved in local wildlife rehabilitation projects,” he said.

“Rivaling more temperate offerings in Tasmania and New Zealand, this will be a captivating experience for walkers following the escarpment of the caldera,” Said Queensland National Parks Minister, Dr Steven Miles said.

A trail leads up to the ecocamp.

Both Tourism and National Parks ministers foreshadowed greater sustainable tourism opportunities for the Queensland national parks in the future. “Projects like the Scenic Rim Trail will help grow visitation to Queensland, protect the environment and deliver new eco­tourism experiences for visitors,” said Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

Dr Miles also said a new high ropes course, as well as mountain­bike and water­based activities were proposed for Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre, The Gap, by tourism operators Tree Top Challenge and Riverlife.

This Scenic Rim Trail will stretch 50kms, running from Mt Mistake in the north to the Canopy Eco­Lodge in the south.