Masterplan to highlight region’s hinterland

Noosa''s key stakeholders have teamed up to launch a plan to highlight to region''s hinterland. Pictured: Noosa & District Landcare Phil Moran, Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart, Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson, NBRF''s Rex Halverson and Councillor Tom Wegener.

By Rose Astley

 Tourism Noosa, the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation (NBRF), Noosa Landcare and the Noosa Council have teamed up to introduce a Masterplan that will see the region’s trails revitalised.

The Masterplan strategy is on ongoing plan to improve and upgrade the Noosa Trail Network, working sustainably with the Kabi Kabi original land owners to identify new areas to link trails.

The plan covers a diverse range of eight scenic trails and over 130 kilometres within the Noosa Biosphere Reserve which include national parks, state forests and private property throughout the region.

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said the initiative is designed to shine a spotlight on the region’s hinterland.

“It’s been an exciting journey but we have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of implementation and grant funds to apply for the full $6 million role out, but this is an initiative that will be imperative for our region.

“Before Covid started tourists were telling us they wanted that nature based experience, and now that Covid has hit it’s even more important, and this is what this program is designed to do – work with our key bodies, our residents and build something that’s for all of us to enjoy,” Ms Anderson said.

Newly appointed Councillor and member of the NBRF Tom Wegener spoke passionately about the project which will see Pomona, Kin Kin, Cooran and Cooroy highlighted by the trails.

“The biggest idea for Noosa is enjoying the environment by the residents, and with the new Masterplan (people) can walk, gallop or ride down the trails looking out at the flowers, the trees, the environment and enjoying it.

“That’s the immediate benefit value to the community – is just simply enjoying the environment and the Masterplan truly enhances this,” Cr Wegener said.

“An important part of this plan is education, so if you walk through the trails, the trees and the flowers, we see things and we want to learn about them, learn their names and history.

“My ultimate aspiration for these trails is to learn the Kabi Kabi names of things, learn the stories and the history and perhaps just for a moment see through the eyes of the Kabi Kabi people,” Cr Wegener said.

Chair of the NBRF Rex Halverson said the foundation is a proud key partner in the Masterplan, saying the idea will benefit the community socially and economically while protecting the natural environment.

“An improved Noosa Trail Network will enrich the experience locals and visitors alike have with the natural landscape of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.

“The Masterplan also presents innovative opportunities to foster nature-based tourism, biodiversity management and education through improved land management and infrastructure,” Mr Halverson said.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said Council is excited to be part of the launch.

“We are thrilled to be a key partner in the development of this draft Masterplan, which will provide significant economic benefits to our hinterland region,” Cr Stewart said.

Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council will apply for government grants to help fund the $6 million project.