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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Unique Forest Tourism Development

A unique tourism development tapping into Tasmania’s forest heritage will provide a spectacular window into Tasmania’s South West wilderness.

The Maydena Hauler – an $8 million development, will add a new component to the range of forest experiences available to Tasmanian tourists.

It’s expected to attract 75,000 visitors in its first year alone.

Premier Paul Lennon says the Hauler will be a world-class development in one of the world’s most scenically-spectacular areas.

“The Tahune Airwalk in the Southern Forests, the Scottsdale Forest Eco-Centre and the brilliant Dismal Swamp slide in the far North West are all major contributors to local tourism.

“When the Airwalk was opened in 2001, sceptics were lining up to predict its failure. In fact, half a million people have now enjoyed the experience.

“That provides clear evidence that there is a strong appetite for attractions such as this, providing visitors with a window into the forest experience.”

The Maydena Hauler development will take visitors on a spectacular four-wheel-drive guided journey to a funicular railway through rugged, steep alpine landscape to an “Eagles eyrie” look-out.

The view will allow visitors a panoramic outlook across the rooftop of Tasmania.

“It’s an experience which has never before been available, except to a very few privileged people.

“The eyrie looks out over a wide area of forest. Eighty per cent of it is protected but it also contains smaller areas which are used for sustainable timber production.

“Visitors will be able to see for themselves how our forest industries fit into a wild and spectacular landscape.”

Mr Lennon said the Tasmanian Government had contributed $4 million towards the cost of the project.

“This development means jobs and opportunities and – even more importantly – jobs and opportunities in a regional community.

“And from a wider, State-based perspective, too, the project means benefits, with six of the seven contractors appointed to the project being Tasmanian.

“The hauler will be very attractive for visitors who want to see our tall trees, mighty forests and dramatic wilderness.

“At a local level, it will bring considerable benefits to the local and regional communities of the Derwent Valley in terms of new opportunities and more tourist dollars coming into the area.

“For instance, it’s estimated that for every dollar spent by visitors to the Tahune Airwalk, $1.57 was also spent in the Geeveston community.”

Mr Lennon said the Maydena Hauler would add enormously to the Tasmanian tourist experience.

“This development is simply unique. I have no doubt it will capture the imagination of everyone who becomes aware of it.

“Its development is another strong indicator of confidence that Tasmania’s economy is growing strongly.”


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