State unveils bushwalking track, plans for cabins and eco-tents at Straddie

SCENIC HORIZONS: A 2.2-kilometre track to Mount Vale's summit has opened. Photo: Supplied
SCENIC HORIZONS: A 2.2-kilometre track to Mount Vale's summit has opened. Photo: Supplied

THE state government has revealed cabins and more glamping and eco-tent facilities, including safari tents, will be set up at North Stradbroke Island to help boost the island's economy.

The southern end of Adams Beach camping ground at Dunwich is expected to be upgraded by the eco-tourism project in June.

Details on the plans were released by Tourism Minister Kate Jones this week when she opened a 2.2-kilometre bushwalking track to the the summit of Mount Vane near the island's centre.

Ms Jones said the track, designed and constructed by the island's traditional owners, linked with existing trails in the national park to offer a 10-kilometre network through eucalypt and scribbly gum forests.

The tracks offered walkers a half-day trek to sights like Blue Lake, also known as Karboora, and peaks that offered sweeping views over 18 Mile Swamp to the Gold Coast.

The Mount Vane trail was the latest eco-tourism experience offered as part of the state government's strategy to transition the island's economy from sand mining to tourism, Ms Jones said.

"Eco-tourism makes sense for Minjerribah," she said.

"More than 20 Quandamooka rangers were involved in the design and construction of this track and research has revealed that walking tourism alone has the potential to pump $16 million a year into the local economy."

Ms Jones said Straddie, also called Minjerribah, was being transformed into one of Australia's best eco and cultural tourism destinations.

Upgraded campgrounds and recreational trails, cultural experiences and land-based whale watching meant the island could be recognised globally as an eco-tourism leader, she said.

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Cameron Costello said the state's tourism industry was undergoing a cultural awakening with the realisation that Aboriginal country, culture and people were critical to its future success.

"The Quandamooka people have always shared the sanctuary that is Minjerribah, with visitors who respect our values and connection to country," he said.

The track at Mount Vane. Photo: Supplied

The track at Mount Vane. Photo: Supplied

"Today we are excited by the potential of low impact, sensitively-designed eco and cultural tourism that allows visitors to experience the beauty of our land and the traditions of our ancestors while contributing to real economic opportunities for traditional owners through business and employment."

For more information on the recreational trails project, including public consultation, and the Adams Beach campgrounds upgrade visit qyac.net.au.