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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

Wineglass Bay track upgrade complete

16/10/2017

One of Tasmania's most iconic tourism experiences, the walk to Wineglass Bay from the lookout to the beach, has now re-opened after a $500,000 upgrade initiated through the Government's Tourism Infrastructure in Parks fund.
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Pencil Pine-Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone Plan 2006

The Pencil Pine-Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone Plan 2006 can be downloaded as a PDF (572 Kb). 

Summary

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (the WHA) covers some 1.38 million hectares or about 20% of Tasmania and includes Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park.

The framework for management of the WHA is the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 (WHAMP). The WHAMP identifies a number of Visitor Services Zones and Sites where major facilities for recreation and presentation are to be provided, typically at the margins of the WHA and accessible by the State’s road network.

Under the WHAMP, development within Visitor Services Zones is guided by detailed, non-statutory Visitor Services Zone or Site Plans which expand upon the general provisions of the WHAMP and give special consideration to the coordinated and integrated development of these small but intensively used areas. One of the key Visitor Services Zones identified in the WHAMP is the Pencil Pine – Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone (the VSZ). The Pencil Pine – Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone is one of the prime access points to the WHA – a destination that is likely to continue to increase in popularity in coming years.

This Visitor Services Zone Plan (hereafter, the Zone Plan 2005) follows from a previous plan in effect since July 1993 hereafter, the 1993 Zone Plan) and is intended to provide a basis for planning and management decisions within the VSZ over the next 5-10 years.

This Zone Plan has been developed by the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS). It uses as its base and draws information from a Draft Visitor Services Zone Plan (hereafter the draft Zone Plan 2002) developed by Inspiring Place Pty Ltd, January 2002.

The draft Zone Plan 2002 consulted widely with PWS staff, the Nature Conservation and Cultural Heritage Branches of the Resource Management and Conservation Division of the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment. Advice and information was also gathered from a range of other agencies and community based organisations including the World Heritage Area Consultative Committee, PWS Cradle Mountain Infrastructure Committee, the PWS District Community Consultative Committee and Friends of Cradle Valley. It was released for public comment in January 2002 and resulted in 53 written submissions, which have been taken into account in the present Zone Plan 2005. Copies of the "Review of Public Comment" for the draft Zone Plan 2002 can be made available on request.

In summary, the Zone Plan 2005 gives effect to the following concepts:

catering for the increasing number of visitors – particularly their infrastructure, and access needs - without degrading the physical, biological or cultural heritage values of the park;

developing and enhancing the special features and distinctive roles of the main visitor precincts within Cradle Valley to provide a range of quality experiences suitable for a broad spectrum of visitors;

and presenting Cradle Valley as a showcase of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Although not formally adopted, parts of the draft Zone Plan 2002 were progressed to completion. Sections relating to the road sealing and the shuttle bus service trial only required minor pathway approval under the WHAMP’s New Proposals and Impact Assessment process. During 2003 the road and car parks from Pencil Pine Creek including Waldheim, Connells Avenue and Dove Lake were sealed and a park transport system was introduced as part of the Cradle Tourism Development Plan (Inspiring Place et al 2003). Both of these changes have gone a long way towards reducing the traffic congestion on the national park’s roads and parking areas.

The draft Zone Plan 2002 also detailed the framework for major infrastructure redevelopment throughout the valley consisting of the construction of services mains between Dove Lake, Waldheim and the visitor centre including electricity, sewerage and communications. Integral to the services mains is the new walking track linking the visitor centre with Connells Avenue. There was an urgent need to progress management of sewage generated within the park. This was progressed though the major pathway of the WHAMP New Proposals and Impact Assessment process. This project has also been completed as part of the Cradle Tourism Development Plan (Inspiring Place et al 2003) providing enhanced facilities and more environmentally secure sewage management throughout the Visitor Services Zone.

The Zone Plan 2005 brings together further issues from the draft Zone Plan 2002. It prescribes strategies and actions for the development and enhancement of the four main visitor precincts within the VSZ: the Visitor Centre, Waldheim, Ronny Creek and Dove Lake. Each of these precincts will be developed to enhance its special qualities and to fulfil a distinct role, thereby offering visitors a range of opportunities and attractions.

Visitor Centre Precinct

In the immediate future, the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre will continue to function as the headquarters for park management. It will continue to provide visitor orientation, information and interpretation for all visitors and a high level of visitor services and facilities. In the longer term, with the establishment of the Cradle Mountain Village, a new visitor centre will provide for visitor needs re park entry, visitor orientation, and a park shop. In either case, the precinct will function to enhance visitor awareness and experiences of the WHA. It will also have high quality easy walking tracks and be the starting point for the new track linking the visitor centre to Ronny Creek and the Overland Track. Shuttle bus stops are provided at the Visitor Centre and Snake Hill collecting passengers travelling into and out off the park. This strategy remains unchanged from the draft Zone Plan 2002.

Ronny Creek Precinct (including Connells Avenue junction)

Ronny Creek will continue to be used as an area for families to picnic and children to explore and enjoy the creek environment. The area of the former timber mill at Ronny Creek will continue to be rehabilitated. The existing staff accommodation at Connells Avenue junction will be removed and the sites rehabilitated. Facilities at Ronny Creek will be enhanced with the inclusion of shuttle bus shelter and toilet facilities. This has varied from the draft Zone Plan 2002 which planned to relocate car parking and facilities from Ronny Creek to Connells Avenue junction and rehabilitate the Ronny Creek site. This change is proposed to provide an uninterrupted first view of Cradle valley for people arriving rather than a foreground view of parked cars and buses. Shuttle buses will collect and set down passengers travelling both directions at Ronny Creek.

Waldheim Precinct

Emphasis in the Waldheim precinct will focus on the presentation of the park's historic structures, early history and pioneers. Adhering to historic heritage conservation principles, maintenance may be carried out on the Waldheim chalet and nearby infrastructure to ensure the safety of visitors whilst ensuring that the simple/rustic character of the area is retained. A park shuttle bus stop and associated day use shelter and toilets will be provided to service the precinct. Only shuttle buses without trailers travelling into the park will stop at Waldheim. The precinct will also function as a link to local walking tracks. The Waldheim accommodation cabins will be maintained as basic low cost public accommodation operated by the Cradle Business Enterprise. This strategy remains unchanged from the draft Zone Plan 2002.

Dove Lake Precinct

Emphasis in the Dove Lake precinct will focus on the experience of the outstanding natural scenery within and viewed from the precinct. Facilities within the precinct will include a well designed and sited viewing shelter associated with a park shuttle bus stop, and limited parking. The proposed facilities will be of an appropriate standard and designed to have minimal visual impact. The precinct will continue to serve as a major link to walking tracks, including tracks suitable for the majority of visitors. Unused disturbed areas will be rehabilitated. This strategy reflects one of the four options presented in the draft Zone Plan 2002. Community consultation will be undertaken to clearly define the visitor experiences to be provided at each of the precincts prior to detailed design work progressing.