Bike riders would be able to travel a new, continuous 1200km trail between Melbourne and Adelaide, according to a proposal launched by the state opposition parties in Victoria and South Australia.
The route would comprise existing and new trails, and would be aimed at boosting tourism in regional and rural area between the state capitals.
Known as the Great Southern Ocean Bike Trail, the joint commitment emerged in the lead-up to elections in both states this year.
The opposition leaders—Matthew Guy in Victoria and Steven Marshall said they would kick then project off with a $1M feasibility study.
The aim is to develop a world-class tourism cycling trail to support more regional jobs, grow the economy and reinvigorate regional communities.
It would feature a series of tourism focused loops for the novice rider, families and more experienced cyclists.
Bike tourism is now a major focus for regional economic growth.
Once car travelling day trippers were much sought by country communities, but research has shown that such travellers don’t spend enough to make a real economic impact.
Bike riders, on the other hand, take longer, stay overnight, and spend big.
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the trail would be “an economic and tourism boon for regional Victoria with significant benefits to a large number of regional communities with significant spin-offs in food and wine, accommodation, nature based tourism and other sectors”.
“Cycling tourism is part of Victoria’s tourist future and a huge opportunity for our state,” Mr Guy said.
“I want to see Victoria have Australia’s first interstate bike trail and tap into an entirely new range of eco-tourism options.”
SA opposition leader Steven Marshall said: “South Australia has some of the most unique environments and beautiful regions in the world and we need to be better selling these to the world.
“We will develop a world-class tourism cycling trail to attract more international and interstate visitors to South Australia which will inject millions of dollars into our economy and support regional jobs.
“The Great Southern Ocean Bike Trail will grow our tourism sector by encouraging visitors to get out of Adelaide and into our beautiful regions, staying longer and spending more money in South Australia.
“Locals and visitors alike can enjoy our pristine coastline, premium wineries and restaurants, our diverse nature based and adventure tourism offerings and everything else our regions have to offer.
“Cycling tourism is worth $2.4 billion to the Australian economy each year so we know that cycling tourists spend a lot of money and we need to capitalise on that.
“As hosts of the Tour Down Under South Australians are known for their love of cycling and with almost a quarter of a million South Australians cycling at least once per week, there’s a huge untapped domestic market that would relish a world-class tourism cycling trails in their backyard.”