The Eyre Peninsula Regional Trails Strategy has recently been acknolwedged for excellence with a commendation at the Parks and Leisure Australia SA/NT Awards of Excellence. The Regional Trails Strategy was developed by Tredwell for Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula and the Eyre Peninsula’s 11 local government authorities. The key contributors to the project were the Project Working Group (including state government agencies), the Project Reference Group (local government representatives), and the community.
The Strategy was completed in late 2021, and provides a common vision for a regional trails network across 11 local government areas and a framework with actionable items for consistent and coordinated planning, development, management and marketing of quality trail experiences across the exceptional, vast and unspoilt landscapes on the Eyre Peninsula.
There is now a strategic vision for Eyre Peninsula’sregional trail network, and the report has a focus on actionable items for Council- managed trails which have been identified for their potential to become trails of regional, state or national significance. This includes walking, off-road cycling, horse riding, paddling and snorkelling/scuba diving trails.
The Strategy aligns with and supports the objectives of planning initiatives at national, state, regional and local levels. Of particular note is the alignment with the South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy (2021) which highlights the need for the Eyre Peninsula to enhance existing tourism experiences and create new offerings to cater to the increased demand and interest in nature and trail-based activities like hiking, cycling and soft adventure including Aboriginal cultural experiences. This document recognises that the Eyre Peninsula can capitalise on its pristine nature to drive increased overnight stays from domestic and international visitors.
The Trails Strategy brings together the visions for trails across the region’s local government areas. The collaborative approach to planning supports each Council to seek funding for their respective projects and shows potential funding bodies that the region is working collaboratively as ‘trails destination’.
This collaborative and cross-tenure approach highlights what can be achieved when regional Councils work together towards a common goal. While the Strategy had a ‘high-level’ approach to visioning, it included local-level input from Councils and the community, and provided trail-specific actions towards elevating the region’s trail network. The Strategy has set the stage for a united, enthusiastic and common effort toward a shared regional goal.
Councils have recognised that standards for recreational trails, and community expectations, have increased significantly since many of the trails were initially developed, and that there is a need to implement the Strategy. For example, the District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula has already started implementing the Strategy through renewed signage on the Coffin Bay Oyster Walk, as shown below.
Coffin Bay Oster Walk Signage – Designed by Tredwell Management, Constructed by Haynes Signs.