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  • Australias Coastal Wilderness National Landscape

    EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT

    STRATEGY

    November 2010

  • Disclaimer

    The information and recommendations provided in this Experiences Development Strategy are made on the basis of information available

    at the time of preparation. While all care has been taken to check and validate material presented in this report, independent research and

    professional advice should be sought before any action or decision is taken on the basis of material contained in this report.

    EC3 Global, the Australias Coastal Wilderness National Landscape Steering Committee, or other project partners shall not be liable, in any

    way, for any loss arising from use or reliance upon material in this publication by another person.

    Cover Image: Point Hicks Lighthouse Reserve, Tourism Victoria

    riddlejTypewritten Text 2016 National Parks and Wildlife Service and Ecotourism AustraliaDISCLAIMER This report was prepared by Tourism Australia in good faith exercising all due care and attention, but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the relevance, accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of this document in respect of any particular users circumstances. Users of this document should satisfy themselves concerning its application to, and where necessary seek expert advice in respect of, their situation. The views expressed within are not necessarily the views of the State of NSW and may not represent State of NSW policy.

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  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY i

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY ii

    AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS

    Located in South Eastern Australia is a relatively untouched

    stretch of wilderness coastline that offers a unique

    opportunity to be immersed in natures playground.

    Australias Coastal Wilderness (ACW) is a National Landscape

    stretching over 300 kilometres that is home to a World

    Biosphere Reserve and some of the worlds richest diversity

    of flora and fauna.

    The Tourism Australia National Landscapes program

    identifies places of national significance that offer distinctive

    Australian natural and cultural experiences, beyond an

    individual National Park or Government boundary to deliver

    conservation, social and economic outcomes while offering

    unforgettable experiences to lure the international

    Experience Seeker. This philosophy is epitomised in

    Australias Coastal Wilderness positioning statement:

    This hidden pocket of Australias endless coastline is where

    you can get close and share your love of nature. Immerse

    yourself in the natural beauty of tall forests, lakes and

    beaches in this unspoilt coastal wilderness

    Australias Coastal Wilderness, with its majestic wilderness,

    unique and diverse wildlife, ancient and active Indigenous

    culture and iconic coastal communities, presents a unique

    range of visitor experiences including:

    The worlds largest population of little penguins;

    Over 200km of trails through unspoilt coastline;

    The Bundian Way one of the worlds oldest trade

    routes;

    The site where Captain Cook first sited the Australian

    mainland;

    Unique welcoming communities adjacent to

    wilderness areas; and

    Silent forests in the foothills of the Australian Alps.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY iii

    THE NATIONAL LANDSCAPES PROGRAM

    The National Landscapes Program is a national tourism

    initiative with an international focus, begun in 2007,

    managed by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia. The

    Program is a partnership between tourism and

    conservation and seeks to identify Australias superlative

    natural and cultural destinations/experiences for

    marketing to Tourism Australias target market, the

    Experience Seeker, under the Brand Australia banner.

    These destinations, whilst encompassing iconic national

    parks or existing superlative attractions, are characterised

    by their transcending state, municipal or land

    management boundaries and are united by their

    topography, environmental or cultural significance. The

    NL Program is the first tourism initiative in Australia that

    disregards borders and land tenures.

    The Experience Seeker is Tourism Australias prime

    international target market and is high yield in that they

    tend to stay longer, travel more widely and spend more

    money than other visitors. They desire authentic personal

    experiences, active learning, engaging with locals and

    combining a variety of experiences into a single trip.

    As well as tourism outcomes the Program seeks to

    enhance the role of protected areas in the national and

    regional economies, and produce conservation outcomes

    through planning and effective management.

    Currently (November 2010) there are 10 National

    Landscapes which have met the strict selection criteria for

    the Program, they being Australian Alps, Australias

    Coastal Wilderness, Great Ocean Road, Kakadu,

    Australias Red Centre, Flinders Ranges, Australias Green

    Cauldron, Greater Blue Mountains, Kangaroo Island and

    the Kimberley. It is anticipated that a maximum of 15

    National Landscapes will eventually be announced.

    The development of each NL is managed on the ground by

    voluntary committees comprising a range of government,

    land manager and industry stakeholders. The NL is not a

    funding program.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY iv

    FOR THE EXPERIENCE SEEKER

    Australias Coastal Wilderness is located half-way between

    Sydney and Melbourne and less than 2 hours from the

    international gateways by air. The National A1 Highway runs

    through the destination and is supported by a well

    maintained regional road network enabling the region to be

    easily explored in a week.

    The destination remains relatively undiscovered by

    international visitors attracting only 53,000 in 2008 (5% of

    overnight visitation), whereas competing destinations

    attract a higher portion of international visitors (up to 10%).

    The opportunity exists to grow the international Experience

    Seeker market, considered to be an ideal, higher yielding

    visitor market for Australian National Landscapes.

    Attracting the Experience Seeker target market (refer page

    4) is a natural fit for the destination as they are seeking:

    Authentic personal experiences

    To engage with locals and nature

    Adventures and variety

    Something out of the ordinary

    Current Challenges

    Current factors limiting growth in the region include:

    Limited awareness of the experiences

    Few international-ready products

    Increasing global competition

    Lack of iconic accommodation

    Few guided and supported tours

    Travel time and costs compared to competitors (e.g. Tasmania and Great Ocean Road)

    Trends towards shorter holidays

    Lack of a unified approach to telling the ACW story

    Few packages or itineraries

    Luring the international Experience Seeker to Australias

    Coastal Wilderness requires a consistent, partnership-led

    approach. The Experiences Development Strategy aims to

    facilitate that partnership.

    Camel Rock Bermagui, Courtesy of Sally Mayman

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY v

    AN EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    A unified approach to the development, promotion and

    packaging of Australias Coastal Wilderness is needed to

    grow its share of the lucrative and growing international

    Experience Seeker market. Led by a multi-regional, multi-

    agency and cross-border Steering Committee this

    Experiences Development Strategy identifies iconic world-

    class experiences matching Tourism Australias Experience

    Seeker target market.

    The Strategy identifies both Priority #1 projects that link

    directly to the three priority goals and Priority #2 projects to

    deliver the vision over the coming decade. As a blueprint for

    the regions development the Experiences Development

    Strategy identifies priority short and medium term projects

    in a detailed action plan (Part B).

    The Experiences Development Strategy builds on the

    comprehensive suite of existing reports and strategies (see

    Figure 1) to establish the following vision for Australias

    Coastal Wilderness. It does not supersede local, state or

    national plans, and should complement the conservation

    and wilderness values of this unique region.

    The vision for Australias Coastal Wilderness:

    An accessible yet remote coastal destination

    where you can escape to the lakes and forest, or

    stand on the beach with no one elses footprints

    but your own!

    The Experiences Development Strategy identifies three

    primary goals for Australias Coastal Wilderness in achieving

    this vision:

    1. Building a Truly Unique Destination Image

    2. Creating Iconic Experiences

    3. Delivering the Promise

    These three goals aim to address the key barriers and

    provide a focus for the delivery of world-class experiences

    for the Experience Seeker market.

    Figure 1: Strategic Context

    Experiences

    Development

    Strategy

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY vi

    WILDERNESS VALUES

    Within Australias Coastal Wilderness there are over 30

    protected areas including Nature Reserves, State Forests,

    Coastal Parks, National Parks and Wilderness Zones. This

    includes the internationally recognised Croajingolong

    Biosphere Reserve, part of the UNESCO World Network of

    Biosphere Reserves.

    All of these protected areas make up an important part of

    the story and landscape of Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    This Experiences Development Strategy seeks to promote

    and present these conservation values internationally; in

    doing so it recognises and does not supersede the existing

    land management processes. That is, all recommendations

    in this Experiences Development Strategy remain subject to

    the established and future plans of various management

    agencies.

    A key aim of the Experiences Development Strategy is to

    increase the value of international tourism balanced against

    the need to

    protect this place for future generations. Visitation to the

    region is primarily domestic overnight and day trips,

    however the regions natural assets appeal to the

    international Experience Seeker. At present the tourism

    product does not capture a large share of the potential

    market. At present less than 1% of all international visitors

    that visit National Parks in Victoria and New South Wales do

    so in Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    Visitors spend almost half a billion dollars ($487M) in the

    region annually. Of this international visitors spend only 1%

    (under $40 per night). This is significantly below the state

    average ($95 per night). A key aim of the Experiences

    Development Strategy is to both increase the regions share

    of nature-based visitors, at sustainable rates, and the

    average spend through appropriate development. A goal of

    the Experiences Development Strategy is to grow the value

    of tourism to the region to $1 billion by 2020, without

    compromising the wilderness values.

    Nadgee Lake, Courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY vii

    1. BUILDING A TRULY UNIQUE DESTINATION IMAGE

    A destination brand has already been created for Australias

    Coastal Wilderness. The challenge is to now undertake the

    development of a distinctive brand identity to raise

    awareness both pre-trip and en-route of the destinations

    truly unique experiences. Managers and operators will then

    have the tools to ensure that visitors can be provided with

    clear messages that guide them to and through the unique

    experiences they will encounter.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Develop a Marketing Plan that includes actions for undertaking partnership marketing activities

    Prepare precinct Master Plans for Cape Conran and Point Hicks. NB Comprehensive overview plans are

    not currently funded or prioritised projects and this

    will impact on outcomes

    Prepare International Destination Management Plans for Mallacoota and Eden

    Interpret and develop the Bundian Way Journey, starting with a survey of the route

    Initiate the Coastal Wilderness Way incorporating the Snowy River Shared Pathway and linking bicycle, walk

    and canoe trails

    Develop strategies to encourage the delivery of high quality and consistent visitor information and

    interpretation

    Encourage operator participation in the Sydney-Melbourne Coastal Drive

    Support operators to become internationally-ready

    Develop a motivational and informative website in conjunction with Tourism Australia, Tourism Vic and

    Tourism NSW

    Develop and distribute an ACW Brand Toolkit with TA and PA to assist stakeholders to live the brand in

    their businesses

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Investigate transport linkage gaps and other transport initiatives

    Support the development of and signposting of tourist drives in the hinterland

    Investigate the feasibility of a Croajingolong Interpretive Centre

    Upgrading of information gateway centres

    Raising awareness of the destination will require strong

    partnerships and greater industry participation in

    international promotion. Further, the brand will need to

    evolve through the interpretation material to engage local

    stakeholders, operators and the community in telling the

    Australias Coastal Wilderness story.

    Point Hicks, Croajingolong National Park, Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY viii

    2. CREATING ICONIC EXPERIENCES

    Australias Coastal Wilderness is truly unique in its mix of

    charismatic fauna (whales, platypus, penguins, etc),

    spectacular scenery, an ancient and active Indigenous

    story, and the limited number of people visiting at any

    one time. This provides visitors with an experience

    relatively unaffected by mass tourism. The development

    of tourism throughout the destination must focus on

    building upon the many strengths and features of the

    destination, including Aboriginal Australia, Wildlife &

    Nature; and Coastal Lifestyle.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Develop and promote the Monaroo Boberrer Gudu Keeping Place at Eden as a hub of Indigenous

    tourism experiences

    Engage with indigenous communities for the development of cultural tourism product and

    support for new, existing and emerging indigenous

    tourism businesses.

    Assist the establishment and promotion of an overnight walk from Cape Conran to Mallacoota

    Develop short walks linked to identified experience precincts, including those identified in

    the Far East Gippsland Icon Walks Study

    Develop the Bombala Platypus Reserve into a

    unique visitor experience

    Encourage the development of the Light to Light Walk as a world class guided and independent

    walking experience including feasibility

    investigations into eco-sensitive accommodation

    Expand the activities at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre (Eden)

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Encourage guided eco-tours on the walk through the Nadgee Howe Wilderness

    Investigation of a new multi-day walking trail from Merimbula to Eden

    Develop and promote experiences in selected Marine National Parks

    Develop a Conservation Tourism Program

    Build on existing Food and Wine initiatives

    Encourage PS Curlip to become international market-ready

    Provide consistent European cultural activities and history

    Support niche product development including health and wellbeing

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY ix

    3. DELIVERING THE PROMISE

    Australias Coastal Wilderness offers the promise of a unique

    and fulfilling holiday experience away from the stress of

    modern life. Delivering on this promise and meeting (if not

    exceeding) the expectations of the international Experience

    Seeker is a key challenge for the destination.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Undertake industry and product development initiatives

    Undertake feasibility studies and business case development to assess the viability to expand

    accommodation at Cape Conran, Point Hicks and

    Gabo Island, in accordance with Parks Victoria

    management planning processes.

    Investigate the feasibility of adapting existing structures at Penders in Mimosa Rocks National Park

    for accommodation

    Investigate feasibility and sustainability of expanded facilities at the Merimbula Airport

    Develop and implement an Australias Coastal Wilderness Communication Plan

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Grow signature regional events to international market-readiness

    Support an industry-lead Coastal Wilderness Guides training group

    Implement an Evaluation Program through research and tracking of results

    Investigate further tourism accommodation opportunities to support the Victorian LandBank

    process

    Encourage expansion and refurbishment of existing accommodation

    Encourage the establishment of and further development of water-based tour operators

    Build new wilderness day-tour products for visiting cruise ships

    Develop and promote new canoe-trails

    Investigate the feasibility of equipment hire options to support the Coastal Wilderness Way (Phase 2)

    Support improved, safe and adequate blue water access at Mallacoota

    Croajingolong National Park, Courtesy of Mark Watson

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY x

    WHERE TO FROM HERE

    The Experiences Development Strategy aims to provide a

    strategic direction to inform local, regional and state

    planning priorities for the future development of

    Australias Coastal Wilderness as an international tourism

    destination for the Experience Seeker target market.

    The Steering Committee will play an important role in

    information dissemination and coordination and

    management of some projects. However responsibility for

    leading some projects may rest with stakeholders such as

    Local and State Government, land managers, the private

    sector and community.

    In guiding the project towards successful implementation

    the following Key Performance Measures have been

    developed:

    Contribution of tourism to conservation of the natural environment

    Value of proportion of international visitors to

    Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Projects progressing or completed by 2012

    Brand awareness and media exposure of Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Industry participation and international market-readiness

    Satisfaction of Experience Seekers with the products, precincts and journeys

    Local support for and satisfaction with Australias Coastal Wilderness

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Develop a set of targets for implementation

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Continue to engage local stakeholders and adapt the role and membership of the Steering

    Committee

    Merimbula Beach, Courtesy of Sapphire Coast Tourism

  • EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT

    STRATEGY

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 2

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    About Australias Coastal Wilderness 3

    The Experience Seeker Target Market 4

    Destination Challenges & Opportunities 5

    Understanding the Strategic Context 6

    Guiding Principles 7

    PART A: EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    The Value of Wilderness 10

    1. Building a Truly Unique Destination Image 11

    Marketing 12

    Precincts & Journeys 13

    Visitor Information & Interpretation 16

    2. Creating Iconic Experiences 17

    Aboriginal Australia 18

    Nature & Wildlife 19

    Coastal Lifestyle & Community 20

    3. Delivering the Promise 21

    Industry & Product Development 22

    Iconic Accommodation 23

    Tours & Transport 24

    Implementation 25

    PART B: PRIORITY PROJECT ACTION PLAN 26

    APPENDICES

    Appendix 1: Background and Context 33

    Appendix 2: International Growth Potential 41

    Appendix 3: Key Strategic Documents and References 43

    Appendix 4: Steering Committee 44

    Appendix 5: Priority 1 Project Descriptions 45

    Prepared by:

    Earthcheck Pty Ltd (trading as EC3 Global)

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 3

    ABOUT AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS

    Located in South Eastern Australia is a relatively untouched

    stretch of wilderness coastline that offers a unique

    opportunity to be immersed in natures playground.

    Australias Coastal Wilderness is a National Landscape

    stretching over 300 kilometres that is home to a World

    Biosphere Reserve and some of the worlds richest diversity

    of flora and fauna (see Figure 1).

    The Tourism Australia National Landscapes Program

    identifies places of national significance that offer distinctive

    Australian natural and cultural experiences, beyond an

    individual National Park or Government boundary, to deliver

    conservation, social and economic outcomes while offering

    unforgettable experiences to lure the international

    Experience Seeker. This philosophy is epitomised in the

    Australias Coastal Wilderness positioning statement:

    This hidden pocket of Australias endless coastline is where

    you can get close and share your love of nature. Immerse

    yourself in the natural beauty of tall forests, lakes and

    beaches in this unspoilt coastal wilderness Australias Coastal Wilderness, with its majestic wilderness,

    unique and diverse wildlife, ancient and active Indigenous

    culture and iconic coastal communities, presents a unique

    range of visitor experiences including:

    The worlds largest population of little penguins;

    Over 200km of trails through unspoilt coastline;

    The Bundian Way one of the worlds oldest trade routes;

    The site where Captain Cook first saw the Australian mainland;

    Unique welcoming communities adjacent to wilderness areas; and

    Silent forests in the foothills of the Australian Alps.

    Figure 1: Map of Australias Coastal Wilderness

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 4

    FOR THE EXPERIENCE SEEKER

    The experiences of Australias Coastal Wilderness appeal to

    a range of domestic and international consumers. The

    destination attracts only 53,000 international visitors or just

    5% of international visitation to the region (See Appendix 1).

    In comparison destinations such as the Margaret River (WA)

    and Freycinet / Bay of Fires (TAS) receive between 8-15% of

    their visitor nights from the international market (see

    Appendix 2).

    The Tourism Forecasting Committee suggest that over the

    coming decade, the domestic market will remain relatively

    flat while the international market is forecast to grow at

    almost 4% per annum (source: Tourism Research Australia).

    The opportunity exists to grow the international Experience

    Seeker market, considered to be an ideal, higher yielding

    visitor market for Australias Coastal Wilderness during the

    traditional low season as well as throughout the year (see

    Appendix 2).

    This growth should occur within the conservation and

    tourism principles of the National Landscape Program so

    ensuring the natural attractions of the region are here for

    future generations.

    Attracting the Experience Seeker target market is a natural

    fit for the destination as they are seeking:

    Authentic personal experiences;

    Social interactions making friends and developing personal relationships;

    Opportunities to meet and interact with the locals;

    Experience something different from their normal day-to-day life;

    Learning experiences with different lifestyles and cultures;

    To participate in the lifestyle and experience, rather than observing it;

    Challenges physically, emotionally and/or mentally;

    Authentic destinations that are not necessarily part of the mainstream tourist routes; and

    Exposure to unique and personally compelling experiences.

    While the opportunities and initiatives identified in this plan

    have been considered with the Experience Seeker in mind,

    the importance of the domestic and other international

    markets should be enhanced, rather the diminished through

    the implementation of this Plan.

    Experience Seekers are, by definition,

    looking for unique, involving and

    personal experiences from their

    holidays. www.tourism.australia.com

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 5

    DESTINATION CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

    The global tourism marketplace is fiercely competitive,

    presenting a number of challenges and opportunities (see

    Figure 2). New and emerging destinations must offer a real

    alternative to gain a place on the global stage. Yet the global

    traveller is increasingly time poor so a destination must

    represent both value for money and time.

    In the face of increased competition and improved access

    through low cost airlines, Australias Coastal Wilderness

    must compete with domestic and international destinations

    not only in terms of attractiveness but also in terms of

    accessibility if it aims to grow international market share.

    The Australias Coastal Wilderness brand (see Appendix 1) has been developed

    but not yet incorporated into Local, Regional or State-wide promotional activities.

    The opportunity exists to build partnership marketing activities.

    Promotion

    The destination has a number of iconic natural assets that must be conserved and

    protected; what is needed are more businesses to make these experiences a

    reality. The opportunity exists to build a reputation for personalised nature,

    wildlife and cultural tourism. There are sites that would support iconic

    accommodation and opportunities exist to deliver high quality guided

    experiences. Opportunities for visitors to contribute to the destination through

    conservation volunteer programs could create a competitive advantage.

    Experiencing the Icons

    Travel time and cost from the international gateways is a constraint for some

    travellers to Australias Coastal Wilderness compared to competitor destinations.

    Hire vehicle and direct air access present a real challenge for Australias Coastal

    Wilderness. The opportunity exists to turn the challenge into a competitive

    advantage through a walking, riding and transport network across a range of

    land tenures. Improved air access is vital to the growth of many international

    markets and to remain competitive.

    Access

    Servicing the needs of international Experience Seekers not only with the quality

    of the service but availability of local product is key to meeting and exceeding

    expectations and generating word of mouth recommendations. Greater

    participation in international packaging and distribution is vital to growing the

    market. The opportunity exists for business mentoring and support programs to

    encourage more products to become international ready and participate in

    programs such as the Sydney-Melbourne Coastal Drive. A Brand Toolkit will assist

    operators to build appropriate new product.

    Meeting expectations

    Without access to a guide many international visitors will miss out on the best that

    Australias Coastal Wilderness has to offer. The opportunity exists to create a

    greater sense of arrival, reassurance and get beneath the surface of the region

    through information and interpretation.

    Information & interpretation

    Figure 2: Challenges and Opportunities

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 6

    UNDERSTANDING THE STRATEGIC CONTEXT

    The National Landscapes program identifies places of

    national significance that offer distinctive Australian natural

    and cultural experiences, beyond an individual National Park

    or Government boundary to offer unforgettable experiences

    to lure the international Experience Seeker. Australias

    Coastal Wilderness embodies this philosophy.

    The purpose of the Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Experiences Development Strategy is to identify iconic

    world-class experiences matching Tourism Australias

    Experience Seeker target market.

    The Experiences Development Strategy aims to provide a

    strategic direction for the regions future growth and follows

    the completion of an Experience Audit and Brand Strategy.

    The Experiences Development Strategy builds on the

    comprehensive suite of

    existing reports and strategies (see Appendix 3), and draws

    on established links with local, regional, state and national

    planning for the growth in international nature-based

    tourism into Australia (see Figure 3).

    The Australias Coastal Wilderness Experiences Development

    Strategy aims to inform new and existing strategic plans, but

    doesnt supersede them, and to guide prioritisation of new

    initiatives by providing a blueprint for the regions

    development through the identification of priority short and

    medium term projects.

    While every effort has been made to highlight projects that

    are viable, sustainable and in keeping with the vision for

    the region, each initiative requires an assessment of its

    financial feasibility and its compliance with planning

    regulations prior to development. The National Landscapes

    program provides support and impetus for projects but is

    not in itself a funding program.

    Figure 3: Strategic Context

    Experiences

    Development

    Strategy

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 7

    GUIDING PRINCIPLES

    This Experiences Development Strategy has been developed

    through extensive consultation with the project Steering

    Committee (see Appendix 4) and key stakeholders from

    across the region, including state and local Government

    agencies; local, state and regional tourism organisations;

    community groups and tourism businesses.

    A core principle of the National Landscapes program is the

    delivery of both conservation and tourism outcomes. This

    principle underpins Australias Coastal Wilderness and this

    Strategy.

    Through the development of a set of guiding principles,

    every effort has been made to highlight projects that are

    viable, sustainable and in keeping with the vision for the

    region. Each initiative requires an assessment of its financial

    feasibility and its compliance with planning regulations prior

    to development.

    Projects included in the Experiences Development Strategy

    aim to deliver on the Guiding Principles shown in Figure 4:

    Support the Brand

    Provide personalised and accessible wilderness

    experiences that embody a sense of freedom and

    discovery. Provide opportunities to connect

    physically and spiritually while ensuring that the

    environmental values are preserved.

    Appeal to the Target Market Provide access to nature/wilderness, people and

    culture; offer a contrast to everyday life; accessible yet

    remote Australian coastal lifestyle; opportunities for

    personal development and learning; a sense of

    freedom; experiences and stories visitors can brag

    about; and opportunities for meaningful

    communication with locals.

    Be Truly Iconic Facilitate experiences of the rivers, estuaries, lakes, forests

    and quiet, coastal lookouts; opportunities to drive or cycle

    through tall forests; stay in coastal settlements, experience

    local characters and hear the stories of locals; walk along

    the beach for miles; fly over the coast and visit unique

    places; purchase local produce from local growers and

    fishers; experience wildlife and birdlife in their habitat,

    including conservation experiences.

    Be Supported by the Community Be sensitive, low impact and complementary to

    the local natural environment; promote

    conservation and maintain the sense of

    wilderness; ensure that the natural features

    remain the focus of the experience; and support

    local businesses and communities.

    Figure 4: Guiding Principles

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 8

    PART A:

    EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT

    STRATEGY

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 9

    AN EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    The Experiences Development Strategy recognises that

    Australias Coastal Wilderness, with its majestic wilderness,

    unique and diverse wildlife, an ancient and active Indigenous

    culture and iconic coastal communities has the potential to

    significantly increase its share of the international

    Experience Seeker market (see Appendix 2). The key

    challenge is to address awareness, access and delivery of the

    experiences to create a sustainable, world-class destination.

    The Strategy identifies three core themes which aim to

    deliver world-class product for the Experience Seeker

    target market (see Figure 5).

    The Experiences Development Strategy identifies over 40

    projects and initiatives which have been identified as being

    either Priority 1 or Priority 2 projects, and identified in the

    report as follows:

    Priority 1 Projects: are considered to be iconic coastal wilderness experiences that meet the target market

    needs, are aligned with the brand and are supported by

    aligning with a style of development appropriate for

    the setting and are possible in the short (1-3 years) and

    medium (3-5 years) timeframe.

    Priority 2 Projects: include longer term projects (5 years+), those which rely on factors outside of the

    control of key partners and those of local significance

    or projects that support existing products, but are not

    iconic experiences.

    Priority 1 projects are described in more detail in

    Appendix 5. Both Priority 1 and 2 projects are included

    in Part B: Priority Project Action Plan.

    Objective

    To raise awareness both pre-trip and

    en-route of the destinations truly unique

    experiences internationally in partnership

    with government and industry.

    1. Building a Truly

    Unique Destination

    Image

    Objective

    Build on the destinations natural

    attractiveness through the development of iconic

    experiences, commercially delivered whilst keeping

    to the environmental and social values of the

    National Landscapes Program.

    2. Creating Iconic

    Experiences

    Objective

    Create a network of international-

    ready tourism products that can meet and exceed

    the expectations of the Global Experience Seeker.

    3. Delivering

    the Promise

    Key Action Areas

    - Aboriginal Australia

    - Nature and Wildlife

    - Coastal Lifestyle

    Key Action Areas

    - Accommodation

    - Tours and Transport

    - Product and Industry Development

    Key Action Areas

    - Partnership Marketing

    - Precincts and Journeys

    - Visitor Information & Interpretation

    Figure 5: Strategy themes, objectives and key action areas

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 10

    WILDERNESS VALUES

    The term wilderness holds different meanings for different

    people. Wilderness is both a term used in the management

    of protected areas and a term visitors use to describe places.

    For example, the Nadgee, Cape Howe, and Sandpatch

    Wilderness Zones/Areas are recognised in their respective

    plans of management or through legislation as wilderness

    areas and are managed appropriately.

    Within Australias Coastal Wilderness there are over 30

    protected areas including Nature Reserves, State Forests,

    Coastal Parks, National Parks and Wilderness Zones. This

    includes the internationally recognised Croajingolong

    Biosphere Reserve, part of the UNESCO World Network of

    Biosphere Reserves.

    All of these protected areas make up an important part of

    the story and landscape of Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    This Experiences Development Strategy seeks to promote

    and present these conservation values internationally, in

    doing so it does not supersede the existing land

    management processes. That is, all recommendations in this

    Experiences Development Strategy remain subject to the

    established and future plans of management agencies.

    A core aim of the Experiences Development Strategy is to

    increase the value of international tourism balanced with

    recognition of the need to protect the environmental and

    community values for future generations. Visitation to the

    region is mostly domestic overnight and day trips (see

    Appendix 2), however the regions natural assets appeal to

    the international Experience Seeker. The tourism product

    however does not capture a large share of the potential

    market. At present less than 1% of all international visitors

    that visit National Parks in Victoria and New South Wales do

    so in Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    Visitors spend almost half a billion dollars ($487M) in the

    region annually. Of this, international visitors spend only 1%

    (under $40 per night). This is significantly below the state

    average ($95 per night). A key aim of the Experiences

    Development Strategy at sustainable rates and the average

    spend through appropriate development. A goal of the

    Experiences Development Strategy is to grow the value of

    tourism to the region to almost $1B by 2020 (see Appendix

    2).

    Humpback whale breaching off The Pinnacles, Ben Boyd National Park

    Courtesy of Cat Balou Cruises, Eden

    In wilderness is the preservation of the world.

    Henry David Thoreau

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 11

    1. BUILDING A TRULY UNIQUE DESTINATION IMAGE

    A destination brand has already been created for Australias

    Coastal Wilderness. The challenge is now to undertake the

    development of a distinctive brand identity and to raise

    awareness both pre-trip and en-route of the destinations

    truly unique experiences.

    Through the process of developing a brand identity,

    managers and operators will have the tools to ensure that

    visitors can be provided with clear messages that guide them

    to and through the unique experiences they will encounter.

    That is, effectively delivering the message both in pre-trip

    planning and en-route through a strong partnership with

    Tourism Australia and working in concert with state and

    local Government to embed the Australias Coastal

    Wilderness message in all international visitor

    communication where possible.

    To achieve this, the region needs to:

    Ensure that the destination is promoted to key international markets through partnership activities

    with the State Tourism Organisations and Tourism

    Australia including the development of a brand

    identity;

    Develop and promote Precincts and Journeys that have a specific role in delivering the experience to visitors,

    including gateway precincts, experience precincts and

    some key journeys that link these together; and

    Ensure that inspirational information is provided at key gateways to the destination (for example Bombala,

    Bermagui and Lakes Entrance) to provide information

    about the experiences through consistent information

    and interpretation strategies.

    Mallacoota, Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 12

    MARKETING PLAN

    Tourism Australia is committed to the ongoing promotion of

    National Landscapes and has a comprehensive consumer

    and trade promotional program planned for 2009/10. The

    State and Regional Tourism Organisations are developing

    approaches to incorporating National Landscapes into their

    ongoing international promotions programs. For Australias

    Coastal Wilderness to gain greater awareness in the

    Experience Seeker target market it must maximise the

    leverage available through its partners this requires a

    collaborative approach facilitated through a Marketing Plan.

    The primary objective of the marketing approach is to find

    agreement between key stakeholders on how to promote

    the message to the Experience Seeker market and the

    trade without creating confusion or a duplication of effort.

    Without it, Australias Coastal Wilderness runs the risk of

    duplication and having limited cut-through. As the first

    stage, a distinctive brand identity will be established for

    Australias Coastal Wilderness utilising the services of

    branding professionals. This project will both define the

    substance of the brand identity for use in telling the story

    and create the look and feel for the identity including colour,

    typefaces, photographic and other graphic elements. It will

    create a brand manual of identity elements for end users

    including land management agencies and the tourism

    industry.

    Example marketing initiatives include:

    Develop an Australias Coastal Wilderness Brand Toolkit enabling all stakeholders to understand what

    the brand is and how to bring it to life in

    promotions and in product development;

    Investigate the delivery of an Australias Coastal Wilderness brand website;

    Development of content for the Tourism Australia National Landscapes site-let including opportunities

    for user-generated content;

    Creating a photo library with Tourism Australia;

    Special interest visitor guides and publications;

    Travel stories (PR) with Tourism Australia and the State Tourism Organisations;

    Itineraries and packages for the niche markets (bird watching, wildflowers etc);

    Editorial coverage in the Sydney-Melbourne Coastal Drive publication;

    Development and promotion of Coastal Wilderness themed events;

    Promote the destination as a location for film and television productions; and

    Dedicated collateral (if required).

    PRIORITY PROJECTS MARKETING PLAN

    Develop a Marketing Plan that includes actions for undertaking partnership marketing activities. These include use of a Brand Toolkit and development of Australias Coastal Wilderness website and content. With Tourism Australia,

    Tourism Vic and Tourism NSW. Consider delivery of messages throughout the trip planning cycle and explore the

    feasibility of dedicated collateral for promotion of the destination, including a film and TV location and better

    utilisation of Tourism Australias network including e-newsletters, Search Engine marketing, trade links and other

    networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 13

    PRECINCTS & JOURNEYS

    The Experiences Development Strategy recognises that the

    traveller will enjoy a range of different experiences that

    contribute to the whole sense of immersion within a unique

    coastal wilderness. While some projects would be supported

    in one setting, they would be inappropriate in another.

    The Strategy recognises three settings that support different

    types of experiences for visitors; they are:

    1. Gateway precincts;

    2. Experience precincts (including Emerging Experience Precincts); and

    3. Journeys.

    GATEWAY PRECINCTS

    Gateway precincts are significant communities in the region

    that offer a range of accommodation, visitor services and

    opportunities to plan, prepare and engage in experiences.

    Each gateway differs in its level of development. While

    visitors will enter Australia via one of the international

    gateways (likely Sydney or Melbourne) or through

    communities such as Canberra, Cooma or Moruya their

    experience begins at the gateway precinct.

    Bermagui & Cobargo: The northern gateways, Bermagui and

    Cobargo offer established tourism destinations with the

    services expected by free and independent international

    travellers. The Visitor Centres will play a key role in gateway

    information provision and future development should focus

    on international readiness; greater product depth in terms

    of indigenous and cultural attractions (e.g. Montague Island

    and niche accommodation and dining options showcasing

    regional food and wine).

    Bairnsdale & Lakes Entrance: Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance

    provide a range of accommodation and visitor services. As

    key information gateways for those arriving by road or those

    accessing the East Gippsland Rail Trail, the information

    centres in both towns should be key sites identified in the

    proposed Interpretation Plan. Further development of niche

    accommodation, dining options and equipment hire (e.g.

    bike hire) will occur as demand increases and should be

    encouraged.

    Merimbula, Bega, & Pambula: The only regional airport,

    Merimbula represents a critical link in the future

    development of the destination. The communities of Bega,

    Pambula and Merimbula offer a range of accommodation

    and visitor services including tours and attractions, however

    few, if any of these products are currently active in the

    international market. Further development of air access,

    attractions, activities and dining options will be vital to

    attracting and delivering the promise to international

    Experience Seekers. Additional information, interpretation

    and booking services should also be encouraged.

    Bombala & South East Forests: Offering a mix of heritage,

    cultural and nature-based tourism experiences Bombala and

    the South East Forests are both a gateway and an emerging

    experience. A key gateway for information and

    interpretation the area also offers a number of experiences

    including the Platypus Reserve, short walks in the tall forests

    and spectacular scenic drives. Emerging experiences are the

    cultural and heritage sites such as Delegate, Nunnock

    Swamp and the Bundian Way indigenous tourism

    experience. Further development of accommodation,

    dining, attractions and service quality is vital to attracting

    international visitors.

    EXPERIENCE PRECINCTS

    The Experience Seeker target market seeks authentic,

    adventurous destinations that deliver something out of the

    ordinary. The following experience precincts represent

    attractions in their own right.

    Cape Conran, Marlo & Orbost: Well established in the

    domestic market, these areas offer a range of

    accommodation and basic services in the precinct. Key areas

    for development of the international market include

    accommodation, dining, attractions (especially night-time,

    family and wet-weather), and improved access (e.g. road to

    Cape Conran and the development of bike trails, walking

    tracks and associated facilities).

    Mallacoota and Gypsy Point: Offering a unique coastal

    lifestyle, spectacular scenery and plenty of guided and

    unguided experiences, the Mallacoota and Gypsy Point

    precinct embodies the Australias Coastal Wilderness brand.

    As the gateway, the township of Genoa plays a key

    information and interpretation role and requires additional

    infrastructure (e.g. an information bay and public facilities).

    The town of Mallacoota encapsulates the Australias Coastal

    Wilderness experience offering accommodation and

    activities and is an ideal base for experiencing the

    surrounding wilderness, including Croajingolong National

    Park. While appropriate accommodation exists, further

    promotion and development will enhance growth of the

    international Experience Seeker market. This precinct

    offers an ideal mix of access and location, improving key

    elements of the availability of activities suited to

    international visitors (including bike, boat and canoe hire)

    will add to its overall attractiveness as a must do

    experience. This precinct represents a prime location to

    increase visitor stay and spend.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 14

    Eden & Ben Boyd: The nature and wildlife experiences of

    Twofold Bay and the Ben Boyd National Park are attracting

    increasing interest from international backpackers, cruise

    ships, and education travellers. Key areas for future

    development include servicing the growing outdoor and

    active travel market looking for extended walks (e.g. Light to

    Light) as well as delivering quality dining, accommodation

    and attractions. An emerging experience is indigenous

    tourism and the need to develop guided and unguided tours

    linked to the Bundian Way and the established marine

    tourism industry. Development of Snug Cove and luxury

    accommodation at Cattle Bay are a priority to create a

    bustling tourism and marine precinct. This precinct should

    plan for future growth in international visitation through a

    Destination Management Plan.

    EMERGING EXPERIENCE PRECINCTS

    Pioneering international travellers have already begun to

    access the following emerging experience precincts,

    however significantly more investment is needed.

    Biamanga & Mimosa Rocks National Parks: These coastal

    parks between Bermagui and Tathra and the Princes

    Highway are already popular with locals and their visiting

    friends and relatives. International visitors can currently

    follow the established coastal tourist drive to experience

    these parks. This experience could benefit from the

    development of commercial facilities such as

    accommodation development on or near the parks,

    encouraging more guided tours to establish through longer-

    term permits and engaging the Indigenous community in

    further product development.

    Nadgee Howe Wilderness: From Disaster Bay and Wonboyn

    Lake to Mallacoota is one of the most significant areas of

    Coastal Wilderness in Australia. Straddling the border the

    Nadgee Howe Wilderness represents a significant

    opportunity for the establishment of guided and unguided

    wilderness walks through some of the most remote parts of

    the destination. As a dedicated Wilderness area in New

    South Wales and Victoria tourism infrastructure will not be

    permitted under existing legislation, and tourism activity in

    this zone will be limited.

    Cann River, Point Hicks, and Inlets: Through the gateway of

    Cann River visitors can experience some of the most

    spectacular coastal wilderness located in and adjacent to the

    Croajingolong National Park. Increasing popularity with

    international visitors associated with both the overnight

    walks and day trips will create pressures on access and

    accommodation. These are key management issues for

    delivering a wilderness experience. Significant planning

    and consultation is required at Point Hicks, including a

    review of access for visitors, day-use and overnight camping,

    to account for the possible growth in overnight walkers and

    day trips.

    Snowy River & Hinterland Forests: An alternative to the

    fringing coastal forests are the majestic Snowy River and

    South East Forests including the Coopracamba, and

    Errinundra National Parks. Theres an opportunity to

    develop a network of scenic drives that link some

    spectacular forests with a number of sites currently under

    investigation for accommodation development. There are

    also strong links with the Australian Alps National

    Landscape. Accommodation, information, signage and

    interpretation will be needed to encourage greater visitor

    dispersal.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS PRECINCTS

    Preparation of Precinct Master Plans for Point Hicks and Cape Conran to guide the sustainable growth of existing and emerging experience precincts. The Master Plans should be prepared in accordance with Parks Victoria

    management planning processes and include consideration of access and other servicing constraints, expansion of

    accommodation, and developing linkages to existing and planned East Gippsland Icon Walks.

    Develop Destination Management Plans for Mallacoota and Eden to build the capacity to meet the needs of international visitors including product development, packaging, participation in international promotion and

    service quality and reduce the impacts of seasonality.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    In partnership with Local and State Government investigate visitor transport gaps and aim to link gateway and experience precincts, building on existing transport providers to improve visitor transport within the region

    without the use of hire vehicles.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 15

    JOURNEYS

    Destinations such as Australias Coastal Wilderness present

    visitors with a vast array of options and possibilities.

    Journeys or linkage devices such as the Sydney

    Melbourne Coastal Drive provide a way that visitors can

    make sense of the offer.

    Journeys also provide a link between gateway and

    experience precincts that provides reassurance, guidance

    and a sense of adventure for travellers.

    Existing Journeys

    Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive is an internationally promoted touring product that provides an ideal device

    for further promotion of Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    Greater operator participation from this region is vital.

    East Gippsland Rail Trail is the starting point for the development of a non-motorised traveller market.

    Building on this with additional trail in a staged

    approach will begin to build the regions brand for

    slow tourism experiences.

    Great Alpine Road while not in the region, it provides an alternative inland path that would support new

    market growth into Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    Opportunities

    Two significant new products emerged in the development

    of the Strategy. Both have strong links into history. One is

    the worlds oldest trading route and a journey of global

    significance. The second is a new way of experiencing the

    destination that takes us back to a time before the motor-

    vehicle was our main mode of transport.

    The Bundian Way is a 260km ancient trading route established by the Indigenous people of Southern NSW

    and Eastern Victoria linking the ocean to the Alps. It

    creates a tangible connection between the coastal and

    alpine landscapes for international Experience

    Seekers. While few will experience the entire journey,

    the opportunity exists to deliver a series of

    interpretation points, trails and guided tours. The first

    step is to survey the route, document the journeys

    history and identify the sustainable tourism

    opportunities.

    The Coastal Wilderness Way is a new concept of creating a braided trail, linking existing and emerging

    walks and trails to link Bermagui to Lakes Entrance for

    those wishing to explore the region without their own

    motor vehicle. This exemplar project of slow tourism

    aims to create linkages of walking, bike, canoe and sea

    kayak trails connected by alternative transport

    mechanisms including public transport and transport

    provided by commercial operators. This is a long term

    project that will rely on commercial operators, so it will

    not happen all at once.

    Priority PROJECTS JOURNEYS

    Develop a Master Plan to interpret and develop the Bundian Way as an indigenous tourism journey linking Eden to the Alps, including surveying of the route and identifying the most viable components of this project in the short

    and medium term (guided walks, tourist drive, etc). This will need to be undertaken in consultation with all key

    stakeholders to identify what developments are possible and appropriate.

    Analyse existing or proposed trails and transport to identify gaps for the Coastal Wilderness Way with the vision of delivering a non-motorised wilderness journey that connects the entire region from Lakes Entrance to Bermagui,

    including further bike and walking tracks, and canoe trips.

    Assist new operators to participate in the Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive promotions and packaging opportunities.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Support the development and signposting of Tourist Drives in the hinterland with interpretation points along the route. These tourist drives need to be developed in keeping with best practice guidelines in safe and effective

    tourist drives and provide consistent ACW visitor information and interpretation.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 16

    VISITOR INFORMATION & INTERPRETATION

    Australias Coastal Wilderness covers a large and diverse

    area with a variety of jurisdictions, approaches and

    priorities. To encourage visitors to explore the region a

    more consistent and engaging approach to information and

    interpretation is needed. That is, supporting existing Visitor

    Information Centres and new visitor information facilities

    where appropriate, supported by additional on-site and

    roadside interpretation material that links sites and

    experiences to encourage longer stays.

    At present, visitors could easily travel through the Australias

    Coastal Wilderness region by road and gain only a glimpse of

    the regions unique attractions. At natural and established

    decision-points and stopping places, a network of

    information and interpretation is needed that introduces the

    passing traveller to the stories of the region and directs

    them to key locations to see, hear and experience more.

    On-site interpretation at key sites will be vital to delivering

    the experience of a Coastal Wilderness as for many this will

    be limited to what they read in the brochure or online prior

    to travel. Developing the stories, themes and material will be

    a key part of the development and evolution of the Brand

    and should reflect the Brand Values. This includes the

    delivery of information through traditional methods (signs

    and printed materials) as well as innovative approaches (e.g.

    podcasts).

    Key objectives of the delivery of Visitor Information and

    Interpretation include:

    To engage local communities in sharing their stories;

    Link to existing infrastructure and stopping places where possible;

    Create a hierarchy of information locations; and

    Be innovative including adoption of new technology where possible.

    PRIORITY PROJECT VISITOR INFORMATION

    Develop strategies to encourage the provision of high quality and consistent visitor information & interpretation across Australias Coastal Wilderness. Encourage longer stays, create linkages and deliver a more consistent visitor

    experience through a network of sites (both Information Centres and interpretative sites).

    -PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Investigate the feasibility and preferred location of an iconic Croajingolong Interpretative Centre in Mallacoota with a tourism / customer service approach as a hub for activities in the region.

    Upgrading of information at gateway centres including investigation of new facilities at locations such as Genoa (e.g. pullover information bay and public facilities).

    Davidson Whaling Station

    Courtesy of EC3 Global

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 17

    2. CREATING ICONIC EXPERIENCES

    Australia is known for its unspoilt coastline and many

    destinations offer a coastal wilderness experience.

    Australias Coastal Wilderness is truly unique in its mix of

    charismatic fauna (whales, platypus, penguins, etc),

    spectacular scenery, an ancient and active Indigenous story,

    and the limited number of people accessing it at any one

    time. However, none of these features in isolation is unique

    for Australia and the lack of a singular iconic feature (e.g.

    Great Barrier Reef or Uluru) makes the decision harder for

    time-poor visitors.

    The development of tourism throughout the destination

    must focus on building upon the many strengths and

    features of the destination to deliver a range of less tangible,

    yet iconic experiences for which the Australias Coastal

    Wilderness will become renowned for.

    Key experiences for which the destination can become

    recognised include:

    Aboriginal Australia - All products and experiences directly

    relating to indigenous cultural heritage, with a focus on

    providing opportunities for direct engagement with local

    indigenous people and immersion in Aboriginal stories and

    activities;

    Nature & Wildlife Products and experiences that immerse

    the Experience Seeker in unique and personally compelling

    nature-based tourism experiences with or without the use of

    a commercial guide or operator, including long and short

    walking opportunities, guided whale watching, independent

    and guided scuba diving, platypus viewing, etc; and

    Coastal Lifestyle Opportunities for visitors to immerse

    themselves in the relaxed lifestyle experience of the unique,

    accessible and well serviced coastal communities throughout

    the Australias Coastal Wilderness, including exploring

    villages, relaxing in a cafe or restaurant by the water, buying

    local seafood off the boat and engaging with local people.

    Point Hicks, Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 18

    ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA

    There are strong indigenous connections to the Australias

    Coastal Wilderness landscape, and active Aboriginal

    communities who are keen to share their stories.

    Encouraging new and existing tourism businesses to develop

    will improve the economic prospects for the destination as a

    whole. For example, the Bundian Way, a 40,000 year old

    indigenous trail from Eden to the Alps established before the

    Silk Road, is an exceptional international tourism product

    development opportunity which has the potential to be a

    catalyst for the development of viable indigenous tourism

    businesses throughout the entire region.

    Growing from a small base, what is needed is a staged

    approach to business development for Aboriginal

    communities and cultural tourism enterprises to deliver

    face-to-face tourism experiences backed by product

    development. Training of guides, sharing ideas and

    experiences of business success and challenges and gaining

    suggestions and mentoring are key priorities in the area of

    indigenous and cultural tourism.

    The Experience Development Strategy aims to support new

    indigenous tourism product linked to tourism experiences

    and precincts

    including walking trails near Eden and Ben Boyd National

    Park (to the Monaroo Bobberer Gudu Keeping Place);

    indigenous guides for wildlife cruises on Twofold Bay; guided

    tours including canoe tours (such as Culture in the

    Catchment at Lake Tyers); re-establishment of the Umbarra

    Cultural tourism products; and development of new

    products around the Bundian Way.

    These projects and ideas have existed for some time but

    need a catalyst to make them sustainable.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA

    Support the further development of the Monaroo Bobberer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy Farm) as a hub of indigenous tourism experiences through a Business Development and Concept Plan and securing safe access.

    Jigamy Farm should be developed as a gateway to the Bundian Way and training facility for indigenous guides.

    Engage with indigenous communities for the development of cultural tourism product and support for new, existing and emerging indigenous tourism businesses. Draw on a range of existing federal, state and local

    programs including Indigenous Business Australia.

    Courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 19

    NATURE AND WILDLIFE

    While individually few of the locations in Australians Coastal

    Wilderness are unique in the world (with the exception of

    the sites such as the Croajingalong World Biosphere and the

    Gabo Island penguin colony), the close proximity and variety

    of nature and wildlife experiences available is a unique

    selling point. To build a truly unique product, the destination

    must remain true to its vision of value over volume and

    seek to develop nature and wildlife experiences that are

    personal and enriching rather than appealing to the mass

    tourism market.

    The products and experiences that are needed are those

    that provide the opportunity for the Experience Seeker to

    be immersed in unique and personally compelling nature-

    based tourism experiences with or without the use of a

    commercial guide or operator. The region should aim to be

    renowned world-wide for engaging and personal nature and

    wildlife experiences that go beyond the photograph to

    emotionally and spiritually enriching encounters that are

    authentic and memorable but require a little more time and

    effort from the visitor.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS NATURE & WILDLIFE

    Plan and develop supporting facilities to implement a unique and wild hiking experience from Cape Conran to Mallacoota via Point Hicks. An overnight East Gippsland walk (promotional name to be developed) would be a key

    part of the broader Coastal Wilderness Way, developed in accordance with Parks Victoria management planning

    processes. Key initiatives include brand development, trail mapping and marking and encouraging commercial tour

    businesses to run guided tours. Due to a number of significant barriers (including crossing of inlets, availability of

    water and limited existing facilities) a staged approach is recommended starting with the Cape Conran to Point Hicks

    section (Phase one). NB Elements of this walk already exist in a basic sense.

    Prioritise and progress the development of short walks throughout Australias Coastal Wilderness, including progressing the five new walks and upgrade and promotion of existing walks identified in the Far East Gippsland Icon

    Walks Study and implementation of iconic short walks in New South Wales in accordance with NSW National Parks

    and Wildlife Service Plans of Management.

    Develop the platypus reserve in Bombala into a unique visitor experience through additional facilities, landscaping and interpretation.

    Encourage the development of the Light to Light Walk as a world class guided and independent walking experience through progressing feasibility investigations into expanded commercial guided tours and eco-sensitive

    accommodation for walkers such as the adaptive re-use of existing buildings at Green Cape and at key sites including

    Mowarry Point.

    Expansion and further development of activities at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre including marine discovery tours; presentation of indigenous stories and encouraging the inclusion of indigenous guides on tour

    vessels; and support for the overall improvement of the Snug Cove environs as a bustling tourism and marine

    precinct, which people can experience before and after their tours.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Attract a tour operator to establish guided eco-tours along the walk through the Nadgee-Howe Wilderness designed to have minimal impact on the site and on public access to the trail. This remote area is a protected wilderness

    area, and as such numbers are currently limited.

    Support for the investigation into a new multi-day walking trail from Merimbula to Eden, including the development of feasibility and concept plans and building on the existing coastal link between Tathra and Merimbula.

    Develop and promote iconic experiences in selected Marine National Parks including tour operators, boat hire, and gear hire including a review of accessibility.

    Support conservation tourism programs linked to National Parks (similar to Montague Island) and promote as key experiences. This may require coordination of existing programs with new products and experiences.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 20

    COASTAL LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

    The laid back lifestyle and culture of the coastal and

    hinterland communities of Australias Coastal Wilderness is

    an important element of the attractiveness of the region for

    the international Experience Seeker. The opportunity exists

    to strengthen the delivery of arts, culture, food and wine

    products and experiences at key gateway and experience

    precincts throughout the region. Actions in this section that

    relate to culture refer specifically to products and

    experiences that facilitate immersion in European cultural

    heritage.

    A key selling point for Australia and Australias Coastal

    Wilderness is the stress free nature and relaxed lifestyle of

    coastal and hinterland communities. The sea and tree

    change is seen to offer numerous health and well-being

    benefits in an increasingly stressful world. Australias Coastal

    Wilderness offers a slow tourism destination that is

    equivalent to the slow food movement in Europe. It taps

    into a inherent need by people to take time to appreciate

    the things in life that are most valuable.

    The development of Precincts identified in Building a Truly

    Unique Destination Image (page 11) should be progressed

    through Local Government planning and approvals

    processes (subject to appropriate consultation). In

    particular, there are Priority Projects identified in this report

    that will enhance and develop the community and coastal

    lifestyle.

    It is notable that this area of the Experiences Development

    Strategy does not have a list of identified Priority projects. This is a reflection of the high level of amenities

    already existing and that the commercial viability of new

    initiatives relies on other priority projects. High priority

    initiatives identified elsewhere in the Experiences

    Development Strategy include:

    Air access to Merimbula;

    Development of Snug Cove in Eden;

    Establishing Cann River as a future activity node; and

    Future development of information centres as

    gateways.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS COASTAL LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

    Undertake an audit of the existing food and wine mentoring and marketing initiatives and build upon these through the establishment of an ACW Food and Wine cluster linked to relevant state agencies. This would include

    engaging local fishermen and/or local restaurants to deliver and promote local seafood.

    Support where feasible development of the PS Curlip paddle steamer at Marlo as an iconic Australias Coastal Wilderness experience.

    Provide a consistent opportunity for visitors to view European cultural activities and history such as shearing demonstrations and historical displays in Bombala.

    Explore the potential of targeted marketing and new product development supporting growth in the niche market of health and well-being due to ACWs available air access points and health services.

    Eden Harbour, Courtesy of Hamilton Lund

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 21

    3. DELIVERING THE PROMISE

    Australias Coastal Wilderness offers the promise of a unique

    and fulfilling holiday experience away from the stress of

    modern life. Delivering on this promise and meeting (if not

    exceeding) the expectations of the international Experience

    Seeker is a key challenge for the destination. Research

    supports the idea that promising and not delivering is very

    damaging to a destinations reputation, especially in a global

    village connected through technology such as the social

    networking sites and user-generated web content.

    At present, the destination product is well suited to the

    adventurous and domestic market and those seeking a

    beach holiday. To attract and meet the needs of the

    international Experience Seeker, it is recommended that

    Australias Coastal Wilderness will need:

    Greater participation in the international tourism distribution network by current operators including the

    development of product packages or bundles through

    industry and product development;

    Development of international ready and iconic accommodation places; and

    Improved linkages to and through the destination with tours and transport including the need to deliver on

    the promise of personalised wildlife and nature

    experiences.

    Once these key challenges have been progressed the

    marketing and promotion will be supported by products

    and experiences that are actively promoting to the

    international market.

    Whale Watching, Courtesy of Sapphire Coast Tourism

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 22

    INDUSTRY AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

    While new product development will play an important role

    in the future success of Australias Coastal Wilderness as an

    international destination, the depth and range of existing

    product provides significant opportunities. Encouraging

    greater operator participation in international tourism

    distribution is the aim of an Industry & Product

    Development Plan. At present there is only a handful of

    tourism products in the destination that would be

    considered international market-ready by Tourism Australia

    or the State Tourism Organisations and who actively

    participate in international trade and consumer promotions.

    An Industry and Product Development Plan is needed to

    identify the ideal strategies to increase participation in

    international promotional activities (e.g. State Tourism

    Organisations, Tourism Australia, and Sydney Melbourne

    Coastal Drive). The Industry and Product Development Plan

    would not only identify the key steps and assistance

    available for businesses and events to become international

    market-ready but also provide guidance on the existing

    product that is ready to take the first step. The plan would

    look at the merits of a

    mentoring program and provide links to available research

    on the international market for local and regional

    practitioners to disseminate.

    Key partners in industry and product development include

    (but are not limited to):

    Tourism Australia;

    State Tourism Organisations;

    Regional Tourism Organisations;

    Indigenous Business Australia;

    Tourism Industry Associations;

    Local Government;

    Regional Economic Development Organisations; and

    Chambers of Commerce.

    The willingness and ability of existing products to become

    internationally-ready will determine new product

    development priorities.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS INDUSTRY & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

    Prepare an Industry & Product Development Plan to assist with addressing the challenges of increasing the number of international-ready tourism businesses. The plan would include recommendations concerning how to

    work with State, Regional and Local Tourism Organisations to deliver service and international market-readiness

    training programs including potentially a mentoring program for new and existing operators.

    Distribute Australias Coastal Wilderness Brand Toolkit to assist with presentation and development of new products.

    Undertake a Heritage Tourism Strategy for the Sapphire Coast to identify a suite of quality heritage experiences.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Identify and grow existing regional events to be more attractive to international visitors and encourage longer stays in the region.

    Develop an Evaluation Framework and research program linked to the Key Performance Indicators including regular visitation, yield and satisfaction research with Tourism Australia. Note, it is considered that some

    conservation frameworks already exist within the various management plans applied by land management

    agencies and local governments.

    Support an industry-lead Coastal Wilderness Guides group which links new and established guides into training and service delivery partnerships, co-operative marketing and joint negotiations for extended permits with

    protected area managers. This would include mentoring for new and niche guiding business.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 23

    ICONIC ACCOMMODATION

    The current accommodation offering within Australias

    Coastal Wilderness consists in the main of three-four star

    hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and some upmarket tented

    accommodation. While the existing accommodation offering

    satisfies the expectations of most domestic visitors, and the

    early adopter international market, new and enhanced

    accommodation options will improve the attractiveness of

    the region to the Experience Seeker.

    There is also a need to ensure that accommodation is

    developed to complement new and emerging experiences

    such as the overnight walks (e.g. Light to Light). Iconic

    accommodation is simply a location and style of

    accommodation that embodies the wilderness brand and

    positions Australias Coastal Wilderness in the minds of

    international consumers and the international trade. Some

    locations for consideration include:

    Various locations in the established experience precincts of Mallacoota and Eden;

    Locations in emerging precincts including Disaster Bay, Tamboon Inlet, Kiah River (Eden) and Bemm River;

    Adaptive reuse of existing buildings at the Penders site in Bithry Inlet (Mimosa Rocks National Park);

    Investigate the viability of expanding the accommodation offer at Green Cape Lighthouse (Ben

    Boyd National Park), Gabo Island, Point Hicks and Cape

    Conran subject to further investigations and alignment

    with the Plans of land managers;

    Locations identified through the Victorian Land Bank investigations; and

    Adaptation and expansion of existing accommodation in both the gateway precincts and experience precincts

    to better meet the needs of the Experience Seeker.

    These sites should be subject to further investigations

    including extensive community consultations in partnership

    with National Parks authorities. It is intended that this Plan

    forms, but does not supersede Park Management Plans or

    other existing plans.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS ICONIC ACCOMMODATION

    Undertake feasibility studies and business case development to assess the viability to expand accommodation at Cape Conran, Point Hicks and Gabo Island, in accordance with Parks Victoria management planning processes.

    This accommodation at these sites will support both the extended coastal walking trail and niche market visitors

    looking for experiential accommodation. However comprehensive overview plans are not currently funded or

    prioritised projects and this will impact on outcomes.

    Investigate feasibility for adaptive re-use of the existing buildings at Penders site, Bithry Inlet, Mimosa Rocks National Park for visitor accommodation.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Investigate future opportunities for accommodation development that supports the Victorian Land Bank process.

    Support the development of a Tourism Accommodation Investment Prospectus. The Prospectus would identify existing gaps in the supply of suitable accommodation and opportunities for development of appropriate facilities

    on identified parcels of public and private land throughout the region, and would seek to encourage investment

    in new accommodation relevant to the experience seeker market.

    Encourage expansion and refurbishment of existing accommodation properties through engagement with industry. This may include the roll-out of a program such as the Sustainable Tourism CRC and Hotel Motel and

    Accommodation Association Motel Makeover Kit.

    Green Cape,

    Courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 24

    TOURS & TRANSPORT

    As identified in Destination Challenges and Opportunities

    (page 5), access is a key constraint. However, there is

    currently a lack of critical mass of visitors which makes

    expanding services challenging.

    It is recognised that the challenge of access to and within

    Australias Coastal Wilderness will need to be addressed by

    facilitating collaborative and innovative approaches. This will

    include the development of packaged holidays, innovative

    and flexible transport options and connection points, guided

    tours and support for improved road, rail, air and sea access.

    The Strategy aims to inform, but does not supersede, state

    or local planning processes and all projects outlined would

    be subject to environmental, social and economic

    assessment and extensive community consultation.

    Key objectives and long-term goals for the development of

    tours and transport to and through Australias Coastal

    Wilderness identified through the Experiences Development

    Strategy include:

    Direct domestic and international jet air access;

    A seamless network of visitor transport for those

    without motor vehicles;

    Improved access to key experiences for those in

    hire cars; and

    A destination that is renowned for its guided and

    personalised tours.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS TOURS & TRANSPORT

    Support for an Environmental, Social and Economic Impact Assessment of the proposed expansion of the Merimbula Airport including extension of the runway, apron development, new terminal development and

    associated works. This would need to be supported by the development of a tailored business case to attract

    suitable new airlines to Merimbula Airport.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Progress the Coastal Wilderness Way that connects the entire region from Lakes Entrance to Bermagui, through progressing the proposed Snowy River Shared Pathway linking the East Gippsland Rail Trail in Orbost and Marlo.

    Encourage a tour operator product that offers additional water-based activities (guided kayaking, yachting, sailing, etc including overnight trips) on the lake / estuary systems (Wallaga Lake, Eden, Mallacoota).

    Encourage the development of wilderness day-trip products for cruise ships to Eden.

    Development and promotion of canoe trails with equipment hire, links to accommodation and activities along the trails. A first priority would be Gypsy Point to Mallacoota which would link in with the Coastal Wilderness Way.

    Investigate the feasibility of equipment hire options to support of the Coastal Wilderness Way (Phase Two) including canoe trips, and further biking, walking and sea kayaking trails.

    Support improved, safe and adequate blue water access at Mallacoota.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 25

    IMPLEMENTATION

    The Experiences Development Strategy aims to provide a

    strategic intent and direction to inform local, regional and

    state planning priorities for the future development of

    Australias Coastal Wilderness as an international tourism

    destination for the Experience Seeker target market.

    Whilst the Steering Committee will play an important role in

    information dissemination and coordination and in

    managing some projects, the ultimate responsibility for

    implementation of a range of projects may rest with Local

    and State Government, Land Managers, the private sector

    and community.

    Australias Coastal Wilderness as a National Landscape aims

    to move beyond the administrative and jurisdictional

    boundaries to create a seamless tourism journey for the

    international Experience Seeker. The region encompasses

    two states, three local Governments, a range of land

    management agencies and a significant number of tourism

    and community organisations and boundaries. Monitoring

    the progress and achieving consensus are key challenges in

    this environment.

    KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

    The Experiences Development Strategy recommends an

    inclusive process of stakeholder engagement and discussion

    surrounding the identified priorities. That is, projects where

    possible should become part of the planning processes of

    governments, land managers and tourism organisations.

    The successful delivery of the Experiences Development

    Strategy will partly depend on Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Steering Committee maintaining regular communication

    with a broad range of stakeholders. While not prescriptive,

    monitoring the following Key Performance Measures will

    assist the Steering Committee to maintain a dialogue with

    key partners around progress towards the overall goal of

    establishing Australias Coastal Wilderness as an

    international destination.

    Table 1 provides a summary of the recommended Key

    Performance Measures. Targets will need to be established

    from existing information sources including from local,

    regional and state agencies and monitored subject to a

    range of external.

    KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

    Contribution of tourism to the conservation of the natural environment

    Value and proportion of international visitors to Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Priority 1 projects progressing or completed by 2012

    Brand awareness and media exposure of Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Industry participation and international-readiness (including commercial packages)

    Satisfaction of Experience Seekers with the products, precincts and journeys

    Local support for tourism

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Develop a set of targets for the implementation of the Experiences Development Strategy.

    PRIORITY PROJECTS

    Continue to engage local stakeholders by implementing an ACW Communications Strategy and adapt the role and membership of the Steering Committee to reflect the specific stages of project implementation.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 26

    PART B:

    PROJECT ACTION PLAN

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 27

    PRIORITY PROJECT ACTION PLAN

    Priority Projects are considered to be iconic coastal

    wilderness experiences that meet the target market

    needs, are aligned with the brand and are supported.

    Throughout the Experiences Development Strategy

    planning process, 20 Priority Projects were identified,

    and 25 Priority Projects. This Priority Project Action

    Plan provides a description of each of these actions;

    suggested stakeholders groups who would take

    responsibility for the implementation of each project; and

    timeframes for their implementation. Appendix 5

    provides further details concerning specific actions and

    the strategic context for each Priority Project.

    BUILDING A TRULY UNIQUE DESTINATION IMAGE

    PRIORITY PROJECT ACTIONS KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    MARKETING PLAN

    Priority 1 Projects

    Marketing Plan

    Develop a Marketing Plan that includes actions for

    undertaking partnership marketing activities. Promote

    Australias Coastal Wilderness with the Brand Toolkit and

    guidelines. Implement a range of marketing activities that

    deliver messages to visitors throughout the trip planning

    cycle, including:

    - Distribute the Brand Toolkit for stakeholders;

    - Further develop the Brand Website;

    - Development of content for the National Landscapes

    website, including user-generated content;

    - Creating a photo library with Tourism Australia;

    - Special interest collateral and travel guides;

    - Travel stories (PR); and

    - Itineraries and packages for niche markets (bird

    watching, wildflowers etc).

    Explore the feasibility of dedicated collateral for promotion

    of the destination, including:

    - A location film and TV productions;

    - Maps or brochures for the region

    - Better utilisation of Tourism Australias network

    including e-newsletters, Search Engine marketing; Trade

    links; and

    - Generating user-content through other networking

    tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

    ACW Steering

    Committee, Tourism

    Australia, State and

    Regional Tourism

    Organisations.

    1-2 Years

    PRECINCTS AND JOURNEYS

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 28

    PRIORITY PROJECT ACTIONS KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    Priority 1 Projects

    Precinct Master Plans

    Preparation of Precinct Master Plans for Point Hicks and

    Cape Conran to guide the sustainable growth of existing

    and emerging experience precincts. The Master Plans

    should be prepared in accordance with Parks Victoria

    management planning processes and include

    consideration of access and other servicing constraints,

    expansion of accommodation, and developing linkages to

    the East Gippsland Icon Walks. NB These Master Plans are

    not currently prioritised by Parks Victoria.

    Parks Victoria 1-3 Years

    International

    Destination

    Management Plans

    for Mallacoota and

    Eden

    Develop Destination Management Plans for Mallacoota

    and Eden to build the capacity to meet the needs of

    international visitors including product development,

    packaging, participation in international promotion and

    service quality and reduce the impacts of seasonality.

    East Gippsland Shire

    Council, East Gippsland

    RTA and MADBTA.

    1-3 Years

    The Bundian Way

    Master Plan

    Develop a Master Plan to interpret and develop the

    Bundian Way as an indigenous tourism journey linking

    Eden to the Alps, including a survey of the route and

    identification of the most viable components of this

    project in the short and medium term (guided walks,

    tourist drive, etc).

    Eden Local Aboriginal

    Lands Council, NSW

    NPWS, Local

    Governments and ACW

    Steering Committee.

    1-2 Years

    Coastal Wilderness

    Way

    Development of a Coastal Wilderness Way as a non-

    motorised wilderness journey, connecting the entire

    region with further bike and walking tracks, and. canoe

    trips.

    DSE, Parks Victoria,

    NSW NPWS and Local

    Governments.

    1-2 Years

    Sydney to Melbourne

    Coastal Drive

    Assist new operators to participate in the Sydney to

    Melbourne Coastal Drive promotions and packaging

    opportunities.

    ACW Steering

    Committee, State and

    Regional Tourism

    Organisations.

    1-3 years

    Priority 2 Projects

    Visitor Transport Gaps

    In partnership with Local and State Government

    investigate visitor transport gaps and aim to link gateway

    and experience precincts building on existing transport

    providers. Improve visitor transport within the region

    without the use of hire vehicles.

    Local and State

    Government, Transport

    providers and

    operators.

    2-3 Years

    Hinterland Tourist

    Drives

    Support the development and signposting of Tourist Drives

    in the hinterland (including the Snowy River Country Trail)

    with interpretation points along the route. The tourist

    drives need to be developed in keeping with best practice

    guidelines in safe and effective tourist drives and provide

    consistent ACW visitor information and interpretation.

    DSE, Parks Victoria,

    NSW NPWS, Local

    Governments and

    DECC.

    1-5 Years

    VISITOR INFORMATION & INTERPRETATION

    Priority 1 Projects

    Visitor Information

    and Interpretation

    Develop strategies to encourage the provision of high

    quality and consistent visitor information & interpretation

    across Australias Coastal Wilderness. Encourage longer

    stays, create linkages and deliver a more consistent visitor

    experience through a network of sites (both Information

    Centres and interpretative sites).

    ACW Steering

    Committee and Local

    Government.

    1-2 Years

    Priority 2 Projects

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 29

    PRIORITY PROJECT ACTIONS KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    Croajingolong

    Interpretative Centre

    Investigate the feasibility and ideal location for an iconic

    Croajingolong Interpretative Centre with a tourism /

    customer service approach as a hub for activities in the

    region.

    East Gippsland Shire

    Council and Parks

    Victoria.

    3-4 Years

    Information Gateway

    Centres

    Upgrading of information gateway centres including

    investigation of new facilities of locations such as Genoa

    (e.g. pullover information bay and public facilities) and

    support expanded facilities at Cann River.

    ACW Steering

    Committee and Local

    Governments.

    2-5 Years

    CREATING ICONIC EXPERIENCES

    PRIORITY PROJECT DESCRIPTION KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA

    Priority 1 Projects

    Monaroo Boberrer

    Gudu Keeping Place

    Develop and promote the Monaroo Boberrer Gudu

    Keeping Place (Jigamy Farm) as a hub of indigenous

    tourism experiences through a Business Development and

    Concept Plan and securing safe access.

    Eden Local Aboriginal

    Land Council, NSW

    NPWS, Bega Valley Shire

    and Indigenous Business

    Australia.

    1-3 Years

    Indigenous Tourism

    Engage with indigenous communities for the development

    of cultural tourism product and support new and

    emerging indigenous tourism businesses.

    Indigenous Land

    Councils and local

    groups, Indigenous

    Business Australia and

    ACW Steering

    Committee.

    1-2 Years

    NATURE AND WILDLIFE

    Priority 1 Projects

    Overnight East

    Gippsland walk

    Phase One

    Plan and develop supporting facilities and business case

    including a marketing strategy to implement an overnight

    walk in the East Gippsland as a unique and wild hiking

    experience from Cape Conran to Mallacoota. Phase one

    (Cape Conran to Point Hicks) should progress in the short

    to medium term and be undertaken in accordance with

    Parks Victoria management planning processes. NB

    Elements of this walk already exist

    Parks Victoria, DSE, East

    Gippsland Shire Council

    and private investors.

    1-5 Years

    Short Walks

    Prioritise and progress the development of new short

    walks throughout Australias Coastal Wilderness, including

    progressing the five new walks and upgrade and

    promotion of existing walks identified in the Far East

    Gippsland Icon Walks Study and implementation of new

    iconic short walks in New South Wales in accordance with

    Plans of Management.

    Parks Victoria, DSE,

    NSW NPWS and Local

    Governments.

    1-3 Years

    Bombala Platypus

    Reserve

    Develop the Platypus Reserve in Bombala into a unique

    visitor experience through the development of additional

    facilities including walking tracks and picnic tables/seating

    along the river, engaging visitors in conservation projects

    and exploring the potential for guided wildlife tours.

    Bombala Council and

    NSW NPWS. 3-5 Years

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 30

    PRIORITY PROJECT DESCRIPTION KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    Light to Light Walk

    Encourage the development of the Light to Light Walk as a

    world class guided and independent walking experience

    through progressing feasibility investigations into

    expanded commercial guided tours and eco-sensitive

    accommodation. Locations such as adaptive re-use of

    existing buildings at Green Cape and en-route sites

    including Mowarry Point require further investigation.

    NSW NPWS. 1-5 Years

    Sapphire Coast Marine

    Discovery Centre

    Expansion and further development of activities from the

    Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre and support for

    the overall improvement of the Snug Cove environs as a

    bustling tourism and marine precinct.

    Bega Valley Shire

    Council. 1-3 Years

    Priority 2 Projects

    Nadgee Howe

    Wilderness Walk

    Attract a tour operator to establish a guided eco-tour

    along the walk through the Nadgee Howe Wilderness. This

    remote area is protected as Wilderness, and numbers are

    currently limited in order to preserve the site. The tour

    should be designed to have minimal impact on public

    access to this trail.

    Parks Victoria and NSW

    NPWS. 2-5 Years

    Multi-day walking trail

    from Merimbula to

    Eden

    Support for the investigation of a new multi-day trail from

    Merimbula to Eden, including the development of

    feasibility and concept plans and building on the existing

    coastal link between Tathra and Merimbula.

    NSW NPWS, Forests

    NSW, Bega Valley Shire

    Council and Trail

    Committee.

    1-5 Years

    Marine National Parks

    Develop and promote iconic experiences in selected

    Marine National Parks including tour operators, boat hire,

    and gear hire including a review of accessibility.

    Parks Victoria and NSW

    NPWS. 3-5 Years

    Conservation Tourism

    Programs

    Support conservation tourism programs linked to National

    Parks (similar to Montague Island) and coordinate and

    promote as key experiences for those wanting a

    conservation volunteer style experience.

    NSW NPWS, Parks

    Victoria & Volunteers

    Organisation and ACW

    Steering Committee.

    2-3 Years

    COASTAL LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

    Priority 2 Projects

    ACW Food and Wine

    cluster

    Undertake an audit of the existing food and wine

    mentoring and marketing initiatives and build upon these

    through the establishment of an Australias Coastal

    Wilderness Food and Wine cluster linked to relevant state

    agencies. This would include engaging local fishermen

    and/or local restaurants to deliver and promote local

    seafood.

    Regional Tourism

    Organisations and ACW

    Steering Committee.

    1-3 Years

    PS Curlip paddle

    steamer at Marlo

    Support early development of the PS Curlip paddle

    steamer at Marlo as an iconic Australias Coastal

    Wilderness experience.

    PS Curlip and East

    Gippsland Shire. 2-3 Years

    European cultural

    activities

    Provide a consistent opportunity for visitors to view

    European cultural activities and history such as shearing

    demonstrations and historic displays in Bombala.

    Bombala Council. 1-2 Years

    Health and well-being

    tourism

    Explore the potential of targeted marketing and product

    development for the destination in health and well-

    being.

    State and Regional

    Tourism Organisations. 2-3 Years

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 31

    DELIVERING THE PROMISE

    PRIORITY PROJECT DESCRIPTION KEY STAKEHOLDERS TIMEFRAME

    INDUSTRY & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

    Priority 1 Projects

    Industry and Product

    Development

    Prepare an Industry & Product Development Plan to

    encourage greater operator participation in

    international tourism distribution.

    ACW Steering

    Committee, State

    and Regional Tourism

    Organisations.

    1-2 Years

    Brand Toolkit

    Distribute Australias Coastal Wilderness Brand Toolkit

    to assist with presentation and development of new

    products.

    ACW Steering

    Committee, RTOs,

    Local Governments

    1-2 Years

    Sapphire Coast

    Heritage Tourism

    Strategy

    Undertake a Heritage Tourism Strategy for the Sapphire

    Coast to identify a suite of quality heritage experiences SCTB;BVSC 1-2 Years

    Priority 2 Projects

    Regional events

    Identify and grow existing regional events to be more

    attractive to international visitors and encourage longer

    stays in the region.

    RTOs, Local

    Governments and

    Events organisers.

    1-3 Years

    Australias Coastal

    Wilderness Guides

    Support an industry-lead Coastal Wilderness Guides

    training group

    NSW NPWS and

    Parks Victoria, RTOs 2-5 Years

    Research and

    Evaluation

    Framework

    Undertake regular research with Tourism Australia and

    key partners to monitor progress against the Key

    Performance Measures.

    Tourism Australia

    and ACW Steering

    Committee.

    1-2 Years

    (ongoing)

    ACCOMMODATION

    Priority 1 Projects

    Penders site,

    Mimosa Rocks

    Natonal Park

    Investigate feasibility for adaptive re-use of the existing

    buildings at Penders site, Bithry Inlet, Mimosa Rocks NP

    for visitor accommodation.

    NSW NPWS. 2-5 Years

    Cape Conran, Point

    Hicks and Gabo

    Island

    Accommodation

    Undertake feasibility studies and business case

    development to assess the viability to expand

    accommodation at Point Hicks, Cape Conran and Gabo

    Island in accordance with Parks Vic management

    planning processes. The accommodation would support

    both the extended walking trail and niche market

    visitors.

    Parks Victoria. 2-3 Years

    Priority 2 Projects

    Accommodation

    development

    Investigate future opportunities for accommodation

    development that supports the Victorian Land Bank

    process.

    DSE, Parks Victoria

    and NSW NPWS. 1-5 Years

    Tourism

    Accommodation

    Investment

    Prospectus

    Support the development of a Tourism Accommodation

    Investment Prospectus to encourage investment in new,

    iconic accommodation attractive to the Experience

    Seeker market.

    DSE, Parks Victoria

    and DECCW (with

    support from ACW

    Steering Committee).

    1-2 Years

    Accommodation

    makeover

    Implement an education and training program on

    refurbishment and expansion of existing

    accommodation facilities using existing tools such as the

    Motel Makeover kit developed by STCRC and HMAA.

    RTOs. 2-3 Years

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 32

    TOURS & TRANSPORT

    Priority 1 Projects

    Merimbula Airport

    Investigations

    Support for an Environmental, Social and Economic

    Impact Assessment to investigate the feasibility of

    expanding the Merimbula Airport including extension of

    the runway, new terminal development and associated

    works, and a tailored business case to attract suitable

    new airlines to Merimbula Airport.

    Airport Agencies Pty

    Ltd, Bega Valley Shire

    Council

    1-2 Years

    Priority 2 Projects

    Snowy River Shared

    Pathway

    Develop Phase One of the Coastal Wilderness Way

    through the Snowy River Shared Pathway linking the

    East Gippsland Rail Trail in Orbost and Marlo.

    DSE, Parks Victoria

    and East Gippsland

    Shire.

    2-3 Years

    Water-based

    activities

    Encourage a tour operator product that offers additional

    water-based activities (guided kayaking yachting and

    sailing, etc -including overnight) on the lake / estuary

    systems (Wallaga Lake, Eden, Mallacoota).

    Regional Tourism

    Organisations and

    Local Government.

    3-5 Years

    Day trips for Cruise

    Visitors

    Encourage the development of wilderness day-trip

    products for cruise ships to Eden.

    Regional and Local

    Tourism

    Organisations and

    Bega Valley Shire

    Council.

    2-3 Years

    Canoe Trail

    Development and

    Promotion

    Development and promotion of canoe trails with

    equipment hire, links to accommodation and activities

    along the trails. A first priority would be Gypsy Point to

    Mallacoota which would link in with the Coastal

    Wilderness Way.

    Private investors,

    Parks Victoria, NSW

    NPWS and Local

    Government.

    1-2 Years

    Coastal Wilderness

    Way (Phase Two)

    Investigate the feasibility of equipment hire options to

    support of the Coastal Wilderness Way (Phase Two)

    including further biking, walking, sea kayaking trails and

    canoe trips

    DSE, NSW NPWS,

    Parks Victoria, Local

    Governments and

    ACW Steering

    Committee.

    3-5 Years

    Blue water access at

    Mallacoota

    Support improved, safe and adequate blue water access

    at Mallacoota.

    East Gippsland Shire

    Council and State

    Government.

    1-2 Years

    IMPLEMENTATION

    Priority 1 Projects

    Establishing Targets

    Develop a set of targets for the implementation of the

    Experiences Development Strategy and contribution of

    the National Landscape Program.

    ACW Steering

    Committee, Local

    and State

    Governments, Local,

    State and Regional

    Tourism

    Organisations.

    1-2 Year

    Priority 2 Projects

    Stakeholder

    Engagement

    Continue to engage local stakeholders and adapt the

    role and membership of the Steering Committee to

    reflect the stage of implementation

    ACW Steering

    Committee. Ongoing

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 33

    APPENDICES

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 34

    Croajingolong National Park - Genoa Peak,

    APPENDIX 1: BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

    About the Experiences Development Strategy The purpose of the Australias Coastal Wilderness Experiences Development Strategy is to identify iconic world-class

    experiences matching Tourism Australias Experience Seeker target market. With a focus on the international market, the

    Strategy is not a comprehensive regional tourism strategy but rather a blueprint for the regions development through the

    identification of priority short and medium term projects. The Experiences Development Strategy draws on the

    comprehensive suite of existing reports and strategies, consultation with key stakeholders through workshops, interviews,

    site visits, and the experience of the project team.

    The Experiences Development Strategy aims to provide direction to the sustainable future growth of the region. In

    identifying iconic world-class experiences matching the needs of the Experience Seeker target market within precincts and

    corridors the Strategy includes an examination of the future needs in terms

    of:

    Visitor facilities, services and information;

    Infrastructure;

    Product development (including product linkages); and

    Strategic Marketing recommendations.

    While every effort has been made to highlight projects that are viable,

    sustainable and in keeping with the vision for the region, each initiative

    requires an assessment of its financial feasibility and its compliance with

    planning regulations prior to development.

    Key Outcomes of the Experiences Development Strategy The project team and the Steering Committee have taken into account a broad range of ideas and opinions in the

    development of the Strategy. The Experiences Development Strategy provides a summary of the broad strategic direction

    and should be read in conjunction with the Context Analysis to gain a broader appreciation of the input received. While

    every effort has been made to conduct an inclusive and broad ranging consultation and assessment process not all views and

    opportunities are included in the Strategy. The Strategy sets a bold future direction and aspires to the establishment of

    Australias Coastal Wilderness as a future international destination.

    The key outcomes of the Experiences Development Strategy include the identification of:

    Experiences that deliver and maintain the integrity of the Australias Coastal Wilderness brand proposition as well as the Brand Australia and National Landscapes values;

    Product and experience gaps including the identification of investment and infrastructure development required to deliver on the world-class experiences; and

    Priority short and medium term projects for the region including actions, timeframes, and responsibilities along with performance indicators and a review process to measure success.

    About Australias Coastal Wilderness Australias Coastal Wilderness comprises over 300km of wilderness coastline, national parks, state forests and private lands

    stretching from Lake Tyers, Cape Conran and Croajingolong NP in East Gippsland to Nadgee Nature Reserve, Ben Boyd NP

    and Mimosa Rocks NP and Wallaga Lake on the Far South Coast of NSW. It also extends into the hinterland through the South

    East Forests National Parks. The experience boundary reflects ecosystems and the experience of visitors over administrative

    boundaries, making it a truly National Landscape.

    Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 35

    A number of the internationally significant features of Australias Coastal Wilderness include:

    The region is home to more than 50 mammal species, 1,000 native plants and around one third of Australias total bird species. You can catch a glimpse of our unique wildlife in the heath lands and eucalypt forests in the park

    provide a sanctuary for threatened species such as the ground parrot, yellow-bellied glider, and long-nosed potoroo;

    Point Hicks, reputedly the first place of Australia sighted by Captain Cook, is just one of the places to spend a night at the Lighthouse Keepers cottage and stroll along the rocky cliffs where strong winds and rough seas sunk many 18th

    and 19th century voyages, evidenced by the shipwrecks still visible along this coast;

    Various lookouts provide the perfect place to see humpback whales , dolphins and even platypus;

    See White-bellied Sea Eagles soar over granite cliff-faces, the worlds largest colony of little penguins nest on windswept Gabo Island, and communities of seals basking in the sun;

    Spectacular geological sites including the 30 million year old red and white earth formations of The Pinnacles, the Buchan Limestone Caves, the folded coloured rock at Quarry beach, and the huge sand dunes at Thurra River rise to

    a height of over 100 metres above sea level;

    Dine on fresh seafood or sample the delights of the local organic produce;

    Listen to local stories of ancient trading routes, the relationship between the indigenous people and the whalers with the Killer Whales near Eden and of the heroic efforts of shipwreck survivors trekking this vast coastal

    wilderness;

    Numerous unspoilt coastal environments are home to inspiring ocean beaches, great surfing spots, creeks, and lagoons including peaceful inlets and lakes; and

    Ideal long-range walking environments including the Light to Light Walking Track from Boyds Tower to Green Cape over 30km of unspoilt coast south of Eden, and the Coastal Wild Walk over 100km from Marlo to Mallacoota.

    Access and Competition The majority of visitors access the region by road (Princes Highway) with a small but growing market arriving by air through

    Merimbula or private aircraft. The region is approximately 2hrs from the major domestic airports of Sydney and Melbourne

    and the Canberra International Airport (due to open in 2011 / 2012). Access represents both a major constraint to growth in

    the international market and the reason the destination has not experienced greater population and visitor growth.

    Maintaining this balance is a key challenge of the Experiences Development Strategy.

    Along with its proximity to the Princes Highway, regional airports, and a population base servicing established tourism

    gateways the region is surprisingly undeveloped. Incorporating the Bega Valley and Bombala Shires of New South Wales and

    the East Gippsland Shire in Victoria the region is characterised by large areas of National Park, making it one of the least

    densely populated coastal areas within such proximity to major population centres. Table 1 below highlights one of the

    unique selling point of the destination space.

    Table 1: Population and Area by Local Government Area

    Area km2 Population

    Residents per

    km2

    Bega Valley Shire (NSW) 6,279.6 32,655 5.2 Bombala Shire (NSW) 3,944.3 2,635 0.7 East Gippsland Shire (Vic) 20,931.5 41,954 2.0 Total Australias Coastal Wilderness Region 31,155.4 77,244 2.5

    Port Macquarie-Hastings (NSW) 3,687 72,315 19.6

    City of Greater Geelong (VIC) 387.6 208,201 537.2

    City of Melbourne (VIC) 37.6 85,844 2,283.1

    City of Sydney (NSW) 26.15 164,547 6,292.4

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 36

    While unsealed roads provide a barrier to those travelling in hire cares, there are alternatives. Two of the five main hire car

    companies will not allow their vehicles on unsealed roads, the remaining three companies will allow vehicles on well

    maintained, gazetted and metalled or gravel roads and on those roads identified on their list of suitable roads. In addition

    the region is serviced by both V-line and local public transport services.

    The global tourism marketplace is fiercely competitive. New and emerging destinations must offer a real alternative to gain a

    place on the global stage. Yet the global traveller is increasingly time poor so a destination must represent both value for

    money and time. In the face of increased competition and improved access through Low Cost Airlines, Australias Coastal

    Wilderness must compete with domestic and international destinations not only in terms of attractiveness but also in terms

    of accessibility.

    Table 2 (below) highlights the comparative accessibility of Australias Coastal Wilderness key experience precincts (Eden,

    Mallacoota, Cape Conran and Bombala) in comparison to a number of domestic coastal wilderness destinations including

    Freycinet (TAS), The Coorong (SA), Margaret River (WA) and Cooktown (QLD). This comparison is made on the assumption

    that time is the most vital factor (over cost) and includes the use of both regular passenger air transport and road access for

    visitors arriving through either Sydney or Melbourne international airports.

    Table 2: Travel Costs and Time ex Sydney and Melbourne

    Sydney Melbourne

    Closest Airport Travel Time#

    (one way)

    Cost*

    (one way)

    Travel

    Time# (one

    way)

    Cost*

    (one way)

    Eden Merimbula 2 hrs $ 250 1.75 hrs $ 265

    Mallacoota Merimbula 3 .5 hrs $ 265 3.25 hrs $ 280

    Cape Conran Canberra 5.25 hrs $ 225 5.5 hrs $ 235

    Bombala Canberra 3.5 hrs $ 205 3.75 hrs $ 215

    Freycinet (TAS) Launceston 4 .5 hrs $ 220 3.5 hrs $ 190

    The Coorong (SA) Adelaide 3 hrs $ 340 3.5hrs $ 210

    Margaret River (WA) Perth Travel time from Perth - 4.5 hrs

    Travel Costs from Perth - $ 120

    Cooktown (QLD) Cairns Travel time from Cairns - 4.5 hrs

    Travel Costs from Cairns - $ 130

    # Travel time is the shortest time possible via either car, air or combined

    * Cost is based on booking 6 weeks in advance, car hire (max 300km per day) includes fuel costs

    Planning Context The development of the Australias Coastal Wilderness Experiences Development Strategy has included an extensive

    literature review and consultation with key local and state planning agencies to ensure that the recommendations align with

    existing and future plans, documented in the Context Analysis Report. The Steering Committee includes representation from

    key government agencies. An important role of the Steering Committee and other advocates is to promote and distribute the

    Experiences Development Strategy to government agencies and other organisations who are in a position to provide

    mechanisms for the recommendations to be taken forward.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 37

    DESTINATION BRAND The brand Australias Coastal Wilderness reflects a destination of national significance, deeply connected to its community

    yet wild and unspoilt. It tells the story of living in Australias Coastal Wilderness and the interconnected marine, coastal and

    hinterland ecosystems. The following elements are provided to more truly describe the brand identity:

    Essence - Living in Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Values - Conservation, freedom, community, tread lightly

    Personality - Adventurer, environmentalist, teacher

    Attributes - Untouched, coastal nature, accessible

    Embrace Something Wild has been identified as the tagline for

    Australias Coastal Wilderness, which evokes feelings of

    anticipation and excitement while also hinting at the warmth of community. The communication as a whole will be

    established in the brand pillars of Sharing, Nature, Discovery and Freedom:

    Looking at Australias Coastal Wilderness through the three Tourism Australia lenses (below) it is clear that the destination

    builds on Australias pillars of people, environment and lifestyle. It appeals to the core Australian holiday motivations for

    self-fulfilment, relationships, health, freedom and provides a range of settings to deliver many of the core experiences,

    especially beaches, nature, and Indigenous.

    There is no place in Australia that can deliver this experience like Australias Coastal Wilderness. The natural beauty and its

    unique mix of isolation and sensitive development with its relative proximity to the major population centres make it truly

    unique.

    Sharing is:

    Warm and inviting

    It gives a feeling of community and togetherness

    Nature is:

    Pristine and unspoiled because we care for it as a community

    Beautiful and majestic

    Wild and epic in scale

    Discovery is:

    Very personal

    Both a physical and spiritual experience

    At once inward and outward

    Freedom is:

    Part of the discovery journey

    The overarching promise/idea to be communicated

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 38

    Cape Conran, Courtesy of Gavin Hansford

    VISION AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

    Vision The vision for Australias Coastal Wilderness as articulated by the Steering Committee is to focus on value over volume and

    ensure that any future development retains and enhance the qualities outlined in the positioning statement that make it a

    unique destination. That is, an accessible yet remote coastal destination where you can stand on the beach with no one

    elses footsteps but your own!

    Positioning statement

    The Iconic world-class experiences recommended in the Experiences

    Development Strategy aim to reflect and embody the identity explicit in

    the Australias Coastal Wilderness Positioning Statement. The Positioning

    Statement of Australias Coastal Wilderness is simply:

    This hidden pocket of Australias endless coastline is where you can get

    close and share your love of nature. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty

    of tall forests, lakes and beaches in this unspoilt coastal wilderness

    Guiding Principles Projects included in the Experiences Development Strategy aim to:

    SUPPORT THE

    BRAND

    Provide personalised wilderness experiences

    Embody a sense of freedom and discovery

    Provide opportunities to connect physically and spiritually

    Ensure that the environment is unspoilt and pristine

    APPEAL TO THE

    TARGET MARKET

    Access to nature/wilderness in proximity to established townships

    Engage and immerse in the environment, people and culture

    Offer a contrast to everyday life

    Immerse visitors in an Australian coastal lifestyle that is accessible yet remote

    Provide opportunities for personal development and learning

    Provide a sense of freedom

    Give the visitor experiences and stories they can brag about

    Create opportunities for meaningful communication with locals

    BE TRULY ICONIC

    Facilitate experiences on the rivers, estuaries, lakes or coast

    Provide opportunities to experience quiet, coastal lookouts

    Allow visitors to drive or cycle through tall forests inland from the coast

    Provide opportunities to stay in coastal settlements, experience local character and hear the stories of locals by the water

    Provide opportunities to walk along the beach for miles

    Allow visitors to fly over the coast and visit unique places such as Gabo Island

    Provide opportunities to purchase local produce from local growers and fishers

    Facilitate access to wildlife and birdlife, including conservation experiences

    BE SUPPORTED BY

    THE COMMUNITY

    Be sensitive, low impact and complementary to the local natural environment

    Ensure that the sense of wilderness is maintained

    Ensure that the natural features remain the focus of the experience

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 39

    TARGET MARKET While the projects and initiatives included in the Experiences Development Strategy will appeal to a range of domestic and

    international consumers the focus is to develop experiences that are suited to the needs of Tourism Australias target

    market, the Experience Seeker.

    Experience seekers:

    Are experienced international travellers who see travel as an important aspect of their lifestyle

    Investigate holiday options thoroughly and as such are knowledgeable consumers

    Seek out and enjoy authentic personal experiences they can talk about, involve themselves in holiday activities, are

    sociable and enjoy engaging with the locals, environment

    and culture to come away having learnt something

    Are somewhat adventurous and enjoy a variety of experiences on any single trip. They do not enjoy being

    seen as a tourist

    Place high importance on value and hence critically balance

    benefits with costs

    Place high value on contrasting experiences (i.e. different from their everyday lives)

    They typically:

    Spend more and come from households that have higher than average household income

    Are tertiary educated

    Are open-minded and have an interest in world affairs

    Are selective about their media consumption

    Are opinion leaders within their peer and social groups

    Are not characterised by nationality, preferred holiday style/mode or age

    Are substantial consumers of non-traditional and mainstream media and higher than usual consumers of cable television,

    cinema, international news and current affairs and the

    internet

    Understand how brands work and operate and expect messages to be succinct, focused on their motivations and

    provide a compelling message

    Tourism Australia data shows that the Experience Seeker segment

    comprises at least 26% of all potential long haul outbound

    travellers, with the average around 40%. Figure 2 shows the

    potential size of the Experience Seeker market from key Australian

    markets. Experience Seekers can be described as being:

    Young, affluent 2535 couples childless; or

    Affluent families 3045 (with children); or

    Older, affluent couples (children independent) 4565 +; and they are

    aspirational, with a high net worth.

    Figure 2: Size of Experience Seeker Market

    Croajingolong National Park,

    Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 40

    Current Visitor Market For the Year Ended 2008, the international market made up only 5% of total overnight visitors to Australias Coastal

    Wilderness and 5% of visitor nights (see Table 3). In comparison destinations such as the Margaret River (WA) and Freycinct /

    Bay of Fires (TAS) receive between 8-15% international visitor nights. The primary international market to Australias Coastal

    Wilderness is the United Kingdom accounting for approximately 30% of all international visitors, well above the state and

    national averages of 15% and 13% respectively. Germany is the second largest source market for international visitation

    representing approximately 15 % of total international visitors closely followed by the New Zealand market which accounts

    for approximately 10% of international visitors.

    Table 3: Total Visitor Market to Australias Coastal Wilderness & Key Domestic Competitors

    Visitors (000) Visitor Nights (000)

    Domestic International

    Domestic

    Internationa

    l No. % No. %

    TOTAL

    NIGHTS

    Bega Valley 491 96% 21 4% 2,288 96% 88 4% 2,376

    East Gippsland 628 95% 32 5% 2,034 95% 111 5% 2,145

    Total Australias Coastal Wilderness* 1,119 95% 53 5% 4,322 96% 199 4% 4,521

    Freycinct / Bay of Fires (TAS) 373 92% 34 8% 933 92% 78 8% 1,011

    Margaret River (WA) 437 89% 54 11% 1,319 85% 231 15% 1,550

    Cook Shire (Cooktown) 78 90% 9 10% 229 83% 47 17% 276

    * Total excludes Bombala Shire data which is not available Source: Tourism Research Australia

    Future Growth Markets Cruise Tourism

    Cruise Shipping is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in Australia. In 2007-08 the number of ports recording a cruise

    ship visit increased (13%), along with cruise ship passenger capacity (24%) and subsequently the number of total passenger

    days (from 407,301 to 343,045). The economic value of the industry also grew by 47% on the previous year to $324.2 million.

    This market represents an opportunity for growth in Australias Coastal Wilderness along with the lucrative super yacht

    segment. The Port of Eden is one of only three major ports located in NSW suitable for cruise visits. While not all cruise

    passengers will be Experience Seekers the Experiences Development Strategy recognises the work by Cruise Eden in

    promoting the region and identifies a number of experiences that would appeal to this market. While cruise visits to Eden

    declined in recent years, in the 2009-10 year Eden is scheduled to receive 5 passenger ships and 3,500 passengers

    representing a ready market for emerging international products.

    Education (Study) Tourism

    In the year ending December 2008, 7% of all international visitors listed education as their main purpose of visit to Australia,

    staying an average of 143 nights. This makes education tourism a significant market to both New South Wales and Victoria,

    and notably they receive a large share of this market with 53% and 33% of all education visitors visiting the two states

    respectively. It is estimated that for every 3 formal study visitors to Australia, one family member visits and for every 4.5

    formal study visitors, one friend will visit, each contributing their own to the local economy. Australias Coastal Wilderness is

    perfectly positioned to target and benefit from the education tourism market including international conservation volunteer

    groups and visiting academics and scientists.

    High Yield Domestic Travellers

    Traditionally, international source markets generate the highest economic contribution per visitor and visitor night. With a

    focus on value over volume the domestic high-yield market segments has potential also. While experiences in this Strategy

    target the international visitor it is assumed they are attractive to the aspirational high-yield domestic traveller. That is,

    segments such as the Pampadour and True Traveller identified through the Roy Morgan Value segments. These travellers

    are willing to pay for a unique experience, often travel in adult couples, and avoid family destinations. For the True

    Traveller it may be glamping (glamorous camping) in luxury tents in a wilderness setting, for the Pampadour a 5 star

    ecolodge is more their style with gourmet meals and guided walks. While the current product in the Australias Coastal

    Wilderness does not meet all of their needs, the natural setting and the sense of escape is ideal to attract this market.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 41

    KEY TRENDS (AS IDENTIFIED JUNE 2009)

    The future strategic direction of Australias Coastal Wilderness needs to take into account the key Global and National trends

    facing the destination. The following key trends have influenced the development of the Experiences Development Strategy:

    Global

    International visitors are seeking experiences (not just products), and destinations with brag-ability;

    Increasing oil prices and economic fluctuations world-wide are impacting on travel affordability and discretionary spending;

    There is increasing pressure on industry to respond to Climate Change & Sustainability concerns;

    Loss of appeal and competitiveness of Australia relative to other destinations; and

    Emergence of low cost airlines and the impact of their expansion into emerging destinations driving consumer choice.

    National

    Although key tourism statistics indicate a downward trend in terms of activity, the lower Australian dollar (and lower petrol prices) will support some growth in tourism spending in Australia;

    Total spending on tourism in Australia (or total tourism consumption) is forecast to increase by 0.3% (or by $0.3 billion) in 2009, with the 1.8% increase (or $1.2 billion) in the larger domestic visitor segment, offsetting the 3.6% decrease (or

    $0.9 billion) in international tourism consumption.1

    Increasing trend towards direct and online bookings with 62% of international visitors and 68% of domestic visitors now using the internet to gather information. Further, 32% of international visitors and 44% of domestic visitors used the

    internet to book their trip2.

    The skills shortage continues to affect the tourism industry, impacting on growth and Australian consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and discerning.

    Shorter breaks are the increasing trend, and domestic air travel continues to be more price competitive than road travel.

    The impact of low-cost carriers (including international carriers) on the desirability and visitation to domestic destinations.

    Long-term forecasts

    International visitor arrivals are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 3.7% over the period between 2007-2017 to reach 8.1 million arrivals in 2017.

    The distribution of Australias main markets will change dramatically by 2017. In particular, China will become the second largest inbound market from fifth place in 2007, with projected grow at an annual rate of 10.3% over 2007-2017

    period. New Zealand will remain our largest market albeit with lower share (forecast to be 15.6% in 2017 compared

    with 20.2% in 2007).

    Emerging and continuing consumer trends include: the search for authenticity in brands and experiences, the continued importance of tribes, a shift to small indulgences rather than excesses in tough economic times, an ageing

    Australian population, and a desire to be involved in real life and real-time experiences in an increasingly

    manufactured and downloadable culture.

    1 Tourism Research Australia, International Visitor Survey, December 2007

    2 Tourism Research Australia, International Visitor Survey, December 2007

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 42

    APPENDIX 2: INTERNATIONAL GROWTH POTENTIAL

    A core aim of the Experiences Development Strategy is to increase the value of international tourism balanced with the need

    to protect the environmental and community values for future generations. Visitation to the region is primarily domestic

    overnight and day trips (see Table 1), yet the regions natural assets appeal to the international Experience Seeker. At

    present less than 1% of all international visitors that visit National Parks in Victoria and New South Wales do so in Australias

    Coastal Wilderness.

    Visitors spend almost half a billion dollars ($487M) in the region annually. Of this international visitors spend only 1% (under

    $40 per night). This is significantly below the state average ($95 per night). A key aim of the Experiences Development

    Strategy is to both increase the regions share of nature-based visitors at sustainable rates and the average spend through

    appropriate development. A goal of the Experiences Development Strategy is to grow the value of tourism to the region to

    $1B by 2020 (see Table 2).

    The latest forecast report from the Tourism Forecasting Committee (February, 2009) predicts domestic visitor growth to

    average 0.5% per annum between 2012 20127. This growth rate has been adopted for the forecasts to 2020 developed for

    Australias Coastal Wilderness. The international market overall is forecast to grow at 5% per annum over the same period.

    As international visitors to Australias Coastal Wilderness currently represent only 3% of total visitors and 4% of visitor nights

    the total average forecast growth for the region is just 1% per annum.

    Further, the Experiences Development Strategy identifies growth in the share of existing Nature Based International visitors

    (those that currently visit National Parks in Victoria and New South Wales) as a target market. The Stretch Targets identified

    in Table 2 above work on the presumption that through the implementation of the Experiences Development Strategy the

    Table 2: Forecast Visitors to Australias Coastal Wilderness*

    STRETCH TARGET

    (by 2020)*

    Visitors

    Visitor Nights

    Spend per

    night ($s)

    State Average

    Spent

    Total Spend

    ($M)

    DAY TRIPS 955,000 - 95 116 91

    43% 30% 29% 9%

    DOMESTIC 1,181,000 4,560,000 126.5 133 577

    53% 93% 40% 33% 55%

    INTERNATIONAL 109,000 413,000 94.5 152 373

    5% 8% 30% 38% 36%

    TOTAL 2,245,000 4,972,000 316 402 $1041M

    Extra Per Annum 26,375 41,036 $50M

    * Target based on increasing ACWs share of nature-based tourists by 1% above forecast (TFC, 2009), and increasing average spend to

    2009 State average.

    Source: EC3 Global and Tourism Research Australia, 2009

    Table 1: Current Visitors to Australias Coastal Wilderness*

    CURRENT Visitors

    Visitor Nights

    Spend per

    night ($s)

    State Average

    Spent

    Total Spend

    ($M)

    DAY TRIPS 783,000 n.a. 103 95 80

    40% n.a. 44% 30% 16%

    DOMESTIC 1,119,000 4,322,000 92.5 126.5 400

    57% 96% 40% 40% 82%

    INTERNATIONAL 53,000 199,000 36.5 94.5 7

    3% 4% 16% 30% 1%

    TOTAL 1,955,000 4,521,000 $487M

    *Figures include Bega Valley and East Gippsland Shires but exclude Bombala due to lack of available data

    Source: Tourism Research Australia, 2008

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 43

    region could grow its share of international Nature-Based visitors to 5% (from 1%) and then applies the above forecasts. This

    would grow visitor numbers to 5% of total visitation and visitor nights to 7% of total visitation.

    The Stretch Targets also target an increase in international visitor expenditure from $36.50 per night to the State average of

    $94.50 over the period to 2020. It is expected that the State average international overnight spend per night would have

    increased to $152, but the region will only have increased its spend per night to the $94.50 previously identified. This would

    generate a further $50M per annum. While this seems substantial, with over 2,200 businesses identified by Tourism

    Australia as directly employing staff from tourism in the Bega Valley and East Gippsland Shire that equates to just over

    $20,000 in additional turnover per business per annum.

    Through the growth in regions share of Nature-Based International visitors and an increase in the spend per night the region

    will experience an annual growth rate of 26,375 visitors (2.3% per annum), and 41,036 additional visitor nights (1% per

    annum). While this growth rate is sustainable it requires some new product development. Further, if through product

    development the region can capture a larger share of spend per day, it could grow expenditure at over 10% per annum.

    Seasonality

    While international visitors are unlikely to grow to levels experienced in destinations closer to international airports,

    increased international visitation in the September and December quarter could begin to address the regions seasonality

    (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Seasonality of Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Note: Data for Bombala Shire not available due to sample size

    Source: Tourism Research Australia, 2008

    Figure 1 above highlights that while the Bega Valley and East Gippsland Shires follow the overall season trend for Victoria and

    New South Wales they have higher March and December quarter seasonality respectively. In fact, Bega Valley Shire is 7%

    above the New South Wales average for the March Quarter while the East Gippsland is 3% above the Victoria average in both

    the September and December quarters.

    A key aim of the Experiences Development Strategy is to grow targeted international visitor markets outside of peak season

    where possible. This, as shown in Figure 1, is different for different parts of the region, thus Destination Management Plans

    for both Eden and Mallacoota are required to best manage the growth and encourage sustainable growth.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 44

    APPENDIX 3: KEY STRATEGIC DOCUMENTS AND REFERENCES

    Title Author Date

    ACW Experiences Development Strategy Context

    Analysis Report

    EC3 Global April 2009

    ACW Experience Audit Planning for People May 2008

    ACW Brand Development Strategy Leap Agency March 2008

    East Gippsland Strategic Tourism Plan 2006-2011,

    Part A Strategic Tourism Plan & Part B

    Strategies & Implementation Plans

    Tourism Destination Marketing and Quercus Marketing 2006

    Tourism Investment Guidelines. Tourism Victoria September 2008

    Victorian Trails Strategy 2005-2010 Parks Victoria, (Victorian Trails Coordinating Committee) 2004

    Regional Tourism Action Plan 2008-2011 Tourism Victoria August 2008

    Victorias Nature Based Tourism Strategy Parks Victoria and DSE 2008

    Gippsland Sustainable Tourism Project Urban Enterprise June 2007

    Victoria Coastal Strategy Victorian Coastal Council, Melbourne 2008

    East Gippsland Forest Management Plan Department of Sustainability and Environment 1994

    Coastal Towns Design Framework Project East Gippsland Shire Council 2007 (Volume 1)

    Far East Gippsland Icon Walks Ecotourism

    Infrastructure Study

    Inspiring Place November 2006

    East Gippsland Shire Planning Scheme East Gippsland Shire Council

    Review into Tourism in New South Wales John ONeill April 2008

    Living Parks A Sustainable Visitation Strategy NSW Dept of Environment and Conservation 2006

    Towards 2020 New South Wales Experiences

    Development Strategy

    Tourism New South Wales 2003

    NSW Tourism Strategy Tourism New South Wales 2008

    NSW Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks Dept of Environment and Climate Change November 2008

    Bega Valley Shire Council Snug Cove and

    Environs Master Plan

    Urban Design Advisory Service- A business unit of the

    Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural

    Resources

    March 2005

    Draft Business Plan

    Sapphire Coast Tourism Ltd

    Sapphire Coast Tourism Ltd Draft Jan 09

    Bega Valley Commercial Strategy Bega Valley Shire Council,

    Environment Planning & Development Services

    Department

    12 December 2006

    Croajingolong National Park Management Plan National Parks Service

    Department of Natural Resources and Environment

    June 1996

    South East Forest National Park and Egan Peaks

    Nature Reserve Plan of Management

    NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service August 2006

    Nadgee Nature Reserve Plan of Management NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service June 2003

    Ben Boyd National Park and Bellbird Creek Nature

    Reserve Draft Plan of Management

    NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

    April 2006

    South Coast Regional Strategy NSW Government Department of Planning 2006

    State Plan - A New Direction for NSW NSW Government 2006

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 45

    APPENDIX 4: STEERING COMMITTEE

    STEERING COMMITTEE

    Name Organisation

    Tim Shepherd (Chair) National Parks & Wildlife Service, NSW. DECCW

    Geoff Brookes Bega Valley Shire Business Forum

    Adrian Weedon & Leanne Barnes Bega Valley Shire Council

    Karen Cash Bombala Shire Council

    Joady Chick Department of Sustainability & Environment, Victoria

    Phil Rickards East Gippsland Shire Council

    Terry Robinson Destination Gippsland Ltd

    Robyn Kesby National Parks & Wildlife Service, NSW

    Will McCutcheon Parks Victoria

    Samantha Smith Sapphire Coast Tourism

    John Rudge East Gippsland Regional Tourism Association

    Margaret ODwyer Tourism New South Wales

    Anita Verde Tourism Victoria

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 46

    APPENDIX 5: PRIORITY 1 PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 47

    MARKETING PLAN

    Tourism Australia is committed to the ongoing promotion of the National Landscapes

    and has a comprehensive consumer and trade promotional program planned for

    2009/10. The State and Regional Tourism Organisations have an awareness of the

    National Landscapes but are yet to identify the best way to incorporate the landscapes

    into their ongoing international promotions programs. For Australias Coastal

    Wilderness to gain greater awareness in the Experience Seeker target market it must

    maximise the leverage available through its partners this requires a collaborative

    approach facilitated through a Marketing Plan.

    The primary objective of the Marketing Plan is to promote messages to the

    Experience Seeker market and the trade without creating confusion or a duplication

    of effort. Without it, Australias Coastal Wilderness runs the risk of duplication and

    having limited cut-through. As the first stage the distinctive brand identity will be

    established utilising the services of branding roll-out professionals. This project will

    create the look and feel for the identity including colour, typefaces, photographic and

    other graphic elements. It will create a brand manual of identity elements for end

    users including land management agencies and the tourism industry

    In the short to medium term the marketing focus of the partners in Australias Coastal

    Wilderness should be on establishing the marketing infrastructure. That is, the image

    library, itineraries, special interest story angles, and the content of the new Tourism

    Australian National Landscapes website site-let for Australias Coastal Wilderness.

    Implementation of key projects identified in the Experiences Development Strategy

    could also begin to raise both awareness of the destination, reinforce the brand

    messages of immersion in nature, and assist in the development of key products. For

    example, an annual event along the Coastal Wilderness Way could reinforce key

    messages and encourage new guided tours to establish.

    Actions Include: - Development of the Brand Identity, Brand Toolkit and further development of a

    Brand website;

    - Discussions between the National Landscapes Steering Committee for Australias Coastal Wilderness, Tourism Australia and the State Tourism

    Organisations need to progress to identify where the National Landscapes fit in

    existing international marketing programs;

    - A targeted Communications Plan to be developed outlining where and how communication of the National Landscapes messages are to be delivered to the

    Experience Seeker. Preferably this would be achieved through existing

    channels;

    - Australias Coastal Wilderness should build on the existing initiatives by the Industry, Local Government, State and Regional Tourism Organisations and

    Tourism Australia to increase awareness of the destination and its unique

    experiences (it is important to note that products and experiences should not

    be promoted until they are ready to meet consumers expectations); and

    - Through the Australias Coastal Wilderness Steering Committee, Local Government and the tourism partners a number of initiatives could be

    progressed in the short-term, including:

    - Development of a series of itineraries and packages designed for particular market segments;

    - Establishing a photo library with the support of Tourism Australia, the Regional Tourism Organisations, State Tourism Organisations and Local

    Government; and

    - Investigate the feasibility of a high-profile event along the Coastal Wilderness Way highlighting the use of walking, cycling, canoeing and

    trekking.

    - Build on the National Landscapes website developed by Tourism Australia with user-generated content (blog), images, itineraries, a wildflower, wildlife and

    event calendar; and development of targeted online only collateral for the

    destination.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 48

    POINT HICKS MASTERPLAN

    Address: Point Hicks Rd, Cann River VIC 3890

    Property Description: Point Hicks Lighthouse Reserve

    Land Tenure: Crown Land Reserve

    Land Management: Parks Victoria, 10 year commercial lease

    Management Plans: Croajingolong National Park Management Plan

    (1996), Point Hicks Marine National Park

    Management Plan (2006)

    Local Government: East Gippsland Shire Council

    Size of lot: Lease 37 ha

    Access: Approximately 1 hour off the Princes Highway, large

    section of unsealed road.

    Site Challenges: Potentially unstable section of road into the reserve

    Existing Infrastructure: Lighthouse and two timber residences

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    Thurra Sand Dunes, Point Hicks Marine National

    Park, Croajingolong National Park

    Partner Products: Wild East Gippsland walk, Coastal Wilderness Way

    Point Hicks is an area of Coastal Wilderness located within the Croajingolong National

    Park which offers iconic coastal lookouts and has a unique lighthouse with on-site

    accommodation, campground facilities and short walks. It is a one hour drive from

    Cann River, which is identified as a gateway to this important experience precinct. It is

    also a start, end or midpoint for those doing an overnight walk in the East Gippsland

    (e.g. between Marlo and Mallacoota).

    Growing demand from overnight walkers and special interest international visitors

    may support the expansion of accommodation within the Lighthouse Reserve. The

    Department of Sustainability and Environment is currently investigating this

    opportunity as a part of its State-wide Land Bank project which aims to identify sites

    within public land that offer ecotourism opportunities. This will need to be further

    investigated along with additional opportunities such as new day use facilities and

    short walks near the Thurra River subject to Parks Victoria planning processes.

    Existing challenges including access for those in hire vehicles due to the road being

    unsealed, the sense of arrival, day use facilities at Thurra River and interpretation of

    sustainable tourism also need to be further investigated.

    It is recommended that a Master Plan be prepared to guide the sustainable

    development of tourism opportunities within the Point Hicks reserve and surrounding

    area. However comprehensive overview plans are not currently funded or prioritised

    projects and this will impact on outcomes.

    Actions include: - Investigations into the viability and sustainability of expanding accommodation

    within the Lighthouse Reserve;

    - Explore the feasibility of improved day-use facilities at the Thurra River, including a possible, but sensitive, lookout to the Thurra Sand Dunes;

    - Review alternative visitor access both to and within the park, including options such as shuttle services;

    - Develop Cann River as the gateway to Point Hicks and the surrounding experiences, including improvement of information available at the Visitor

    Information Centre; and

    - Investigate the possibility of a shuttle service from Cann River to the park or allowing hire vehicles to traverse the current road through arrangements with

    hire companies.

    All investigations would be undertaken with Parks Victoria in accordance with the Park

    Plan of Management and would require a business plan and impact assessment for

    any significant changes to be made.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 49

    CAPE CONRAN MASTER PLAN

    Address: Cape Conran Coastal Park is located near Marlo,

    396 km from Melbourne

    Land Tenure: Coastal Park (National Parks Act), and nearby

    Private lands

    Land Management: Parks Victoria with a management lease

    Management Plans: Cape Conran Coastal Park Management Plan (2005)

    Local Government: East Gippsland Shire Council

    Size of lot: 11,700ha

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    State Government approval required for the

    expansion of accommodation on site; Victorian

    Aboriginal Heritage Act; assessment of impact on

    values required

    Access: 19km east of Marlo on the Cape Conran Road, some

    of road is unsealed

    Site Challenges: Unsealed road access and seasonal peaks visitation

    reaching capacity of available accommodation

    Existing Infrastructure: Bush camping, 7 cabins, 5 wilderness safari tents

    and a lodge, boat ramp.

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary, coastal experience,

    fishing diving, native fauna

    Partner Products: Wild East Gippsland walk, Coastal Wilderness

    Guides, Coastal Wilderness Way

    Cape Conran Coastal Park is an ecologically sensitive accommodation operation

    offering four types of accommodation including bush camp sites, cabins, a lodge

    equipped with a large kitchen, BBQs and log ovens and permanent luxury safari tents

    (Wilderness Retreats).

    Currently, Cape Conran experiences high occupancy and reaches its capacity to supply

    accommodation to visitors during peak periods. Access for visitors in hire vehicles is

    currently restricted due to a small section of unsealed road to the camp grounds and

    cabins.

    It is recommended that a Cape Conran Coastal Park Master Plan be prepared to guide

    the expansion of accommodation, the development of guided nature-based activities

    and sealing of the access road. The plan should consider adjoining private land in the

    nearby area in consideration of the overall accommodation offer. However

    comprehensive overview plans are not currently funded or prioritised projects and this

    will impact on outcomes.

    Actions include: Investigate the value and impacts of:

    - Sealing the Yerrung Road to the camp ground and cabins, removing a barrier for visitors in hire cars and buses;

    - Establishing further Wilderness Retreat safari tents, to provide more reliable availability of accommodation;

    - Establishing a regular (daily) wildlife experience program. This could be through either a Conservation Volunteers Australia partnership which involves

    participation in research such as wildlife capture/tagging/measure, or through

    regular scheduled education programs or tours (evening or daytime). The

    program could expand to fill demand for interpretive experiences providing

    information on the Parks plants, birdlife, coast, Indigenous history and use of

    the area;

    - Encouraging the establishment of water-based activities such as diving, snorkelling and whale watching from Cape Conran.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 50

    MALLACOOTA & EDEN DESTINATION PLANS

    Identified as key experience precincts having greater participation and product range

    in Mallacoota and Eden will be an important part of the growth of Australias Coastal

    Wilderness. While international visitors are unlikely to grow to levels experienced in

    destinations closer to international airports, increased international visitation in the

    September and December quarter could begin to address the regions seasonality

    (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Seasonality of Australias Coastal Wilderness

    Source: Tourism Research Australia, International Visitor Survey, Year Ended June 2007

    Note: Data for Bombala Shire not available due to sample size

    Mallacoota

    Mallacoota is already recognised by international publications such as Lonely Planet

    for its exceptional range of nature-based tourism experiences. These experiences

    however are not well known or available to the international market prior to

    departure.

    The towns location between two emerging overnight walking destinations, its range

    of short walks and its lakes system suggest it will be a focal point and driver of the

    growth experienced in Australias Coastal Wilderness which could be as high as an

    extra 25,000 international visitors per annum.

    The International Destination Management Plan for Mallacoota should build on,

    without threatening, the precincts natural assets and existing products. Key areas of

    focus in the Mallacoota International Destination Management Plan would likely

    include:

    - Packaging of existing product and increased participation in international promotion;

    - Interpretation of the Croajingolong National Park, Nadgee and Howe Wilderness Zones and the lakes system;

    - Encouraging the development of more accommodation, tours and attractions to meet the growing international demand; and

    - Service Quality and delivery of international standard service with a Mallacoota flavour.

    Eden

    Eden, located on Twofold Bay and as the natural location to access the Light-to-Light

    Walk, the growing marine and wildlife tourism offerings, and the emerging

    indigenous tourism experiences (including the Bundian Way) will be another focal

    point and driver of international visitation. The International Destination

    Management Plan for Eden would likely include:

    - Packaging of existing and new products and increased participation in international promotion;

    - Interpretation of the Ben Boyd National Park, the Light-to-Light Walk and the regions rich indigenous cultural heritage;

    - Encouraging the development of more accommodation, local transport, and tours to meet the growing international demand; and

    - Service quality and delivery of international standard service that reflects the unique qualities of the Eden community.

    These plans should be concise, action-oriented and link directly to the plans of the

    Local, Regional and State Tourism bodies including industry driven initiatives such as

    the Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 51

    THE BUNDIAN WAY MASTER PLAN

    Indigenous tourism is an emerging experience for Southern NSW. The Bundian Way, a

    260km ancient trading route established by the indigenous people of Southern NSW

    and Eastern Victoria linking the ocean to the Alps, creates a tangible connection for

    international Experience Seekers.

    The Bundian Way is an ancient pathway, possibly 40,000 years old, and has been

    proposed for Heritage listing, for both its Aboriginal and European and shared heritage

    values. The Bundian Way has a remarkable shared history. Shared use of pathways

    resulted in exploration and development of the South East coast between Bega and

    Mallacoota, as well as on the Monaro and into Gippsland. In the mid nineteenth

    century the Aboriginal people showed the European explorers the route and

    permitted use of the country in the earliest days by highland Scots shepherds, and the

    horsemen and cattlemen who followed (Source: Watson, 1984).

    This ancient Aboriginal trail has been nominated by the Eden Local Aboriginal Lands

    Council for recognition as a significant part of the Australian and NSW Heritage. The

    Bundian Way passes through Delegate and the village of Towamba, finishing near

    Boydtown on Twofold Bay.

    Development of the Bundian Way presents a significant product development

    opportunity for Australias Coastal Wilderness and an economic development

    opportunity for indigenous people connected to the story. While few visitors would

    aspire to trek the entire journey, parts of the trail can be developed into short walks,

    guided tours, tourist drives and interpretation points.

    Actions Include: - In partnership with all key stakeholders, develop a vision and key objectives for

    the development of the Bundian Way as a tourism experience;

    - Survey and map the route of the Bundian Way and document the associated stories, including natural and cultural features, flora and cultural heritage and

    identify key locations for the development of short drives, walking trails and

    interpretation points;

    - Develop the Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy Farm) as a gateway to the Bundian Way, including on-site interpretation and short walks;

    and

    - Develop Bundian Way walking tracks and interpretation points, guided walking tours (lead by the Eden Local Aboriginal Lands Council) and at least one Bundian

    Way Drive trail or loop.

    Bundian Way Map and Lookout,

    Canberra Times, Oct 2007

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 52

    COASTAL WILDERNESS WAY

    The concept of the Coastal Wilderness Way is of a car-free braided route that

    connects the entire region from Lakes Entrance to Bermagui, linking existing tracks

    and trails with alternative transport options and new links over time to create a

    seamless link in the long-term. This initiative would be implemented in stages.

    A unique selling point of Australias Coastal Wilderness is that while it is accessible

    from the National Highway (A1) the natural areas remain relatively undisturbed due

    to the lack of vehicular access. Improving access via sealing of roads would result in

    increasing visitor numbers over time, but may not be the right option when

    considering long-term sustainability.

    Australias Coastal Wilderness is already serviced by a number of gateway transport

    nodes and links, these include:

    The Princes Highway, providing a transport spine for the region;

    Direct air access from international gateways into Merimbula, along with a number of charter and private air strips;

    The rail line ends at Bairnsdale (Victoria), Canberra (ACT), and Nowra / Bomaderry (NSW);

    A variety of interstate and regional bus lines linking many destinations including Vline, Countrylink buses (extending the rail line), Deanes, and Premier;

    Rail Trail from Bairnsdale to Orbost (Victoria); and

    A network of local and charter buses currently operate in the communities throughout the region.

    In addition, a number of businesses offer canoe hire, bike hire and guided

    excursions.

    The vision of the Coastal Wilderness Way is to link the communities through a

    Strategic Plan and incremental gains to develop a braided network of trails, tracks

    and transport. To achieve this, a number of initiatives will need to be developed in

    incremental stages, including:

    Visitor Transport Analysis

    This would involve identification of all existing services and products along the route

    to identify key gaps. Gaps would then need to be assessed for the feasibility of a

    linkage solution. The benefit of taking a whole of region approach is that a business

    opportunity that facilitates links between two locations may not be viable on its own,

    but if three or four opportunities are identified at one time there may be a stronger

    business case.

    a) Long-range walking trails

    The Experiences Development Strategy identifies a number of long-range walking

    trails that provide iconic Coastal Wilderness experiences e.g. Light to Light and wild

    East Gippsland walk. Linking these walking trails with other forms of transport could

    provide a competitive and iconic tourism product that encourages carbon light

    holidays.

    b) Cycle Trails

    Cycling tourism is a growing sector within the East Gippsland region and is extending

    into the broader Australias Coastal Wilderness Planning area.

    The East Gippsland Rail Trail is an excellent starting point for a cycle experience of

    the Coastal Wilderness. Starting at Bairnsdale, the rail trail extends for almost

    100km to Orbost through farmland, forest and river crossings. The opportunity exists

    to extend the Snowy River Shared Pathway (Orbost to Marlo) all the way to Cape

    Conran and then on to Bemm River via the Telegraph Road (unsealed). This

    approach could easily be applied to follow other forestry trails and tracks however

    some infrastructure will be needed to cross streams / watercourses.

    The key need for cyclists is shuttle services to return them to their starting point or

    to connect them with points further along the journey. The majority of Experience

    Seekers will not bring their bicycle with them. The feasibility of a regional bike hire

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 53

    service linking a number of service points (potentially the Visitor Centres) to provide

    pick-up and drop-off bike hire should be considered.

    c) Public Transport / Bike Bus

    Successful rail and walking trails are supported by a network of connected public

    transport services to return walkers / riders to their point of origin or interchange

    with another form of transport (e.g. interstate bus or airport links). The Coastal

    Wilderness Way would need a similar network. Ideally this would build on existing

    shuttle services including school buses and community buses that link outlying

    communities with service communities. These services would need to be approached

    to be a part of a bike bus service and potentially include some equipment being

    installed on buses to carry bicycles. This would be assessed in the Linkage Strategy.

    d) Canoe Trails

    The network of coastal lagoons and calm coastal waterways lend themselves to the

    development of a network of canoe trails. The vast majority of Experience Seekers

    will not have their own canoe. While in many cases, like the bicycle hire this could

    be facilitated through the Visitor Information Centres or other local businesses, it

    depends on whether the hire vehicle can carry a canoe.

    An alternative is to establish a series of hire points located near or servicing major

    water bodies (Mallacoota, Tamboon Inlet, Lake Wonboyn, Lake Wallagoot, Wapengo

    Lake, Kiah River, etc). This system could enable key canoe trails including the

    proposed Gypsy Point to Mallacoota trail to offer a unique and iconic experience for

    Experience Seekers without a guide. The feasibility of this system would need to be

    assessed in the Visitor Transport Analysis.

    There is also an opportunity to develop multi-day sea kayaking trails with overnight

    campsites as an opportunity for exploring the New South Wales component of the

    Australias Coastal Wilderness. Sea kayaking opportunities on the Victorian coast will

    be limited due to ocean conditions.

    Actions include: - Form an overarching Project Steering Committee with broad representation to

    coordinate with the vast number of local committees developing projects

    including the Snowy River Shared Pathway;

    - Examine preferred routes, requirements, and issues affecting the development of certain sections; and

    - Estimate the approximate costs to develop each section.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 54

    VISITOR INFORMATION & INTERPRETATION

    Australias Coastal Wilderness covers a large and diverse area with a variety of

    jurisdictions, approaches and priorities. To encourage visitors to explore the region a

    more consistent and engaging approach to information and interpretation is needed.

    That is, supporting the existing network of information centres, and encouraging by

    additional on-site and roadside interpretation material that links sites and experiences

    to encourage longer stays.

    At present, visitors could easily travel through the Australias Coastal Wilderness

    region by road and gain only a glimpse of the regions unique attractions. At natural

    and established decision-points and stopping places a network of information and

    interpretation is needed that introduces the passing traveller to the stories of the

    region and directs them to key locations to see, hear and experience more.

    The Visitor Information and Interpretation project aims to create linkages and deliver a

    more consistent visitor experience through a network of sites (both Information

    Centres and interpretative sites). The project would identify a hierarchy of signage

    and information gateways or decision points, information nodes and interpretation

    sites and planning would be undertaken to fill in gaps where needed.

    On-site interpretation at key sites will be vital to delivering the experience of a Coastal

    Wilderness as for many this will be limited to what they read in the brochure or online

    prior to travel. Developing the stories, themes and material will be a key part of the

    development and evolution of the Brand and should reflect the Brand Values. This

    includes the delivery of information through traditional methods (signs and printed

    materials) as well as innovative approaches (e.g. podcasts).

    Actions Include: - Document the regions stories and linkages including natural and cultural

    themes of geology, flora and cultural heritage and identify key locations for

    interpretation and additional information (including the precinct gateways

    identified in this Strategy) in the form of an Information and Interpretation Plan;

    - Conduct an audit of existing signage, rest stops, Information Centres and interpretation boards in key sites;

    - Establish a template for interpretation panel design, factsheets and story collection and work with stakeholders to plan and deliver relevant products;

    - Develop a suite of interpretative products for existing Visitor Information Centres and

    - Support region-wide sector specific interpretation and signage projects such as the establishment of safe and well signed tourist drives in the hinterland.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 55

    MONAROO BOBBERRER GUDU KEEPING PLACE

    Address: Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy

    Farm), 431 Princes Highway, Eden

    Real Property Description: Lot 1 DP651608, Lot 25 DP750242, Lot 43

    DP750242 and Lot 243 DP1112013

    Land Tenure: Owned by the community under the title of

    Twofold Aboriginal Corporation

    Land Management: Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council

    Management Plans: Jigamy Farm Business Plan

    Local Government: Bega Valley Shire Council

    Size of lot: 153 acres

    Access: No turning lanes of main highway. Currently no

    jetty or boat ramp for water access

    Existing Infrastructure: Cultural centre building (including kitchen facilities),

    Bora ring, walking trail (on site)

    Risks from Adjacent Sites: Private landholder adjacent to site

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    On the edge of Pambula Lake, short walk to Ben

    Boyd National Park

    The Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (also known as Jigamy Farm), located in

    Eden, is a 153 acre site with a large hall space, meeting rooms and a kitchen; parking

    facilities for cars and buses; outdoor recreation and learning spaces; and a walking

    trail. The site is ideal for group tour experiences, focusing on face-to-face outdoor

    Indigenous experiences utilising the existing talking circle and could be an ideal

    location for Wilderness Guide training.

    There is also an opportunity for the Keeping Place to be established as a hub for

    indigenous tourism experiences (interpretation, activities, immersion) as well as a

    gateway to the Bundian Way.

    Key constraints for the site include the lack of turning lanes off the Princes Highway,

    which inhibits access for cars and buses and is a key limitation to the viability of the

    Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place as a commercial tourism operation. The

    Centre itself also requires further investment to incorporate interpretation and local

    artwork and to bring the Keeping Place to life for visitors.

    There is an opportunity for the Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place to

    immediately establish itself as the gateway to the Bundian Way. This would include

    developing activities (guided walks, etc), stories and interpretation located at the site

    to start to build interest and awareness of the Keeping Place as the place to find out

    more information and to gain an experience of the Bundian Way. In addition, the

    Keeping Place could re-establish its role as a training facility.

    Actions include: Prepare and implement a Business and Concept Development Plan covering the

    following:

    - Address the road access to Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place to allow for safe bus and car access;

    - Develop a range of activities including night tours, storytelling around the Bora ring, and night time activities such as wildlife spotting, etc;

    - Incorporate interpretation of the Keeping Place, an art gallery space and set up a training facility within the Centre;

    - Support the development of the Haycock Point to the Keeping Place short walk as a starting point of the Bundian Way and develop guided tours around this

    product;

    - In partnership with Indigenous Business Australia and the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales, establish a guiding program supported by

    a business model that provides tourism employment opportunities;

    - Appoint a suitably qualified project officer to lead and coordinate the project; - Map the Bundian Way, including identifying opportunities for experiences for

    visitors including short walks, drives and interpretation points; and

    - Seek funding in collaboration with key partners for the projects implementation.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 56

    INDIGENOUS TOURISM

    Indigenous tourism experiences are a recognised product opportunity for the

    international Experience Seeker. The Australias Coastal Wilderness region has a

    number of Indigenous tourism enterprises that are well suited to the international

    target market. Providing support and advice to emerging Indigenous tourism

    businesses requires an in-depth understanding of the needs of the consumer as well as

    a strong working relationship with the community.

    Establishing a network of existing and experienced indigenous and cultural tourism

    operators from across the region will help to build capacity in new and emerging

    businesses and would aim to explore opportunities for joint packaging, promotion, and

    funding. The aim of network would be to work with emerging businesses to provide

    assistance and advice and to link them into mainstream tourism research information

    and assistance programs. The group would discuss cooperative marketing and product

    development activities and seek the support of key agencies (e.g. Local, State and

    Federal Government, Industry Associations, etc) to progress priority initiatives across

    the region.

    A range of Federal, State and Local Programs exist to support new tourism products,

    including indigenous business development and community development programs.

    The aim of the group is to identify collective needs and seek support for new and

    emerging indigenous tourism businesses. This includes working with the State Tourism

    Organisations, Tourism Australia and Regional Tourism bodies to provide a pathway

    for new businesses into cooperative programs.

    The group could also explore partnership opportunities with Indigenous Business

    Australia, who work with indigenous Australians to establish, acquire and grow small

    to medium businesses through business loans and business support services.

    Indigenous Business Australia can provide indigenous tourism businesses with access

    to a panel of expert tourism consultants who can provide professional advice

    regarding business plans, feasibility studies, marketing, product development, etc.

    Actions include: - Work with existing Indigenous business groups and appropriate state agencies

    to assess the potential role and scope of the Working Group and develop a draft

    Terms of Reference; and

    - Engage Indigenous Business Australia in the process to develop a thorough understanding of the services they provide and partnership opportunities.

    Lake Tyers Culture in the Catchment, Courtesy of Chris Lewis

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 57

    OVERNIGHT EAST GIPPSLAND WALK

    Address: Croajingalong National Park

    Real Property Description: Various

    Land Tenure: Various

    Land Management: Parks Victoria

    Management Plans: Croajingolong National Park Management Plan

    (1996)

    Local Government: East Gippsland Shire Council

    Size of lot: Croajingolong National Park covers 87,500ha and

    extends for 100km along the wilderness coast of

    Victoria's East Gippsland

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act; assessment of

    impact on values required

    Access: Several access points, including at Marlo, Cape

    Conran and Mallacoota. Access to other points by

    unsealed road

    Site Challenges: Emergency access in case of fires, water supply,

    inlet crossings.

    Existing Infrastructure: Existing cleared areas for pathways such as the

    telegraph line, accommodation (Point Hicks) and

    camp grounds

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    Coastal inlets, rocky headlands, the Sandpatch

    Wilderness.

    Partner Products: Coastal Wilderness Way, Point Hicks and Cape

    Conran.

    Developing an iconic overnight wild walk along the coastline of Croajingolong

    National Park from Cape Conran to Mallacoota in the East Gippsland is an opportunity

    that should be progressed in stages. It is a semi hard-core walking experience

    incorporating beaches, rocky headlands and crossing of several inlets along the way. It

    should be noted that the basics of this walk already exist and is used by a relatively

    small number of walkers. Parks Victoria has identified the walk for further

    development.

    It is recommended that this walk be developed to provide a quality mix of remote, self

    reliant and guided experiences in a wilderness setting. This will mean developing a

    recognisable brand for the walk, marketing and interpretation and encouraging guided

    tours. Planning for the walk will need to address logistical constraints including the

    need for marking out clear trails, crossing major inlets, access to drinking water and

    compatibility with wilderness values, particularly in the Sandpatch Wilderness Zone. A

    staged approach for the development and launch of the track is recommended,

    focussing firstly on the section of track between Cape Conran to Point Hicks, followed

    by the section from Point Hicks to Mallacoota.

    Actions include: - Develop an identifiable brand to underpin promotion of the track for inclusion

    in promotional and interpretation material as well as trail markers;

    - Commence planning for required and sensitive infrastructure at appropriate locations to finalise the section of walking trail from Cape Conran to Point Hicks,

    and put out to tender for additional commercial operators to run guided tours

    through this section of the Coastal Wilderness Way;

    - Further investigations of suitable and viable accommodation development options and sites on route to be undertaken at appropriate sites; and

    - Ensure the track is formed and regularly maintained, and make water available at overnight stops to make the experience more accessible to visitors;

    All actions will be subject to extensive consideration and planning by Parks Victoria to

    develop practical and sensitive solutions to logistical matters.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 58

    SHORT WALKS

    A key way for people to experience the array of incredible natural features in

    Australians Coastal Wilderness is by engaging in short walks. Short walks include short

    return-trip walks (1-2 hours) up to half or full day walks, but do not include overnight

    walks. The Far East Gippsland Icon Walks study identifies a range of market-ready

    short walks, however there is a need to develop some additional short walks to

    present the depth and diversity of the region as well as address fragmentation in the

    promotion and marketing of short walks.

    The Far East Gippsland Icon Walks and Eco-Tourism Infrastructure Study provides a

    strategic assessment of the walk opportunities and identifies best prospect

    opportunities within Far East Gippsland. The study identified 11 walks as being market-

    ready, a further 16 walks for further investment and the potential for five new short

    walks for development as funds permit. The development of these new walking tracks

    in Far East Gippsland will help to reach the regions vision of providing access to and

    revealing the depth and diversity of Far East Gippsland.

    Opportunities for new iconic walks in the New South Wales should be identified and

    included in a short walks program for Australias Coastal Wilderness. Plans are already

    underway for a walking network in the South East Forests National Park in the

    Alexanders Hut / Nunnock Swamp area. Short walks also have been identified in

    Mimosa Rocks National Park Draft Management Plan. Ben Boyd National Park

    (Northern section), Bournda National park and South East Forests already have some

    excellent short walks.

    Actions include: - Support Victorian stakeholders in the ongoing delivery of projects identified in

    the Far East Gippsland Icon Walks and Eco-tourism Infrastructure Study and

    other short walks initiatives as they arise,

    - Implementation of new iconic short walks in the New South Wales section of Australias Coastal Wilderness in accordance with NSW National Parks &

    Wildlife Service Plans of Management;

    - Identify priority short walks that should be developed on the New South Wales part of Australias Coastal Wilderness. Note: South East Forests National Park

    has short walks; and

    - Promote the opportunity to experience sections of the East Gippsland walk and Light to Light overnight walks as day walk activities from camping and/or

    accommodation nodes.

    Mallacoota,

    Courtesy of EC3 Global

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 59

    BOMBALA PLATYPUS RESERVE

    Address: Delegate Road, Bombala, NSW 2632

    Real Property Description: Lot 1 DP884132

    Land Tenure: Managed on behalf of the Department of Lands

    Land Management: Bombala Shire Council

    Management Plans: Bombala Shire Council Management Plan

    Local Government: Bombala Shire Council

    Size of lot: 147ha

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    Council approval required. Any significant

    developments on the site may require approval

    from Department of Lands

    Access: Unsealed road

    Site Challenges: Threatened lizard species on site

    Existing Infrastructure: Raised platform, information board; and two picnic

    tables and a barbeque facility are to be developed.

    Risks from Adjacent Sites: Private land visible from platform.

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    Platypus viewing

    Partner Products: Other wildlife experiences such as whale watching,

    bird watching, etc.

    Bombala is the heart of platypus country and the Bombala Platypus Reserve is a key

    attraction in the area. The Platypus Reserve provides an opportunity for visitors to

    view platypus in the wild from a raised platform, which makes viewing easy for all age

    groups. Further investment is needed to develop the Platypus Reserve into an

    experience precinct for visitors to walk around, explore, relax and picnic by the river.

    There is considerable community support in revegetating the site to encourage native

    wildlife in the areas as well as preserve the platypus habitat and threatened species of

    lizard.

    Actions Include - Provide additional walking tracks and quite viewing areas in the reserve, to

    allow for platypus and wildlife discoveries in a quiet, natural setting;

    - Engage visitors in conservation and revegetation projects (including a possible partnership with Conservation Volunteers);

    - Support the connection of the Reserve to the Bombala township via a walking track;

    - Recognise the potential of the Platypus Reserve as a Wilderness Guide site for guided wildlife tours;

    - Encourage wider promotion of platypus events, such as the Paddling with the Platypus and Out and About in Playtypus Country; and

    - Consider the option of sealing the road access to the Platypus Reserve as a longer term outcome.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 60

    LIGHT TO LIGHT WALK

    Address: Ben Boyd National Park (Southern section)

    Land Tenure: National Park

    Land Management: New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife

    Service

    Management Plans: Ben Boyd National Park and Bellbird Creek Nature

    Reserve Plan of Management

    Local Government: Bega Valley Shire Council

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    Review of environmental factors (REF), and may

    trigger an EIS under State Government legislation.

    Access: Sealed to Boyd Tower, unsealed road access points.

    Unsealed road access to Green Cape may come

    under pressure with increased visitation.

    Site Challenges: Access for additional accommodation

    developments and services (power, sewage, etc).

    Existing Infrastructure: Cottage-style accommodation at Green Cape

    (currently two attached cottages, accommodating

    up to 12 people)

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    Threatened species, including the ground parrot

    Partner Products: Coastal Wilderness Way; Davidson Whaling Station,

    Boydtown

    The Light to Light walk is an established two to three day 30km walking track between

    the Ben Boyd Tower carpark and the Green Cape Lighthouse in Ben Boyd National

    Park. The walk already includes an established trail, camp grounds with amenities at

    four locations, road access and cottage style accommodation at the Green Cape end of

    the walk. Expansion of existing guided tours is currently under study.

    The opportunity exists to develop a range of new iconic accommodation options along

    this spectacular coastline, which may include high level eco-lodge style

    accommodation based on the Bay of Fires model. Identified sites for new

    accommodation include Mowarry Point which could be a first-stop for those walking

    from the Northern entrance and Green Cape Lighthouse which is located at the

    southern end of the walk.

    The development of new accommodation opportunities is being addressed in the new

    Plan of Management for Ben Boyd National Park. In addition, access and utilities such

    as sewerage, power and water will need to be considered to support new

    accommodation. There is also a need to provide secure parking for walkers, improved

    directional signage to the walk and expand the guided walking tours.

    Actions include: - Investigate expansion of accommodation facilities at Green Cape lighthouse,

    including the adaptive reuse of existing buildings on the site;

    - Feasibility investigations into the development of safari-style / eco sensitive accommodation at suitable locations including Mowarry Point. These

    investigations should be conducted by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

    in partnership with potential investors. Current site access is by 4WD access

    only, which will need to be considered;

    - Encourage greater commercial involvement along the Light to Light walk, such as guided / catered tours;

    - Investigate options for improved secure car parking and transport arrangements for walkers.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 61

    SAPPHIRE COAST MARINE DISCOVERY CENTRE

    Address: Snug Cove, Imlay Street, Eden, NSW 2511

    Real Property Description: Lot 225 DP47934 and L1 403434

    Land Tenure: Crown lease to 2022 (Department of Lands)

    Land Management: Eden Marine Centre Limited, as trustee for the Eden

    Whale Discovery Centre Research Trust (Trading as

    Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre)

    Management Plans: Strategic Plan 2009, Snug Cover and Environs

    Master Plan

    Local Government: Bega Valley Shire Council

    Size of lot: 3507m2 and 420m

    2

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    Local Area Plans

    Access: Road access is appropriate, parking for larger

    vehicles may be required

    Site Challenges: Potential contamination of some surrounding sites

    may limit development options for the precinct.

    Existing Infrastructure: Marine Discovery Centre

    Risks from Adjacent Sites: Outcomes of Snug Cove Master Plan process will

    impact on facilities and future development of the

    Centre.

    Icon Environmental

    Element/s:

    19 species of whales and dolphins

    Partner Products: Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy

    Farm), Eden Killer Whale Museum

    The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, located at Snug Cove wharf, is a hub for

    scientific research and excellence and attracts internationally renowned marine

    experts in delivering guided experiences. The Snug Cove Master Plan aims to create a

    thriving marine precinct providing people with access to ocean-based educational and

    tourism experiences which would support the development of this key facility. The

    Discovery Centre is developing as a gateway to a variety of marine experiences,

    including specialist small group conservation and educational tours.

    There is a need to build upon the existing work by investing in the interpretation and

    display materials at the Centre; developing and further promoting marine discovery

    tours; and supporting the overall improvement of the Snug Cove environs as a bustling

    tourism and marine precinct, which people can experience before and after their

    tours.

    Actions include: - Further investment in interpretation and display materials, themed fit-out of

    the Centre and additional retail development and site works including car and

    bus parking, building appearance, and signage;

    - Establish and encourage wide promotion of regular guided educational and experiential marine-based tours from the Centre;

    - Partnerships and linkages with other marine research and education facilities should be encouraged;

    - Engage with the local Aboriginal community representatives to identify ways of incorporating the local Indigenous stories associated with the marine

    environment in Eden and getting indigenous guides on the vessels; and

    - As a working port as well as a community and visitor hub, Snug Cove is a key precinct in Eden. The Master planning of Snug Cove is essential to guide the

    sustainable development of Snug Cove as a bustling tourism and marine

    precinct. The Master Plan should consider accommodation development, access

    to the harbour, dining facilities, carparking and support for establishing a

    seafood cluster.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 62

    INDUSTRY & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PLAN

    While new product development will play an important role in the future success of

    Australias Coastal Wilderness as an international destination, the depth and range of

    existing product provides significant opportunities. Encouraging greater operator

    participation in international tourism distribution is the aim of an Industry and Product

    Development Plan. At present, there is only a handful of tourism products in the

    destination that would be considered international market-ready by Tourism

    Australia or the State Tourism Organisations and who actively participate in

    international trade and consumer promotions.

    The aim of an Industry and Product Development Plan is to identify the ideal strategies

    to increase participation in international promotional activities (e.g. State Tourism

    organisations, Tourism Australia, and the Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive). The

    Industry and Product Development Plan would not only identify the key steps and

    assistance available for businesses and events to become international market-ready

    but also provide guidance on the existing product that is ready to take the first step.

    The plan would look at the merits of a mentoring program and provide links to

    available research on the international market for local and regional practitioners to

    disseminate.

    In addition, the Industry and Product Development plan would identify suitable

    programs to improve service quality, marketing and distribution, and product

    bundling.

    Actions include: - Develop an Industry and Product Development Plan for Australias Coastal

    Wilderness;

    - Ensure the industry has access to the ACW Brand Toolkit as a means of assisting them to further develop their product offering;

    - Consider the development of a series of itineraries and packages with international market-ready tourism businesses and events for inclusion in

    existing wholesale, retail and publicity opportunities

    - Encourage existing and new operators to participate in existing State and National programs such as the Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive; and

    - Increase the capacity of selected events to be more attractive to international visitors (e.g. a Wilderness Challenge, or Conservation Volunteers weekend

    program).

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 63

    COASTAL WILDERNESS GUIDES

    Encouraging the development of a network of industry-led Coastal Wilderness Guides

    to support new and existing tour guides has been identified as an opportunity to share

    and gain a collective in-depth knowledge through regular training programs. This

    program, based on the Savannah Guides concept could lead to accreditation and

    adornment with a recognised brand.

    The Wilderness Guide Program will create a network of tour guides, involving willing

    public or private enterprises who have a commitment to conservation and education

    of the natural and / or cultural assets of the region. The Program could be funded

    through sponsorships, and partnerships with conservation volunteer organisations and

    would provide participating businesses with the following benefits:

    - Commitment to delivery of quality, under a recognisable accreditation program; - Providing customers with a sense of confidence and protection while they are in

    the region, plus cooperative marketing leverage; and

    - Linking new and established guides into partnerships, and can jointly negotiate extended permits and other benefits.

    Actions include: - Identify partners and interested public and private enterprises and establish a

    brand and marketing program. Businesses who might like to be involved include

    Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy Farm), the Sapphire Coast

    Marine Discovery Centre, Cape Conran, Bombala Platypus Reserve, Gabo and

    Montague Islands and Culture in the Catchment at Lake Tyres;

    - Develop a training program for initial and ongoing certification of businesses in the program; and

    - Identify training location (e.g. Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu Keeping Place (Jigamy Farm) is a relatively central facility that could potentially be used for training),

    and a Wilderness Guides logo

    Case Study: Savannah Guides The Undara Experience

    Savannah Guides is a network of professional tour guides with a collective in-depth

    knowledge of the natural and cultural assets of the tropical savannahs of Northern

    Australia. There are currently 14 guide sites providing access for visitors to public,

    private and management sites throughout the Savannah region, including the

    Undara Experience.

    Savannah Guides conduct a range of nature based tours showcasing the Undara Lava

    Tubes, acclaimed the largest and longest on the planet. Undara Experience employs

    six Savannah guides who have each attended one of the four-day Savannah Guide

    Training Schools annually. The Guide Training Schools do not provide additional

    guide training, but more importantly to opportunities learn more about the

    Savannah landscapes and create stronger links to other Savannah Guides.

    Savannah Guides

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 64

    MERIMBULA AIRPORT INVESTIGATIONS

    Address: Arthur Caine Drv, Merimbula, NSW 2548

    Real Property Description: Lot 20 DP864620

    Land Tenure: Management Lease from Bega Valley Shire Council

    Land Management: Airport Agencies Pty Ltd

    Management Plans: Building and planning codes; Master Plan

    Local Government: Bega Valley Shire

    Size of lot: Runway: 1,600m x 30m

    Government Approvals

    Required:

    Need support from DECC and Local Government.

    May trigger RAMSAR / EPBC if expansion beyond

    1800m is needed in the future

    Site Challenges: Length of strip is a current limitation for expansion

    of airport

    Existing Infrastructure: 1600M x 30M airstrip, administration offices,

    departure/arrivals lounge, 3 vehicle rental

    companies

    Risks from Adjacent Sites: Work depot and inlet; possible Information Centre

    Merimbula Airport is the only airport that supports commercial flights directly into

    Australias Coastal Wilderness, and is centrally located providing access to most

    experiences within 1.5 hours drive. The airport supports a local population of around

    4,000 and approximately 32,000 within the broader Bega Valley Shire and serviced

    65,000 passengers in 2008. The current airport, situated on the banks of the coastal

    waterways of Merimbula, has a 1,600m x 30m strip which can service aircraft up to

    medium sized jets; Due to restrictions of strip strength, length, apron and terminal

    facilities the airport is only able to attract regional aircrafts.

    There is the potential to increase visitation to Australias Coastal Wilderness by

    international Experience Seekers by providing more regular and competitive direct air

    access to Merimbula. This would require an extensive consultative process including

    environmental, economic and social impact assessments to the undertaken to

    investigate the possible expansion of the airport to service 737 and other mid-sized

    jets. Also required is an effective case for increased services. This would be enhanced

    by a significant investment in the form of a runway extension (up to 1800m), apron

    development, new terminal development and associated works totalling

    approximately $20M.

    Actions Include: - Support for an Environmental, Economic and Social Impact Assessment for the

    expansion of the Merimbula Airport including extension of the runway, apron

    development, new terminal development and associated works;

    - Develop a tailored business case to attract suitable new airlines to Merimbula Airport; and

    - Continue to work in partnership with the community to maintain support for the airport and its growth.

  • AUSTRALIAS COASTAL WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

    Acknowledgements

    The EC3 Global Project Team would like to extend our appreciation to those community representatives, industry operators

    and government officials who participated in workshops, attended meetings and provided feedback during the preparation

    of this report. In particular we would also like to acknowledge the support provided by the Australian Coastal Wilderness

    National Landscape Steering Committee.

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