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Encounter Maria Island

20/10/2017

Encounter Maria Island's new ferry Osprey V, that will allow even more visitors to enjoy one of the State's best tourism attractions, was launched today.More

Progress on Cradle Mountain Master Plan

19/10/2017

An important milestone in the Cradle Mountain Master Plan project has been reached following a competitive tender process, with Cumulus Studio chosen to design the Cradle Mountain gateway precinct and the Dove Lake viewing shelter.More

Exciting new proposal for Tasmania's South East Cape

16/10/2017

Award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone can now progress a new project to lease and licence negotiations under the Tourism Opportunities in Tasmania's National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.More

Summary of Southport Lagoon Conservation Area, George III Monument Historic Site & Ida Bay State Reserve Management Plan 2006

The full version of Southport Lagoon Conservation Area, George III Monument Historic Site & Ida Bay State Reserve Management Plan 2006 can be downloaded as a PDF File (2 009Kb)

Constituent maps are available as separate PDF files:
Map 1 - Location (PDF 224Kb) 
Map 2 - Land Tenure (PDF 460Kb) 
Map 3 - Topography & Drainage (PDF 440Kb) 
Map 4 - History (PDF 1120Kb) 
Map 5 - Management Zones (PDF 165Kb) 
Map 6 - Vehicular Tracks (PDF 232Kb) 
Map 7 - Triangle of Damage (PDF 128Kb)

Summary

Southport Lagoon Conservation Area

Lying approximately 80 km south of Hobart the 4,280 hectare Southport Lagoon Conservation Area possesses a wide diversity of significant natural, cultural and recreational values. The area also presents significant land management issues, mostly associated with current use patterns. This plan has been prepared in response to growing concerns from land managers, the local community and recreational users for the long-term maintenance of values.

Values

Geoheritage values include two bay mouth spits in an almost pristine condition and rare fossilised fern fragments of considerable scientific value.

The scenic beauty of landscapes within the reserves provides a significant recreational resource. For instance, from the spit on the eastern side of Southport Lagoon panoramic views may be had of the lagoon and opposite shore against the backdrop of the heavily forested and often snow capped Southern Ranges.

Flora values include:

• the status of the area for biological reference, being the collection site of a large number of flora and fauna type specimens; 
• heaths rich in species that have been eliminated elsewhere; and 
• several species of individual conservation significance.

Fauna values include:

• rich water bird habitat in the lagoons and fringing vegetation; 
• fish nursery sites in the seagrass beds, wetlands and lagoon systems; 
• many bird species of individual conservation significance.

Many Aboriginal people once lived in the area, as revealed in the observations of the earliest European expeditioners. While largely unrecorded, Aboriginal sites must still be present in the landscape. These are protected under the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975.

The history of the area is rich: 
• the French National Assembly Expedition of 1792 lead by D'Entrecasteaux used this area as a base for the scientific exploration of Recherche, the Huon, Channel, Derwent region and Bruny Island; 
• since then human occupation has principally associated with resource extraction including mining, forestry and whaling While little physical evidence remains to mark these early European activities, those that do exist have heritage value at the local, state and even national level.

Threats

The major threats to Southport Lagoon Conservation Area are inappropriate recreational vehicle use and wildfire.

Increasing recreational pressure, particularly from users of four-wheel drive and other recreational vehicles over the years has resulted in much physical damage, both deliberate and unintentional. Degradation issues are actually accelerating (see Appendix 1) despite a series of management interventions.

High wildfire frequencies have damaged the natural values of the reserve and adjacent private land.

Management Proposals

This plan is aimed at ensuring the long-term viability of the values for which the area was reserved.

In the conservation area the major initiative, aimed at placing access on a sustainable footing, is the closure of the Leprena Track to recreation vehicle access. This means the closure of all tracks in the conservation area with the exception of the Lagoon Track. At the same time the plan proposes opening a new four-wheel drive vehicle route, roughly following the Lagoon Track, to provide recreational access to the NW quadrant of the lagoon. This will involve construction of a new track, a new camping area and a dinghy launching area. This latter measure will ensure recreational access to favourite fishing and camping opportunities at the spit are maintained, albeit by boat.

This plan has been formulated on the basis of a long period of consultation and discussion, including the release of a previous draft of this plan in 1997.

George III Monument Historic Site

The 14.4 hectare historic site is the site of a memorial to the convict ship George III which was wrecked on nearby rocks on its way to Port Arthur in 1835 with the loss of 133 lives. The memorial was erected on this site in 1839.

Southport Bluff, where the George III Historic Site and monument are located, is the only known locality for the endangered Tasmanian endemic heath species,Epacris stuartii (Keith 1996). This species is extremely vulnerable to Phytophthora cinnamomi, which is absent from the bluff. It is a component of coastal heathland, one of the most threatened plant communities in Australia.

The historic site is currently managed for the protection of the monument and the endangered epacris. Under both this plan and the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 this reserve remains closed to public access.

Ida Bay State Reserve

The 425 hectare Ida Bay State Reserve is managed for the protection of its historic, recreational and natural values. A narrow gauge railway, built around 1920, and extensively upgraded in the 1940s is located within the State reserve. It runs along the southern shore of the Lune River estuary and terminates at Deephole Bay. The railway was originally established to transport limestone from Ida Bay quarries to vessels berthed first within the Lune River Estuary, and later at Deephole Bay. The railway has, discontinuously since 1981, been operated under a lease agreement as a tourist attraction. This plan fosters the further development of this commercial tourism operation, while protecting the values of the State reserve.