Montezuma Falls Bridge reopens

Minister for Parks

Montezuma Falls Bridge reopens

16 November 2021

The iconic Montezuma Falls Walking Track Suspension Bridge on the West Coast has reopened to the public and is once again, providing a spectacular view of one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania.

As the suspension bridge crosses just below the falls, it offers a unique perspective of the falls, and was closed to allow for engineering works last year.

The walk to Montezuma Falls is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks and is one of the most popular tracks on the West Coast attracting over 20,000 walkers each year.

The toilet amenities at the start of the Montezuma Falls walking track remain closed following recent damage to the facilities, with the Parks and Wildlife Services working to re-open them as soon as possible.

In the interim, there are public toilet facilities available at nearby Rosebery.

For more information about Montezuma Falls please visit the Parks and Wildlife Service website: https://parks.tas.gov.au/things-to-do/60-great-short-walks/montezuma-falls

Aboriginal Fire Rangers commence new burning program

Minister for Parks

Aboriginal Fire Rangers commence new burning program

6 September 2021

In a significant step toward joint land management between the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and Tasmanian Aboriginal people, PWS Aboriginal Fire Rangers employees have completed their first cultural burn at Dempster Plains on the West Coast.

Aboriginal cultural burning has taken place on the Tasmanian landscape for more 40,000 years, and this program provides Aboriginal people with the opportunity to connect to country, share knowledge, and reduce the impact of bushfires in our community.

We know that planned burns, like the cultural burn on Dempster Plains, are an important method to protect the landscape and vegetation values, along with enhancing the survival of sensitive plant communities.

It comes as part of the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to support Aboriginal cultural land management and burning practices, which also includes the awarding of 10 grants to 5 Tasmanian Aboriginal community organisations as part of a $100,000 pilot Aboriginal Cultural Burning Program to help engage and build capacity in cultural burning practices.

The successful applications included projects to plan and undertake cultural burns, purchase firefighting and personal protective equipment (PPE) and to undertake cultural burning training.

The Tasmanian Government recognises that Aboriginal cultural burning practices have helped shape the Tasmanian landscape we know today, and our Government will ensure appropriate collaboration and continuing engagement with Tasmanian Aboriginal people to deliver cultural land management practices.

Horsetail Falls Track improvements go ahead on the West Coast

Minister for Parks

Horsetail Falls Track improvements go ahead on the West Coast

23 July 2021

The popular Horsetail Falls Track walk near Queenstown will be extended following the signing of a grant deed between the Tasmanian Government and the West Coast Council.

This $600,000 investment delivers on our election commitment to deliver the second stage of the track to add to the short walk offerings in the area.

Nature-based tourism assets like these ensure we can showcase these beautiful places to visitors and locals alike, and provide a boost to the local economy.

The current 1.2 km track currently takes walkers to a viewing point of the 50-metre waterfall on the lower slopes of Mount Owen, with beautiful mountain views along the way.

The new extension will soon take walkers to a viewing platform on top of the falls offering an exciting and alternative view of the falls.

Importantly, like the current walk, the new walk will be suitable for those with no bushwalking experience to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the experience.

Our 2021 election commitments build on the existing pipeline of capital works in our National Parks and Reserves, and takes our total investment to over $122 million since 2018.

These investments demonstrate the critical value that we place in our parks and their contribution to the Tasmanian economy and our way of life.

New vessel to assist Parks on Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River

Minister for Parks

New vessel to assist Parks on Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River

15 July 2021

I am honoured today to officially launch the new Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) vessel, named Yula, which is the Tasmanian Aboriginal word for shearwater, or moonbird, a well-known bird in our State.

The Yula is an eight metre catamaran with the ability to operate in adverse weather conditions within Macquarie Harbour and on the Gordon River on the West Coast. It will replace the current Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) vessel, Shearwater.

The Yula will allow PWS staff to perform essential maintenance at key visitor sites within the harbour and within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area – some of which are only accessible by boat including Heritage Landing, Sir John Falls and Sarah Island.

The Yula, funded through park entry fees, will provide additional reliability and safety for PWS staff, with improved comfort for longer trips, reducing fatigue of operators and passengers.

Like the Shearwater, the new vessel is expected to support the important work of researchers, scientists and Wildcare volunteer programs, and will be available to support search and rescue operations as required.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government appreciates that our national parks and reserves support many tourism and other businesses throughout the State, particularly in our regional areas, and assets like the Yula are critical to the work that is done by our dedicated PWS staff.