Russell Falls at Mount Field National Park is a big drawcard for the region. (ABC News: Annah Fromberg)
The Tasmanian Government has announced more funding for small-scale infrastructure in the state’s national parks, and it has been welcomed by Mount Field tourism operators who said the park felt like the forgotten cousin.
A major upgrade at the popular tourism attraction is nearing completion, with a new walking track built at Russell Falls inside the iconic southern Tasmanian national park.
It was part of a tranche of upgrades funded by the State Government, which is spending $8 million over two years.
Tourism operators Rachel Power and Fiona Weaver welcomed the funding. (ABC News: Annah Fromberg)
Rachel Power, who runs a cafe at Mount Field, said the site — just over an hour’s drive from Hobart — had experienced huge growth in visitation.
She said it was something of a “forgotten cousin” to internationally known parks at Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park on the state’s east coast.
“It’s wonderful to see an investment in our beautiful park here. We have so much to offer and now it’s going to be accessible for so many more people,” she said.
“Cradle Mountain and Freycinet, yes, they’re getting amazing amounts of tourists through but we are as well.
“We need to make sure we keep investing in that infrastructure so that we’ve got more to offer.”
Tourism operator Fiona Weaver, who runs kayak tours locally, agreed.
“We definitely have been lagging behind for quite a while now, the investment definitely has been going to the larger parks, Freycinet and Cradle Mountain.”
Mount Field has experienced a 20 per cent increase in visitors every year for the past five years.
The Tasmanian tourist boom has seen thousands more people visiting the state’s national parks.
Daniel Leesong from the Tourism Industry Council says the extra government funding was sorely needed.
“We’ve certainly been needing this infrastructure for some time. As the industry grows and develops the requirements obviously increase as well — so this is infrastructure catching up to what we have at the moment,” he said.
“The national parks are fundamental to the Tasmanian brand and will be forever, its really important we look after them and also that we ensure our infrastructure meets the needs of the modern tourist.”
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