The full version of the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area Management Plan 2008 can be downloaded as a PDF File (3.8 Mb).
The Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area is located on the South Esk River, only four kilometres from Launceston’s centre and the head of the Tamar River valley. Part of the South Esk River gorge and the adjacent plateau country, are features of the 440 hectare reserve. Boundaries are shared with the popular Cataract Gorge Reserve, managed by Launceston City Council.
Originally set aside to meet the recreation needs of a growing urban population, the reserve has more recently been recognised for its important nature conservation role.
The reserve protects dry open grassy forest and woodland communities, recognised under the Regional Forest Agreement as poorly reserved elsewhere in Tasmania.
The aquatic and riparian habitats of the South Esk River gorge are particularly biodiverse, supporting most of the 26 threatened flora species found in the reserve. Three of the five threatened fauna species in the reserve are also found in the gorge. The persistence of large indigenous herbivores and carnivores, in bushland close to a major urban area, is noteworthy.
Cultural heritage values
At least eleven Aboriginal cultural heritage sites are recorded in the reserve but Aboriginal peoples’ relationship with the reserve is not widely understood.
An underground tunnel and flume, integral to the historic Duck Reach Hydro-electric scheme, are within the reserve and are listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The reserve contributes to Launceston’s identity or ‘sense of place’, partly due to its close association with the South Esk River, the Cataract Gorge Reserve and Trevallyn Dam.
As urban development increases in the district, the reserve’s natural bushland setting is likely to become increasingly important to the local community. The reserve’s setting is already integral to visitor experience and there is growing local community interest in caring for the reserve’s special natural values.
The reserve is an important recreation asset for the greater Launceston community, providing a broad range of activities, including club run and commercial activities. Local community use is intense and accounts for a large proportion of visitation. Large social gatherings, picnics, dog walking, exercising, horse riding, cycling, orienteering and rock climbing are popular. The shores of Lake Trevallyn facilitate water skiing, canoeing, swimming and windsurfing. Paringa Archery, Launceston Pony and Riding Club and the Northern Aquatic Club use Trevallyn as a base for their activities.
Other Tasmanians, interstate and overseas visitors tend to visit the reserve as part of major sporting events or as an adjunct to a Cataract Gorge visit. Attractions include the Trevallyn Dam wall in flood, circuit walks along the South Esk River gorge and ‘cable’ hang gliding.
The reserve has potential to attract greater tourist numbers in the future and lengthen ‘stays’ in the region, thereby benefiting local businesses. Managing Cataract Gorge Reserve and Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area as an integrated open space resource may increase the marketable range of opportunities available to tourists. However, tourism should not be promoted to the detriment of local community use.
The reserve is traversed by major service infrastructure, including water and power transmission infrastructure, important in meeting the region’s water and energy needs.
Processes that have the potential to threaten reserve values and safe visitor use and enjoyment include:
- weed invasion and spread, particularly concerning threatened flora species associated with riparian and aquatic habitats of the South Esk River.
- altered hydrological regimes in the South Esk River;
- inappropriate maintenance and development of service infrastructure;
- unregulated recreational use and inadequate visitor infrastructure;
- poor management of community expectations in regard to recreational use;
- soil erosion, unplanned track formation and illegal off road vehicle use;
- inappropriate fire regimes and intensive marsupial browsing;
- exotic animals, particularly domestic and feral cats;
- poor understanding of reserve values and how to protect them; and
- urban development on lands surrounding the reserve.
As a large open space resource close to an expanding major urban centre, the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area will be of increased economic, social and ecological importance to the region in the future. This plan recognises the reserve’s significant potential to:
- provide high quality visitor facilities, services and experiences in a bushland setting;
- meet the needs of the local community while supporting appropriate tourism use;
- enhance the region’s amenity and strengthen community identity;
- provide a stronghold for significant natural and cultural values;
- demonstrate best practice reserve management, particularly balancing recreation use and conservation of natural diversity; and
- attract local community support and involvement in management.
Management plan prescriptions reflect an improved understanding of the reserve’s natural values. Key management plan initiatives include:
- designating management zones that provide high protection to ecologically sensitive areas that support threatened species, allow varied recreation use of less sensitive areas, and focus high quality facilities and services in modified core visitor services areas.
- giving priority to maintaining and improving the riparian and aquatic habitats of the South Esk River, through appropriate fire and weed management and encouraging more appropriate hydrological regimes;
- confirming the reserve’s role as an important outdoor recreation asset close to Launceston, by providing for regulated, ecologically sustainable recreation, reliant on the reserve’s natural outdoor setting;
- providing track and sign strategies that designate a track network and appropriate use, improve orientation, promote appropriate visitor behaviour, and guide priorities for track and sign development, management and monitoring within resource constraints;
- setting out a program of core visitor facility improvements to meet expected visitor needs and facilitate ecologically sustainable use of the reserve; and
- supporting service infrastructure that is important for the region’s water and energy needs, subject to conditions that protect reserve values.