WA Embraces Outdoor Adventure Tourism

Tourism Council WA has welcomed the State Government’s $165 million Outdoor Adventure Tourism Package for National Parks, trails, and marine tourism, announced today.

In 2023, there were 1,823,000 Western Australians who visited a National Park, botanical park, or went bushwalking while holidaying overnight in WA. These were the most popular activities for Western Australians on holiday, after dining out, and were even more popular than visiting the beach.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said visiting National Parks was the most important and popular attraction for Western Australians, as well as for international and interstate visitors.

“Visiting National Parks is an important part of Western Australians’ lifestyle and culture, and adventures and experiences in National Parks are critical for driving tourism and jobs in regional WA,” Mr Hall said.

“We particularly welcome the $3 million in funding to re-open the Gloucester Tree, however further funding is needed to re-open visitor attractions such as Penguin Island wildlife encounters and to properly maintain current National Park facilities, so they can always remain safe and open for Western Australians.”

Mr Hall said Western Australia had to maintain its current nature-based tourism offerings and create new exciting outdoor adventures across WA’s National Park system.

“Western Australians are craving outdoor adventure experiences such as ziplining, rope courses, mountain biking, jet boats, marine tours, camping and overnight trails. Western Australians don’t want just things to see, they want things to do things in our National Parks,” he said.

“It is critical for the State Government to maintain and expand adventure tourism activities in our National Parks and support nature-based and adventure tour operators who provide access and amazing experiences for Western Australians.”

Tourism Council WA had previously called for public attractions funding in its pre-State Budget submissions, to be used to maintain, develop, and recycle “State Significant” public attractions on public land.

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Jilgu National Park created in Mid West-Gascoyne region

A new national park has been created in the Mid West-Gascoyne region, following the implementation of an agreement between Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation and the State Government.

The creation of Jilgu National Park—which spans 102,000 hectares of scenic mulga country interspersed with rugged hills and watercourses—means 2.6 million hectares of new conservation estate has been created under the Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative since 2019.

As part of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement, Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation will jointly manage Jilgu National Park and the existing Collier Range National Park with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

This means five Traditional Owners will be employed to care for Country, with future investment in nature-based tourism and other economic opportunities also a possibility.

Jilgu National Park was formerly part of the Waldburg pastoral lease purchased by the Government for conservation more than 20 years ago.

The park is home to many species of native wildlife, including black-flanked rock wallaby, western pebble mound mouse, long-tailed dunnart, brush-tailed mulgara and peregrine falcon, as well as three priority ecological communities which are not protected in any other reserves.

“The creation of Jilgu National Park is an important contribution to our Government’s target of conserving five million hectares of land under Plan for our Parks,” said Environment Minister Reece Whitby. “This incredible cultural landscape deserves to be celebrated and the Cook Government is proud to be a part of a shared effort to protect this area.”

“It’s a special day to be on Country for this historic announcement,”added Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster. “I’m proud to be part of a Government that recognises and empowers the Traditional Owners of Jilgu, who have a crucial role to play in managing and conserving this amazing country. The biodiversity and beauty of this area are second to none, and this agreement will ensure the country continues to be properly protected and cared for by the people who know it best.

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