A new look for Anglesea Heath
Wednesday 17 June, 2020
Parks Victoria has completed works on a new lookout in Anglesea Heath, the first visitor facility to be built in the heathlands since it was incorporated of the Great Otway National Park.
Set amongst the diverse heathland plant community, the lookout has been designed to be accessible for visitors of all abilities and features a leaf-shaped bench-seat. Located on Alcoa Boundary Track, the lookout connects with a carpark and pathway for those undertaking exercise while adhering to physical distancing requirements.
The lookout is the first to be completed following community consultation on ways to increase protection of the heath’s environmental and cultural values while supporting suitable recreational activities.
In the coming months, visitor information outlining the area’s Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental features will be installed. Other works scheduled for this year include road upgrades, environmental rehabilitation, cinnamon fungus management and the development of a new camping ground and day visitor area north-west of Anglesea.
With more bushwalking opportunities a key piece of feedback during community consultations, planning is also underway for construction of an 8km heathlands bushwalking trail.
The Anglesea Heath is a significant environmental area, with approximately one-quarter of Victoria’s plant species, including 20 that are threatened at a state level and eight that are threatened at a national level. Orchids are an outstanding feature, with more than 100 species present, making it one of the most abundant sites in Australia. There are also 30 species of mammals and more than 100 species of native birds that call the heathlands home.
Anglesea Heath was incorporated into the Great Otway National Park in December 2017, following early release of the land by Alcoa. The government has provided $2.2 million towards the establishment of the new section of national park.
While the Victorian Government has recently announced an easing of restrictions, visitors to parks and reserves are reminded to stay safe by maintaining good hygiene, keeping at a distance from others and staying home if feeling unwell.
Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria, District Manager–Dale Antonysen:
“The viewing area is a tangible milestone for the local community, which was a driving force behind the heath being incorporated into the Great Otway National Park.”
“During consultation with community last year, there was a strong interest in having more facilities and bushwalking trails. This lookout is a good first step in bringing those wishes to life, and creating deeper connections between people and the park.”
“This year we will also continue our fundamental work in keeping the heath healthy, including through programs to rehabilitate areas where illegal trails have been created, native animal protection, and treatment of plant disease.”