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Blazing a Volcanic Trail across Greater Hamilton

11 March 2022

Council has adopted the Greater Hamilton Volcanic Trail Masterplan at it’s ordinary meeting on Wednesday, providing strategic direction on Council’s vision for the development of the local volcanic region for generations to come.

The Plan, informed by community and stakeholder feedback, builds on tourism opportunities and significant cultural and environmental values of the highly treasured natural sites within Greater Hamilton. Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bruach Colliton said the Plan will boost user experience while maintaining and preserving our volcanic lands.

“The Masterplan is a shining example of promoting both the natural environment to enhance tourism to the region while also importantly preserving the sites and the indigenous heritage with an approach that is sustainable, respectful and inclusive,” said Cr Colliton. “The Masterplan provides Council with the opportunity to improve the natural assets in partnership with stakeholders such as land managers DEWLP and Parks Victoria in upgrades of existing walking trails, the development of new campsites and picnic grounds and signage to tell the story of this unique landscape,” said Cr Colliton.

Cooper Scaife Architects and LookEar interpretive design were engaged in July 2020 to undertake a master planning process for the Volcanic Trail, in consultation with Council and other user groups. The Masterplan has incorporated feedback from prior community consultation and has been prepared with cultural advice from Traditional Owners.

The Trail, which consists of seven sites across the Southern Grampians includes Wannon Falls, Nigretta Falls, Byaduk Caves, Harman’s Valley Lookout, Wallacedale Tumuli, Mt Napier and Mt Rouse is recognised for its global significance and is geologically important for its relatively recent volcanic activity.

The volcanic sites sit between the two visitor attractions of the Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park. The Greater Hamilton region is also one of the only areas in the world to have two World Heritage Areas within two hours drive of one another.

“Identified as one of Council’s key advocacy priorities in the Community Investment Plan, the development of our Volcanic Trail will shape our region for decades to come offering a truly unique experience not only in the Southern Grampians but across Victoria and South Australia,” said Cr Colliton.

“Council are looking to pre-tender and progress detailed design work required to make this project investment-ready. Submission will be made this March to the Victorian Government’s – “Enabling Tourism Fund” seeking funding to support the next stage of detailed design, permits, and approvals.

“If you haven’t done so already, I would encourage everyone to check out the Masterplan which is available on Council’s website," concluded Cr Colliton.

Council looks forward to leading and working closely with agencies and stakeholders to deliver this vision.

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