MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation

Project status

August/September 2022: Have your say on MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation

May 2022: Technical investigations and concept development underway

April 2022: Thompson Berrill Landscape Design appointed to design the project following a competitive tender process

  
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Background

MacKenzie Falls is one of the most spectacular and most visited sites in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park.  

The Victorian Government is investing $7.76 million to revitalise the MacKenzie Falls visitor precinct and surrounding area, including the Zumsteins (Bun-nah) walking trail and day visitor area.

The MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project will build on community consultation and design investigations that were undertaken for the site in 2017. Parks Victoria is proud to be working in partnership with the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation to plan and design the project. 

aerial view of falls 

Project benefits

Visitors

Visitors will enjoy an improved experience at the site, with improved views, more options for people for all abilities, trail connections and facilities planned. Safety will be improved in the carpark, on tracks, at lookouts and at the base of the falls, while visitor information will offer new opportunities to learn more about the cultural heritage and environmental values of the area.  

Environment

Caring for Country is a key objective of this project. New opportunities for visitors to learn about the site’s environment, including its cultural values, are being developed in consultation with Traditional Owners. 

Through planned carparking and trail improvements, more visitors will be kept off the landscape and surrounding vegetation.  

Community 

We are now engaging with visitors and community members to inform the final scope and features of the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project. You can provide feedback online, join an online information session, or engage in person at a drop-in event. Find out more and provide feedback. Engagement closes on 12 September 2022.


Economy

Along with other projects and investment in the national park, the improvements at MacKenzie Falls will encourage visitors to stay longer in the region and contribute to local businesses. 

Project funding

This project has received $7.76 million funding from the Victorian Government, via the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions – Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy

 

The Project

The full scope for the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project is being determined but is likely to include improved education and interpretive signage, track improvements and all-abilities access, potential track upgrades and extensions, safety improvements, new facilities, and parking and congestion management.  

Visitor services, such as food and beverage and visitor information, or tours that comply with National Parks regulations may also be considered at the site.


Project timeline


Aboriginal cultural heritage, environmental, and engineering investigations – in progress 
Community engagement - have your say in August/September 2022
Concept designs - late 2022 
Detailed designs - early 2023 
Construction starts - mid-2023 
Works complete - mid-2024, subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions


Environment and cultural heritage management

Grampians National Park is nationally heritage-listed for its natural and cultural values and Parks Victoria is committed to managing the park to balance the cultural importance of the area, its ecological importance and its popularity for visitors. 

Extensive environmental and cultural assessments will be undertaken as part of this project. More information will be made available on these as the project progresses. 

Who we're working with

Parks Victoria, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation will work in partnership to design and implement this project.  

Parks Victoria is also hosting a Gariwerd Tourism Infrastructure Reference Group that includes local governments, Grampians Tourism, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy and Regional Development Victoria branches of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. The role of this group is to provide inputs and feedback on the plans throughout the process.  

The Grampians Advisory Group was heavily involved in the development of the 2017 Concept Plan for the site and informed the initial plans for this project. We will continue work with them throughout this process.   

The community can now provide feedback on the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation scope and features online, join an online information session, or engage in person at a drop-in event. Find out more and provide feedback. Engagement closes on 12 September 2022.

Staying updated

Parks Victoria will provide updates and information as the project progresses. To stay up to date please register your interest to receive community updates via this link. You can also email us with enquiries at engage@vic.gov.au. As the project progresses, information on this page will be updated regularly.

Related news 

 

FAQs


What does the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation include?  

While the final scope of the project is still to be confirmed, it is likely that the project will include improved education and interpretive signage, improvements and all-abilities access on some tracks, potential track upgrades and extensions, safety improvements, and parking and congestion management.  

 
Will there be more car parking on site?  

At the moment it is expected that there will be a slight increase in the amount of parking on site, supported by an improved configuration of the car park. This will be done to ensure people can move easily through the site and to improve ease of evacuation in an emergency. Vegetation clearing will be minimised in any realignment of car parking.   

 
Will swimming be allowed at MacKenzie Falls?  

Swimming will continue to not be permitted at MacKenzie Falls due to significant safety concerns at the site.  

 
When will the improvements to MacKenzie Falls be implemented?  

Through 2022 Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners will be working with stakeholders and community to finalise the plans. It is expected that the project will be completed in 2024. Prioritisation and staging of improvements will be investigated to determine if any improvements can be completed at an earlier date. 

 
Will there be a café on site?  

Potential food and beverage options will be explored.  Temporary coffee vans are not permitted in National Parks. 

 
How will these improvements differ from the concept plan created in 2017?  

There have been many conversations with stakeholders and community about improvements at MacKenzie Falls over past years, including the investigations and design activities undertaken in 2017. Many of the elements from previous investigations will be considered, including improving visitor facilities, improved car parking, upgraded walking tracks and safety at the base of the Falls. The improvements will also align with the principles of the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan.  

 
Why does MacKenzie Falls need to be revitalised? 

As one of Gariwerd’s most popular visitor locations, this project will help to manage visitation in an effort to protect the site, its natural environment and heritage, as well as enhance the visitor experience. Upgrades to MacKenzie Falls and the wider visitor precinct will help visitors to move in, out and around the area. These upgrades and other projects and investment in the national park will encourage visitors to stay longer in the region and contribute to local businesses.

 

Are there other improvements being done in the national park?   

Yes. To provide more options to access the Grampians Peaks Trail, a range of new and upgraded access points and trailheads are being developed along the trail. The upgraded trailheads will provide hikers with increased flexibility, information and facilities to access the trail and enjoy it in more ways than ever before. Improvements will likely include new toilets at some locations, improved car parking, water tanks, and opportunities to interpret Aboriginal cultural and environmental values of Gariwerd.
 



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