Reservation of Gardens of Stone - Stage Two proposal would:
- Offer to the general public that part of the Gardens of Stone landscape with the most easily accessible features and bring the Gardens of Stone to the majority of people;
- Create a network of visitor experiences for a new western Blue Mountains nature-based marketing initiative, promoting the Gardens of Stone as the very distinctive 'other side' of the Blue Mountains - just two hours from Sydney;
- Generate 50,000 visitors a year with a direct spend of around $3M to $4M;
- Demonstrate how low-key, low impact visitor facilities can provide the backbone of local tourism enterprises, including guided tours on-park, associated with accommodation and similar development off-park nearby;
- Provide many and varied, highly appealing natural and cultural attractions across the area (e.g. Lost City, Carne Creek gorge and the Wolgan Valley Rail Trail all with the potential to become iconic attractions)
- Create a number of easy wildlife viewing opportunities (to add to existing available experiences including Aboriginal cultural experiences);
- Present an existing network of touring routes for motor vehicles and bicycles, accessing a range of potential camping areas, bushwalks, lookouts and cultural and wildlife experiences that can be linked into a ‘Gardens of Stone Grand Tour' which could be taken over one to three days by 4WD vehicle or mountain bike;
- Provide for these low-key recreational activities in a number of already-disturbed sites where the likely impacts are minor when compared to the existing and future impacts of the current recreational regime;
- Ensure better recreation management that could help restore the natural and cultural values of the much-loved Gardens of Stone.
Short Walks and Places to Visit a guide to Newnes Plateau by Karen McLaughlin.