Tourism Backlash in Europe

Now is the summer of their discontent.
 
 
A story illustrating what happens when enough tourism is too much, driven by the “disruption” of online booking channels like Airbnb, cruise tourism, and the rise of tourist numbers to locations made popular in films and online TV shows.
 
We already see this in our region, with the overwhelming number of people climbing Mt Warning, – now more than 100,000 per year according to some sources, beginning to diminish that experience for many people, the hoards of visitors to Byron Bay, and other locations where “flash tourism” experiences can wreak havoc on local communities.
 
This trend needs to be addressed by local councils, DTOs and operators now, before it becomes a problem of a similar magnitude in our region.
 
While there’s only so much supply and demand which can enable individual operators to “price themselves out of the market”, local councils, state and federal governments have a critical role to play in what is now becoming a double edged sword, and needs a delicate balance.
 
Lord Howe Island and Bhutan both spring to mind as good examples of places where visitation and access models are used to proactively manage visitor numbers, in order to protect fragile environments, World Heritage listed properties, and the interests and cultural lifestyles of local communities.
 
Can anyone else provide other examples of destinations which have planning and administration programmes in place, to actively manage visitor and tourism numbers for the benefit of the environment and local communities ahead of the “free market”?

References:

National Parks open Gold Coast and Northern Rivers

After the damage done by ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie in late March, most national parks in the region have now reopened, although some walking tracks and access roads remain closed.

Main details are provided below, but visit the NSW and QLD government official national parks web pages for the most recent updates.

See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide | The National Parks of the Tweed Volcano Region for more parks in the region.

NSW:

Border Ranges National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 20 Apr 2017, 3.21pm.

Closed areas: Tweed Range Scenic Drive partially closed

Tweed Range Scenic Drive is now open from Sheepstation Creek to Pinnacle lookout. Brindle Creek Loop Road is open. Sheepstation Creek and Forest Tops campgrounds are now open. The Pinnacle walk and lookout is open.

Tweed Range Scenic Drive remains closed between Pinnacle lookout and the Barkersvale entrance. Access to Tweed Range Scenic Drive is only via Lynches Creek Road from Wiangaree.

Some walking tracks will remain closed. Affected areas are:

  • Booyong walking track
  • Brindle Creek walking track
  • Bar Mount walking tracks and lookouts
  • Blackbutts lookout

IMG_0583_M_600

Photo:  Interpretive signage at Nightcap National Park, Whian Whian State Conservation Area (SCA) Rummery Park camping area.

Gibraltar Range National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 11 May 2017, 9.15am.

Some areas of this park are closed due to programmed road works. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Closed areas are:

  • Mulligan’s Drive and campground
  • Anvil Rock walking track
  • Dandahra Crags walking track
  • Platypus picnic area

Mooball National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 11 Apr 2017, 11.08am.

This park is closed due to storm damage. Landslips, severe erosion and tree falls are blocking all access roads and trails.

Mount Clunie National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 31 May 2016, 10.12am.

Mt Clunie road is closed until further notice due to a collapsed bridge. There is a locked gate and access is restricted.

Mount Jerusalem National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 18 Apr 2017, 11.24am.

This park is closed due to storm damage and blockages related to trees and landslips. This closure remains in place unless otherwise extended or removed.

Nightcap National Park

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 1.51pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flood/storm damage.

This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Toonumbar National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 23 Mar 2017, 10.56am.

Some areas of this park are closed due to weather conditions. The closed areas are:

  • Coxs Road
  • Toonumbar Forest Drive
  • Sherwood lookout
  • Murray Scrub lookout

Ironpot Creek campground and Murray Scrub walking track remain open.

Whian Whian State Conservation Area

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 1.51pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flood/storm damage.

This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Wollumbin National Park (Mount Warning)

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 8.23am.

Wollumbin National Park is closed due to storm damage. The Summit track and Lyrebird loop have both suffered damage, resulting in unsafe conditions for public access. Repair works are underway.

Closures may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines and current contact details.

QLD:

Park Alerts will be regularly updated regarding conditions on parks. The next updates will be provided by Friday 26 May 2017.

Please note that in affected parks, all camping permits for closed areas are suspended for the duration of the closure. To apply for a refund or gift card, please visit http://www.qld.gov.au/camping.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Burleigh Head National Park

Resurfacing of the Oceanview track commenced Wednesday 5 April 2017, with completion anticipated by the end of June (weather dependent).

Work on the track will be completed in two sections. The northern section of the track will be the first section to be reconstructed and the Oceanview track will be closed between the northern entry at Goodwin Terrace and Echo Beach on Tallebudgera Creek during this period.

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk Springbrook section closed

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Springbrook sections of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk remain closed.

This includes:

  • Numinbah Valley to Apple Tree Park;
  • Apple Tree Park to The Settlement; and
  • Woonoongoora Walkers’ Camp at Numinbah Valley.

The sections of the Great Walk in Lamington National Park, including the Green Mountains walkers’ camp, are open.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

All camping permits for closed areas are suspended for the duration of the closure. To apply for a refund or gift card, please visit http://www.qld.gov.au/camping.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Lamington National Park

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, some walking tracks in Lamington National Park remain closed.

Tracks closed in Binna Burra section include:

  • Ships Stern circuit;
  • Illinbah circuit and the Illinbah bush camping area;
  • Gwongoorool track; and
  • Caves circuit. Note: A long term closure will apply to the Caves circuit due to a significant landslide.

Tracks closed in the Green Mountains section include:

  • Albert River circuit;
  • Toolona Creek circuit; and
  • West Canungra Creek circuit.

All other walking tracks and camping areas in Lamington National Park are open.

QPWS rangers are currently working on repairs to the other walking tracks and facilities.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Lamington National Park alerts

Most remote bush camping areas in Lamington National Park are now open with caution. Bushwalkers and campers should use extreme caution and stay alert for hazards.  Read more

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook Plateau section

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the eastern section of Purling Brook circuit, from the John Stacey suspension bridge up to and including the eastern lookout, the causeway at the top of the falls, and the track to Settlement day-use area remain closed.

Access to the main western lookout remains open.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Natural Bridge section

Work has started to upgrade the stairs in the glow-worm cave at Natural Bridge. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by Friday 2 June 2017, pending favourable weather conditions.

The upgrade involves the complete removal of the existing stairs and the installation of a new staircase.

As a result, the following areas are temporarily closed for the duration of the work:

  • Glow-worm cave
  • The upper section of the walking track from the fig tree to the cave entrance.

The lower walking track remains open and provides access to the external lookout ONLY. This lookout is situated outside the cave, but provides views into the cave. Return via the same route to get back to the car park.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

For latest official details on all park alerts and closures see Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list

National Parks closures Gold Coast and Northern Rivers

Mt Warning Road is now open, with access to accommodation and cafes/restaurants also open for business, but the Wollumbin / Mount Warning Summit walk in Wollumbin National Park is closed due to storm damage.

Popular camping areas in Border Ranges National Park and Nightcap National Park are open.  See summaries below.

For alternative camping options see Big Volcano Campgrounds and Big Volcano Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

For latest official details see Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list

IMG_0109_640w

 

Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk (view park page)

Lamington National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Lamington National Park (view park page)

Lamington National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Springbrook National Park (view park page)

Springbrook National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Cascades track in Mount Cougal section closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

As a result of damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the above mentioned protected areas will remain closed until declared safe.

QPWS rangers are currently working on repairs. Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Tamborine National Park (view park page)

Caution required: creek crossing on Lower Creek circuit at Joalah

Corbould and Cedar Creek fire trails closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Northern Rivers national parks alerts

Border Ranges National Park  Last reviewed: Thu 06 Apr 2017, 1.29pm.

Tweed Range Scenic Drive and Brindle Creek Loop Road are closed due to affects of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Sheepstation Creek campground is open and can only be accessed via Lynches Creek Road from Wiangaree.  All walking tracks will remain closed until further assessment. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.

Mooball National Park  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage associated with ex tropical cyclone Debbie, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed.

Mount Clunie National Park Last reviewed: Tue 31 May 2016, 10.12am.

Mt Clunie road is closed until further notice due to a collapsed bridge. There is a locked gate and access is restricted.

Mount Jerusalem National Park Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.00pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage and blockages related to trees and landslips. This closure remains in place unless otherwise extended or removed.

Nightcap National Park / Whian Whian State Conservation Area  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 4.07pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flooding. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.

Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Please drive safely and be aware of road conditions.

Toonumbar National Park  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage associated with ex tropical cyclone Debbie, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed.  For more information, please contact the NPWS Tweed-Kyogle area office on (02) 6632 0000 (Kyogle) or (02) 6670 8600 (Murwillumbah)

Wollumbin National Park Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed. … The Wollumbin / Mount Warning Summit walk is closed due to storm damage.

See Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list for full details.

Alternative Attractions to National Parks

See also Big Volcano Regional Tourist and Visitor Guide or blog posts: Wollumbin National Park closed for other options, and also Mt Warning Climb Alternatives, two 2013 posts offering some other choices to a climb or rainforest walk.  (Some of these suggestions will be closed as above.)

Murwillumbah Museum reopens

Last days to see breastplate exhibition
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah reopened yesterday – Tuesday 17th January, 2017, after a temporary closure as a safety precaution during repairs to the building’s air conditioning system.

The Queensland Road facility was closed last week after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose, prompting concerns about public safety.

A solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

Breastplates exhibition ends this Saturday

Only a few days remain to see one of the Museum’s most significant and thought-provoking exhibitions – of breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s – before the display ends this Saturday.

Current exhibitions also include some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America, featured in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February.

the_richmond_birdwing_featured_in_135817_resize

Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah is located at 2 Queensland Rd, Murwillumbah and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

For further information about the Museum visit http://museum.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ or http://www.bigvolcano.com.au/community/trhs/index.html 

Photo captions:
1. Only a few days remain to see the thought-provoking Aboriginal breastplates exhibition at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah. Photo by Justin Ealand.
2. The Richmond Birdwing featured in the Beautiful Butterflies exhibition on display in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February. Photo by Trevor Worden.

Don’t Flush! Council welcomes wet wipe legal action

Wipes in pipes clogging sewer systems

Tweed Shire Council (TSC) has welcomed news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched legal action against the manufacturers of ‘flushable’ wet wipes.

The ACCC is taking legal action against two manufacturers on the grounds that labelling the wipes ‘flushable’ is misleading, as it suggests consumers can safely flush them down the toilet.

No_wipes_in_our_pipes_sticker140715_resize

“This is great news not only for Tweed Shire Council but for all local government and water authorities worldwide,” said Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham.

“Wet wipes clogging our sewers and breaking our pumps is one of the daily challenges we face in keeping the Tweed’s sewer system operating.

“Every day we are called to an average of 20 blockages and most of them are caused by materials that should never be flushed, including wet wipes.

Water_Engineer_Elizabeth_Seidl_dem140621_resize 
Photo:  Water Engineer Elizabeth Seidl demonstrates that wet wipes do not break down (jar on left) like toilet paper does (jar on right). The wipe has remained intact in the water for five months to date.

“Australia-wide, the wet wipes problem is estimated to be costing the community up to $15 million a year in fees to remove the items from sewers, pump stations and treatment plants.”

Here in the Tweed, it takes two workers and a truck up to two hours to clear a blockage.

For each blockage, Council fitters have to travel to site, lift the pump with a crane truck, dismantle the pump, remove the blockage, re-assemble the pump and put the station back on line.

“Every time there is a blockage we also risk damaging the pump, the pipework and the electrical equipment, not to mention the excess power used by the pump trying to push the blockage through,” said Mr Burnham.

Council believes the legal action is a step forward in tackling the issue of consumers flushing these products, which do not break down.

Reticulation_Assistant_Darryn_Gunt140504_resize 
Photo: Reticulation Assistant Darryn Gunton fishes wet wipes and nappies from a sewer manhole at Murwillumbah.

“The next step is to educate consumers to keep wipes out of our pipes,” said Mr Burnham.

“It’s a message we hope will be heard loud and clear because if that blockage occurs on private property, it is the property owner who has to pay to unblock it. Then there’s the risk of raw sewerage overflow into neighbouring properties or the environment.”

Other items that should never be flushed are women’s sanitary products, medical dressings, cotton buds, condoms, colostomy bags and disposable nappies.

These materials should be bagged and disposed of in a rubbish bin.

To view media releases online visit http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/MediaCentre/MediaCentre.aspx
– ends –

Teaming up to fight bank erosion and weeds

Tweed Shire Council will work with participating private landowners to improve the health of the Rous River between Chillingham and Murwillumbah over the next three years, thanks to $100,000 in funding through the NSW Environmental Trust. 

The NSW Environmental Trust grant was announced last week by the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman and Member for Lismore, Thomas George. The grant will be matched by funds from Tweed Shire Council.

Rous_River_health_112517_640 Photo:  The health of the Rous River will be improved through a NSW Environmental Trust grant, matched by funding from Tweed Shire Council

Council Project Officer – Waterways, Matthew Bloor, said the Rous River has high conservation values and is located in a highly valuable agricultural landscape.  “Bank erosion and environmental weeds are having a big impact on the river but also threaten the values of adjacent land,” Mr Bloor said.

“In recognition of Council’s work with private landowners through its River Health Grants program, the NSW Environmental Trust has offered Council $100,000 to work with landowners to protect, restore and connect native riparian vegetation along the Rous River.”

Participating landowners will be eligible to receive assistance for stock fencing and watering infrastructure, weed control, bush regeneration, revegetation and bank erosion. Landowners will also receive management advice and restoration plans for their river bank based on current condition and use.

“Waterway health is directly related to the condition of banks and adjacent land. Landowners who take an active role in protecting the health of our waterways supply a vital service to the community and should be supported to do this.

“River Health Grants have supported around 160 landowners to improve over 65 kilometres of waterways in the Tweed Shire over the last 10 years. Council will match the Environmental Trust grant with $100,000 through this program to maximise the benefits this project will bring to the Rous River.”

Council to look into establishing a canoe trail along scenic Rous River

Council will also investigate establishing a canoe trail along the Rous River to promote the recreational use of the Rous River.

“Tidal reaches from Boat Harbour to Tumbulgum can be paddled year round.  Exploring our waterways in a canoe or kayak is a fun and healthy activity and great way to appreciate the unique environment of the Tweed Shire,” Mr Bloor said.

For more information contact Matthew Bloor, Project Officer – Waterways on (02) 6670 2580 or email mbloor@tweed.nsw.gov.au

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Tuesday 31 May, 2016
– ends –

See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide / Volcano Towns / Murwillumbah and / Volcano Villages / Chillingham