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Tourism opportunity for Tasman Island

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Pencil Pine - Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone

10/04/2006

At the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park we have completed the over-arching Pencil Pine - Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone Plan 2006 and this has now been approved. The plan establishes the major direction for the main visitor precincts: Dove Lake, Waldheim, Ronnie Creek and the Visitor Centre.

This Zone Plan follows from a previous plan in effect since July 1993 and is intended to provide a basis for planning and management decisions over the next 5-10 years.

The plan uses as its base and draws information from a draft plan developed by Inspiring Place Pty Ltd. and released for public comment in January 2002. The 53 written submissions, received on the draft have been taken into account in the final plan.

In summary, the Zone Plan 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.

Each of the major visitor precincts will be developed to enhance its special qualities and to fulfill 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 may 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.

What happens next?
The next step is to develop an overall Visitor Experience Statement. This will guide the development of more specific precinct and interpretation plans to guide on ground works. The Parks & Wildlife Service has engaged Bryce McNair & Associates to finalise the Experience Statement. Bryce was the inaugural chair of the Cradle Mountain Advisory Group (now the Friends of Cradle Valley) and has recently retired as Chair of the World Heritage Area Consultative Committee. If you would like to contribute to this work, please contact Bryce at: brycemcnair@bigpond.com.

PDF
The Pencil Pine-Cradle Valley Visitor Services Zone Plan 2006 can be downloaded as a PDF (1,416 Kb).