SOUTH Gippsland’s reputation as a tourism destination is growing rapidly, boosted by iconic attractions such as Wilsons Promontory.
Destination towns such as Fish Creek, Meeniyan and Loch have benefitted from rising tourism, Neil Travers of Waratah Hills Winery, Fish Creek, said provide an alternative experience for visitors.
“The towns of Tarwin Valley are all experiencing a huge increase in tourism at the moment,” he said.
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Ray Argento said the Port Welshpool boat ramp car park was constantly full to capacity, especially on weekends with fish on the bite.
“It seems to be the spot to be over summer to get a decent size fish out of Corner Inlet that is for sure,” he said.
“That combined with Agnes Falls, which is another great tourist destination in the area, will attract plenty of visitors.”
Venus Bay Caravan Park owner Mary Holgate said her park was booked solid over Christmas and the New Year.
Ms Holgate said Venus Bay’s popularity as a tourist destination seemed to be growing.
“Christmas is really busy in Venus Bay. I think the area is becoming much better known,” she said.
Drew Studham, owner of the Prom Central Caravan Park in Foster, said his bookings were fairly stable, however he had noticed an increase in visitor bookings in January and that people were staying for longer.
Mr Studham said visitors to his park usually plan to visit Wilsons Promontory, however he lets them know about Tarra Bulga National Park as well.
“We have two national parks roughly same distance from us. A lot of people don’t realise Tarra Bulga is there,” he said.
Both the Yanakie Caravan Park and Port Welshpool’s Long Jetty Foreshore Caravan Park were booked at close to capacity for the Christmas and New Year period.
“Booking numbers are up for both parks compared to the same time last year, with more sites now available due to park layout changes that have occurred during the last 12 months,” a South Gippsland Shire Council spokesperson said.
Changes to the council managed free camping area at the Franklin River Reserve are almost complete, just in time for the peak period.
Landscaping has been completed. Signage on bins and signage regarding the 48 hour camping restriction have been installed, with tourist information signage to be erected in the New Year.
The changes have reduced the camping area.
“The Franklin River Landcare Group was consulted on this matter and provided valuable and positive feedback and information regarding location of fencing and signage,” a council spokesperson said.
“Council’s local laws officers have already engaged with a number of people at the reserve. They have received positive feedback about the new look, with most campers being happy to engage with them.”
Local laws officers have been directed to do a drive through in their marked vehicles whenever they are in that area.
“It is anticipated that regular patrols of this nature will occur,” the spokesperson said.
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