Featured image credit: Noosa Trail Network @tbsphotography
In 2022 we have learnt that the value of trails is unquestionable: connecting people with nature and one another; supporting physical and mental wellbeing; protecting our natural and cultural values through greater awareness and advocacy; and supporting our communities and local economies.
Further establishing our leadership in the trails industry, TRC Tourism hosted the fourth Sustainable Trails Conference 2022 in St Helens, Tasmania. It was an awesome three days of learning and sharing ideas about a passion we all share – trails. There were 124 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand (excluding TRC Tourism and TRC Trails team) who joined us. The past four conferences have proven a great opportunity for collaboration between local councils, State Government and trail organisations and businesses, cultivating a positive and close working relationship in the trails and tourism industry.
Our top five key learnings were:
- the trail is only the tool and conduit to the experience. Maintain and grow the experience to be WORLD CLASS
- understanding your point of difference
- planning of new trails is time consuming, but vital to their success. Iwi and First Nations people are not only essential to the project succeeding and create unparalleled value to managers and visitors in helping to understand ‘lore’, song lines, stories and culture
- as an industry, we need to GROW TOGETHER
- your tracks and trails experiences must END WITH A SMILE.
This year we have worked with diverse communities across Australia and New Zealand on inspiring trails projects. Some highlights include:
- completing a feasibility assessment for a proposed cycle and walking trail in South Westland in NZ
- teaming up with Converge Marketing to create a winter promotion campaign that would position the Sunshine Coast as an epicentre of winter mountain biking
- partnering with Trail Vision, a best practice trail asset management platform and exciting new technology for the trails industry
- getting to know the overnight walkers of Australia by commissioning original research
- working with Traditional Owners to refine the preliminary concept plans to develop North Queensland’s Paluma to Wallaman Falls Trail Business Case
- working alongside project partners Troppo Architects and Brave and Curious on the Mount Hotham Walking Tourism Masterplan
- working with Gamaay Traditional Owners on product development, business planning and tour guide training for the Gamaay Dreaming Track
- and presenting at the World Trails Conference in Skiathos, Greece.
TRC Trails has been busy working across multiple projects this year in the trail building, auditing and maintenance space. Our sister company is currently working on maintenance at Thredbo bike park in the Snowy Mountains. Other exciting projects in a busy year for TRC Trails have included a trail study in Namadgi National Park and maintenance at The Rock Nature Reserve.