Cycle tourism has been identified as a key priority for the region through the Hunter JO’s strategic plan and advocacy framework, presenting a fantastic opportunity to deliver regional benefit for our communities through collaborative efforts.
The Hunter JO has been advocating for a focus on cycle tourism across the region using the Shiraz to Shore cycle trail as a major drawcard. The Shiraz to Shore Cycle Trail, connects the picturesque wine country in the Hunter Valley to the spectacular coastal beaches of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
However, Shiraz to Shore is part of a much bigger objective to create one cycling super experience across the region from which people can literally choose their own adventure. One of the most exciting aspects of this concept is that we’re not starting from scratch. A unique opportunity exists to link existing and planned cycleway infrastructure, local businesses, and points of interest across all council areas; to create an integrated region wide network. A Hunter Cycle Tourism product of this nature would connect and amplify a collection of already outstanding cycle experiences that span mountain, road, and leisure riding across the whole Hunter region.
The Hunter JO has receiving funding to develop a Business Case and Concept Design for the Shiraz to Shore initiative, with the outcomes detailing the proposed alignment, indicative costs, and concept designs for a shovel ready infrastructure project, broken down into stages.
This initial stage of project planning will provide a robust advocacy document to seek investment for detailed design and construction to realise Shiraz to Shore’s potential. The Business Case funding will also identify the initiatives to position the region as a premier cycle tourism destination.
Cycle tourism provides clear benefits to local communities and economies as was seen in Tasmania. Blue Derby in Tasmania, once a successful mining town dwindled to 173 residents before investing into cycle trail construction and marketing, that now attracts 138,000 visitors per year, creating 51 full time jobs and add a further $6.88 million to the economy pa according to TRC consultants.
If you’re interested in cycle tourism, Outdoors NSW & ACT, who recently helped bring key stakeholders together in the Hunter, is hosting a Biennial Outdoor Industry Summit in Lennox Head 28-30 June.