Tree tourism on the rise
Backpackers and tourists seeking a nature experience have increased by 55% in Gippsland since 2005/2006.
Visitors primarily come from Western Europe and the UK to see what they don’t have over there – wild spaces, unmanicured forests, and big, old trees. For some reason, the government have been historically reluctant to promote the green hinterland of Gippsland. Beaches are okay, but the rest seems to be the exclusive territory of the logging and woodchipping barons.
Due to lack of funds, the five walks the Bracks Government promised to build and upgrade as part of last year’s election package could fall off the map. In fact, the grand old trees in the planned ‘Old Growth Walk at Brown Mountain were not even included in a protection zone!
Only $750,000 was earmarked for all walks when about $3 million would be needed to do the upgrades and new walks.