The State Government-Forestry Tasmania strategy to develop ‘tourism icon’ sites round the state is based on business-community partnerships designed to maximise opportunities for local businesses so the whole community benefits. With the $6 million fourth project – the Maydena Hauler – in the pipline, successes to date are:
1 The Tahune Forest AirWalk through the picturesque reserve on the banks of the mighty Huon River, opened in July 2001 and has had 519,000 visitors through its doors up to January 2005.
2 Less than a year later the Forest Eco Centre at Scottsdale, an interactive interpretation centre focussing on the forest communities and history of Tassie’s northeast was opened as a joint project with the Dorset Council – around 110,000 have visited the centre.
3 20,000 people have visited the Dismal Swamp Maze complex, near Smithton in Tassie’s far northwest, since its opening last September. Many are enjoying the slide ride to the swamp floor!
The Maydena Hauler project aims to replicate the Huon Valley’s success with the Tahune AirWalk in the Derwent Valley. In conjunction with a Community Consultative Committee, it will recreate the old Risby mill and build a three tier rail journey, climbing 1100 metres to the top of the Maydena range, where visitors will have 360 degree views of the Styx Valley and the east coast and southwestern World Heritage areas.
The Consultative Committee includes representatives of the Derwent Valley Council, Derwent Valley Railway, Parks and Wildlife Service, Valley Vision, Tas South, Maydena community and tourism operators.