Tracks, Trails & Streams
Australia is known around the world for its incredible natural environments and healthy lifestyle. And many of the tourists who come to Australia do so to sample the outdoor recreation we have to offer. This includes bushwalking, cycling, mountain biking, camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. This sector of Australian tourism is growing at an incredible rate meaning that the development of tracks, trails and streams to attract these tourists must be a priority for regional tourist areas. Another beneficial spin off from this development is the growing demand for everyday Australians to themselves become more active. Increasing the access to exercise opportunities is a great way to fight the current obesity epidemic and raise the local community awareness of how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Local schools and social groups could use these networks to promote healthy, environmentally friendly and ecologically aware life choices for children and adults.
In rural areas where there are closely situated towns or villages opening networks of tracks and trails will allow the residents to travel using environmentally friendly and healthy methods of commuting. This is especially pertinent for younger people who may not have a way to reach local towns but could be granted access through use of bikes or simply walking.
Many rural areas throughout Australia have networks of natural paths and streams that could be opened up to create amazing opportunities for tourism and commerce to meet. The influx of visitors looking to utilise these spaces and the money that they would bring to rural areas would stimulate local economies. Companies selling camping and hiking equipment, hiring boats, bikes and the staff required to look after these areas would provide a big boost to local economies. A beneficial side effect of creating a network of track and trails will be opening up smaller communities to tourist opportunities. There are many areas that tourists divert around leaving them without this valuable source of income. Being part of a trail would mean these overlooked areas could also be involved by providing accommodation and amenities to visitors. This in turn would keep tourists in the region longer and maximise spend.
The positive aspect of opening up natural attractions is that it is simply using what is already in place; the main infrastructure is already built by nature. Connecting tracks, providing visitor amenities and carrying out maintenance is relatively minor in cost compared to the potential benefits opening such natural environments to the public can have. And the goal itself of making people more aware of the natural world and fragility of its micro climates is also a commendable result of making more natural environments accessible to both tourists and locals.
In a country with so much opportunity for outdoor pursuits and recreation the development of facilities for adventure tourists and locals alike can only be seen as beneficial for all concerned.