Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail – multi use trail implementation plan

Description

The Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail (GLAT) had been identified as a hero project in the Gippsland Destination Management Plan and a signature trail in the Gippsland Tracks and Trails Strategy – both delivered by TRC. The Gippsland Lakes is a beautiful part of Victoria where an extensive lake system is inland from the extraordinary 90 mile beach. TRC was engaged to develop a Feasibility Study and Business Case that would build on the current Aquatic Trail pre-feasibility planning and substantial body of work that had highlighted the potential of this opportunity. GLAT offers a combination of walking, cycling and water-based journeys that can be curated into ‘choose your own’ adventure itineraries and features prominent cultural storytelling of and by the local Gunaikurnai community. Visitors choose their preferred level of engagement, challenge and means of exploration with the ability to undertake fully guided, partly or self-supported trip itineraries according to preference and ability.

It is anticipated that the Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail will be attractive to independent outdoor active visitors as well as those that may prefer a guided and supported experience.

Challenge

The Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail (GLAT) is an immersive nature-based experience that positions the Gippsland Lakes as Australia’s premiere destination for aquatic environment adventures.

Results

TRC developed the Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail Feasibility Study and Business Case as well as detailed designs and an investment prospectus to support this nationally significant tourism product and market-based opportunity that was shovel ready.

As envisioned, the Gippsland Lakes Aquatic Trail will be a pioneering nature-based experience operating as one of the first prescribed, branded and marketed multi-activity, culturally engaged, aquatic environment tourism offerings in Australia.

The concept experience will be achieved through:

  • opportunities for visitors to engage with Gunaikurnai people to understand cultural stories and connect with country
  • a suite of trail elements enabling the visitor to curate their own experience, be guided or follow a range of pre-defined itineraries
  • well planned, designed and sustainable infrastructure and effective governance
  • Industry partnerships (including with Gunaikurnai) to deliver supported, interpreted and accommodated experiences.