Public feedback on the draft plan closed on 11 July 2021.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute their feedback. All of the feedback received is being analysed and a summary of consultation findings is being prepared. The final design will be released later in 2021.
The Victorian Government is investing in Plenty Gorge Park on Wurundjeri Country. This includes providing a link in the Plenty River Trail ($19.3million), upgrading Hawkstowe Picnic Area ($800,000) and uplifting Nioka Bush Camp ($383,500). The investment into Plenty Gorge will activate the park, and offer visitors diverse experiences to walk, ride, play and stay in this beautiful bushland to Melbourne’s north.
Parks Victoria thanks the many people who contributed to stage 1 consultation in 2020. A summary of engagement findings can be found under the tab 'stage 1 consultation 2020' below.
Stage 2 consultation- 2021
A draft trail alignment shows a new Plenty River Trail that will connect north to south along the Plenty River, along the western side of Plenty Gorge Park. Secondary trails are also planned so users can enjoy shorter return circuit walks.
The new trail will link to the new Mernda and Hawkstowe railway stations, providing active transport options for walkers and cyclists.
Three bridges will connect communities living on the eastern side with those on the western side of Plenty River. These include:
- refurbishing the Maroondah Aqueduct Pipe Bridge in the south,
- a new connection to the Blue Lake precinct, and
- the existing bridge crossing near to Bridge Inn Road in the north
The trail will showcase the natural beauty and celebrate the cultural richness of Plenty Gorge Park. This includes Tanunda Wetlands, historic sites, and the popular Blue Lake.
Walkers and cyclists can enjoy the rugged views, take a break, or explore wetlands at the six new lookouts planned along the trail.
Stage 1 consultation- 2020
This is a summary of 2020 consultation.
Consultation findings as part of the previous 2018 Master Plan can be viewed at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/plenty-gorge-park-draft-master-plan
What we heard
All participants contributed to a draft vision for the project, which was further refined during a community workshop.
The draft vision is:
“The Plenty River Trail will be a recreation destination where users respect each other, the park, its values and history.
It will protect and promote the environmental values (flora and fauna) and acknowledge, celebrate and engage with our Aboriginal cultural heritage and local heritage.
The trail will provide diverse experiences for different users and be accessible and inclusive. It will welcome and connect people to places and other trails.”
Participants were interested in the trail facilitating a variety of recreational activities throughout the park, including: walking, hiking, running, cycling, nature watching and horse riding. It was acknowledged that there could be conflict between these activities and the trail design needs to address this.
The most important facilities along the trail will be: directional and interpretative signage, lookouts, seating, and picnic facilities.
There is strong support (75%) for loop walks as part of the trail. Particularly, loop walks that start and end at key access points like car parks and townships, or points of interest like the Blue Lake or wetlands.
Opinions about the most suitable trail surface were mixed. Granitic sand was slightly preferred (39%). Some participants expressed the view that a mix of surfaces along different parts of the trail will be necessary (i.e. granitic sand and concrete).
Participants wanted to learn about the environmental values in the park and local history (Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal and shared) along the trail.
There were some concerns about how increased visitation will impact the wildlife, and participants hope the design considers this.
Community Information Session Presentation
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