A feasibility study into Tasmania's Next Iconic Walk is now complete, and the Tasmanian Government has confirmed its commitment to proceed with the walk in the Tyndall Range on Tasmania's west coast.
The Tyndall Range was selected for the feasibility study from 35 possible proposals, and extensive community consultation, due to its extraordinary, spectacular, and dramatic landscape.
Community engagement featured strongly during the feasibility study into the Next Iconic Walk, with seasoned walkers and other visitors surveyed. Feedback and input were also sought from the community and businesses, and market-tested to determine the appetite for a hut-based overnight walk in this location.
The feasibility study has identified a three-day, two-night, hut-based walk as being the best option from more than 50 alternative options tested. The walk will begin at Lake Plimsoll in the north and extend along the lower slopes to the eastern side of the Tyndall Range to Lake Margaret in the south.
The walk is located in the Tyndall Regional Reserve and Lake Beatrice Conservation area, outside of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The route has been tested and refined in response to community feedback to avoid sensitive alpine areas.
Detailed design work and a Reserve Activity Assessment (Level 3 - Environmental Impact Assessment) will now be undertaken as part of stage two of the project.
Click here to view the Feasibility Study
Next Iconic Walk Tyndall Option 1 Map detail
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q1. What is Tasmania's Next Iconic Walk Project?
A. The Next Iconic Walk Project is a Tasmanian Government 2018 election commitment aimed at attracting visitors to the State and encouraging them to stay longer and spend more in regional Tasmania. It builds on Tasmania's competitive advantages, the Tasmanian brand, and growing recognition of Tasmania as a multi-day walking destination.
Q2. Why does Tasmania need a new walking experience?
A. Research and demand confirm that – for visitors coming to Tasmania – walking is, and always has been, the most popular recreational activity in natural areas, and this is confirmed by the PWS' visitor survey program.
Tasmania is renowned for magnificent bushwalking, from short strolls and day walks, to long and difficult treks through a range of diverse environments. Traditionally, bushwalks managed by the PWS have just evolved, being adapted and improved as resources allow.
This project will build on the success of the Overland Track and Three Capes Track, by creating a walking experience that showcases the best of Tasmania. We know from walker surveys that the sustainable management of the Overland Track and the Three Capes Track walks have contributed to exceptionally high walker satisfaction. Over 90 per cent of walkers on both tracks rate their walk as “one of the best things they've done in their lives", or “one of the best things they've done in the past 12 months".
Q3. Why the Tyndall Range?
A. The Tasmanian Government called for public submissions into where the next Iconic walk should be located. Thirty-five submissions were received from the public and we also drew upon local PWS knowledge and experience. The Philosophers Tale proposal was put forward by the West Coast Tourism Association and comprised a 12-15 day walk from the Tyndall ranges in the north to Macquarie Harbour in the south. The Tyndall Range section of the walk was considered the very best part of the proposal and met all the criteria for an iconic walking experience. This section of the walk through the Tyndall Ranges is loved by bushwalkers already and the walking track route we have designed offers glimpses of areas never seen or accessible before, such as the dramatic Lake Huntley.
In addition, the walk offers an extraordinary insight into Tasmania's heritage and history of hydro development. The Lake Margaret Power Station and the “pipeline" have been deliberately designed into to the walk to tell the story of the innovative approaches to power generation. The geological and glacial history is also a feature of the walk with moraines an important landscape feature along the proposed route.
Q4. Were Tasmanians given an opportunity to share their ideas about what the next iconic walk could be?
A. Yes. Tasmanians offered 24 proposals about where and in what form a new walk could be developed.
Since then, the PWS has proactively sought input and welcomed direct contact during the feasibility study. More than 1 900 individuals, and many Tasmanian businesses, have contributed their ideas, thoughts and expert advice about a new multi‑day walk on the West Coast. The feasibility study records and responds to the key themes identified through consultation. Conversations started during the Feasibility Study will continue through the following stages of the project.
The formal approval process will also invite public review and comment on the development process.
Q5. What are the next steps?
A. Detailed design work and assessments will follow as part of stage two. Once the route is mapped out, the walk will be assessed through the Reserve Activity Assessment (Level 3) process, and the public given the opportunity to provide feedback.
Q6. How long will it take to construct the walk?
A. Subject to all approvals being obtained, it is anticipated that work on the walk will commence in late 2023, with the entire walk open to walkers in 2029. As a comparison, it took 10 years from conception to delivery of the Three Capes Track.
Q7. What will the walk cost?
A. The Tasmanian Government has allocated $20M towards the construction of the walk. The feasibility has identified that the walk will cost a total of $37M. Additional funding will of $17M will be required by 2027. The current $20M funding allocation provides the necessary confidence to proceed with design, planning and approvals to award contracts for construction.
Q8. Is the walk feasible?
A. Conservatively, the study confirms that the walk can deliver a positive cost benefit ratio of 1.13 for Tasmania and 12.71 for the West Coast. The study predicts that the walk will generate approximately 140 jobs on the west coast during construction and 40 jobs ongoing during operation in maintenance and operations, including tourism services.
Q9. Is the walk in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area?
A. The walk is consistent with the reserve status of both the Regional Reserve and Conservation Area. The area is not part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.