Local, Science/Environment

Great Koala National Park steering committee proposes six self- guided car tours

The Great Koala National Park steering committee has recently launched a report proposing the development of six self- guided car tours in association with the park proposal.

The announcement follows recent announcements by the steering committee for mountain Bike network, a long distance walking track and horse riding trail.

The community groups that supporting the Great Koala National Park are calling for the creation of the park to be accompanied by a number of regional recreation planning initiatives that will turn the area into a major ecotourism destination on the North Coast

We’re asking the Government to commit $0.5 million to signpost, promote and provide interpretation for six self-guided car tours providing access to the natural and cultural resources of the region. That will lead to a refinement of the proposals released today.

Three of the self-guiding car tours are regionally based tours averaging 400kms from Coffs Harbour providing access from the coast to the tablelands as long day tours or tours with overnight stays. The remaining three self-guided car tours are shorter in length averaging 40kms and locally based near Coffs Harbour.

By utilising existing roads including highways and local roads, collating existing local knowledge and modern communication techniques — car based touring can support existing businesses and create new business opportunities for the Coffs Coast while protecting areas of high conservation value. This will add to the magnificent offerings the Coffs Coast already possesses and help create a truly world-class nature-based tourism destination.

The proposed car tours are in addition to many hundreds of kilometres of roads in existing national parks on the North Coast open to car touring and in some cases for 4WD only use.

The Self-guided Car tours proposed in association with the Great Koala National Park are summarised as;

Tour 1 – Macleay Valley Drive. Distance: about 420 kms, a long day tour.

Tour 2 –Dalmorton, Nymboida and Orara Drive. Distance: about 250 km (about 320 km for Chaelundi alternative), a short day (long day for the Chaelundi alternative).

Tour 3 –Grafton, Glenn Innes to Ebor Drive. Distance: about 500 kms.

Tour 4 –Sherwood Drive. Distance: About 42 km, beginning and ending at Woolgoolga. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours

Tour 5 –Coffs Hinterland Drive Distance: About 35 km, beginning and ending at Coramba. Allow 1.5 hours not including suggested side trips (allow 1.5 hrs for the Bangalore side trip and 1 hour for the Mole Creek trip)

Tour 6- Bongil Bongil Drive. Distance: About 26 km, beginning at Bonville and ending at Overhead Bridge Road on Pine Creek Way (the old Pacific Highway. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

“We are so excited about what our local area could become if our leaders have the vision to create the Great Koala National Park”, said Ashley Love, spokesperson for the Great Koala National Park .

“The area has five pillars of significance for conservation; World Heritage rainforests, the most diverse tall eucalypt forests in the World, the most significant wild koala populations in eastern Australia adjoined to an outstanding marine environment. The final pillar overlaying those already described is the regions outstanding Aboriginal cultural heritage.

“We’re convinced that the Great Koala National Park is a vital component of our area’s future, and we hope those who value conservation of our natural and cultural riches will support us in trying to make it a reality.”

Details of the self-guided car tours are available at: https://koalapark.org.au/

The above is a Press Release from the GKNP Steering Committee – Tuesday 5 March 2019.

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