Planning and design of a long-distance bike, walking and water-based adventure trail along the Murray River will soon be under way, realising a vision for a new iconic Australian bike route.
When fully complete, the Murray River Adventure Trail will encompass a series of connecting walking, cycling and watercraft trails that will run along the river and its banks all the way from Lake Hume in the east, near Wodonga, to Mildura in the west.
The Victorian Government has invested $10.3M as part of stage one of the trail, which includes design and construction of new and upgraded trails and a range of other visitor facilities from Picnic Point in Barmah National Park to Koondrook.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the opening of the tender process for the trail − funded under the Flagship Tourism Projects program in the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan.
New nature-based tourism experiences and better connections between towns in the vibrant Murray River region will encourage people to visit new locations, extend their stay, boost tourism and support the regional economy.
The trail will be easy to access and will cater for both day and multi-day trail visitors.
This initial section of the trail will connect almost 180 kilometres of existing land-based trail, deliver vital improvements to over 100 kilometres of trail, and create 22 kilometres of new trail to enable a trail link all the way from near Picnic Point to Koondrook.
The project will also deliver new kayak launches and small bridge crossings and new facilities at several key visitor sites, including picnic facilities, car parking and toilets.
The trail will pass through Lower Goulburn National Park, Gunbower National Park, Murray River Reserve and Echuca.
New signage will help visitors navigate the trail and learn about the rich Aboriginal heritage and environmental values of the river and surrounding landscape.
The upgrades planned to 100 kilometres of existing trail are generally minor and are aimed at making the trail clear and defined to improve safety and reduce environmental impacts by keeping walkers on the trail and off sensitive vegetation areas. In some areas, upgrades will incorporate design features that manage drainage and erosion.
The initial Victorian section of the project is expected to be completed in 2024.
Parks Victoria says planning approvals and detailed design work, along with early works at identified sites will be completed in early 2023. Completion of full trail and facilities from near Picnic Point in Barmah National Park to Koondrook as part of Stage One will wrap up in 2024.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said: “The Murray River is one of the most beautiful features of the landscape in south-east Australia, with exceptional natural environments and significant Aboriginal cultural heritage.”
“Parks Victoria will lead the project, working closely with Traditional Owners and local governments.”
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