South Australia’s iconic nature-based tourism sector will get a much-needed boost – with works starting on the $10 million Remarkable Southern Flinders Ranges project which will help fast track the state’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project will transform the region into a world-class adventure tourism destination with an international mountain bike track being developed at Mt Remarkable, upgraded trails for hiking and cycling – including a new multi-day hike and improved visitor facilities.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham was today joined by Premier Steven Marshall and South Australian Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs in turning the first sod for the $10 million project which is jointly funded by the Federal Government ($5 million) and the State Government ($5 million).

Minister Birmingham said this project was aimed at enhancing the visitor experience and boosting visitation to the Flinders Ranges region.

“We know local tourism operators have been doing it tough as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and this $10 million Remarkable Southern Flinders Ranges project will help to lure more visitors and inject vital tourism dollars into the region,” Minister Birmingham said.

“State-of-the-art visitor facilities and tip-top tourism attractions will be absolutely critical to getting visitors back into the Flinders Ranges and generating much needed economic activity.

“This unique and thrilling tourism experience at Mt Remarkable will be a major tourism drawcard, especially when we want South Australians holidaying across the state and supporting our local tourism businesses.”

Premier Steven Marshall said the $10 million project is part of the Government’s Parks 2025 plan – a once-in-a-generation strategy to activate nature-based tourism in South Australia.

“The Southern Flinders Ranges will become another jewel in the crown for South Australia’s naturebased tourism industry,” Premier Marshall said.

“This is a key project as part of our Parks 2025 strategy to reinvigorate our regional communities and cement South Australia’s place as a world-class eco-tourism destination.

“This investment will be a significant boost and help fast-track the recovery of our regional economies, who have been hurting as a result of the recent bushfires, drought and the ongoing impacts of coronavirus.”

Minister Speirs said the Southern Flinders Ranges will become an adventure tourism hub just a few hours’ drive from Adelaide.

“The Flinders Ranges are an iconic South Australian destination and this new integrated precinct will further highlight the stunning natural environment that is right on our doorstep and the recreation opportunities it provides,” Minister Speirs said.

“The $10 million Remarkable Southern Flinders Ranges project will include an international mountain bike track at Mt Remarkable, upgraded trails for hiking and cycling – including a new multi-day hike and improved visitor facilities.

“Our Parks 2025 strategy now has an initial investment of $27 million and will help revitalise our national parks and open spaces across South Australia – providing world-class visitor attractions, which will boost our economy and support regional jobs.”

CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife Ian Darbyshire said this project would be a valuable addition to Australia’s national parks network.

“As the charity partner of Australia’s National Parks, we are thrilled to support this project that builds on the Parks 2025 vision for South Australia. This project will support the creation of a new national park precinct of over 30,000 hectares and create a world class tourism asset which will provide access to nature and economic benefits for local communities long into the future,” Mr Darbyshire said.

Parks 2025 projects:

  • Remarkable Southern Flinders Ranges ($10 million)
    o Developing an international mountain bike destination at Mt Remarkable;
    o Upgrading trails for hiking and cycling, including a new iconic multi-day hike;
    o To upgrade visitor facilities.
  • Kangaroo Island ($7 million)
    o Enhanced visitor experience and facilities at Seal Bay;
    o New visitor precinct at Antechamber Bay;
    o Upgraded visitor facilities at Murray’s Lagoon;
    o A signature camping experience at D’Estrees Bay;
    o New visitor experiences at Cape Willoughby.
  • Ediacara Fossil Experience ($3 million)
    o To create a major visitor experience at Nilpena to showcase our unique Ediacaran
    fossils which are 550 million years old.
  • Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park ($1 million)
    o To renew visitor infrastructure and experiences in partnership with traditional owners.
  • Cleland Wildlife Park ($1 million)
    o To build a new purpose-built koala hold facility.
  • Nature-Based Tourism Co-investment Fund ($5 million).