Sustainable Trails
Conference 2021
Alice Springs,
Northern Territory 

Tuesday 1st June

1.30 pm approx. Bus pick up for conference as per map and timetable
2.00 pm Introduction and welcome Janet Mackay
Director | TRC Tourism
  Welcome to Country Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation
Creating Successful Trails for the Visitor
2.30 pm Creating exceptional visitor experiences Heath Garratt
Tasmanian Walking Company
3.00 pm A look at the 7-stanes Trail network story Amanda Layden
Project Manager, Trails – Tourism and Economic Development | Department for Environment and Water SA
3.30 pm Afternoon tea  
4.00 pm What’s happening in great walks Janet Mackay
Director | TRC Tourism
4.30 pm Linking products and trails – examples from the wineries VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Chris Rose
Senior Consultant | TRC Tourism
5.00 pm Forum – Exceptional trail experiences  
5.40 pm Conference Close  
  Grab a drink and confirm field trip selection for tomorrow with Donna/Lisa  
6.00 pm Move to Courtyard for drinks and nibbles followed by BBQ dinner at the Desert Park  
8.30 pm Bus departs – return to Alice Springs  

Wednesday 2nd June 

8.20-8.30 am approx. Bus pick up for conference as per map and timetable
8.50 am Introduction to the day Penny Spoelder
Senior Consultant | TRC Tourism
Planning, Management and Maintenance
8.55 am Carsick Snails – Planning the Creswick Trails Network and navigating complex land managers and difficult stakeholders VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Alison Breach
Project Manager| Hepburn Shire Council
9.15 am M & Ms of Trails (Management, Marketing, Maintenance) VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Cormac McCarthy
Senior Open Space Development Officer | Manningham Council
9.35 am UK trail building and urban trails VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Phil Saxena
Director | Velo Solutions
9.55 am The essentials of successful maintenance regimes Kain Gardner
Consultant | TRC Tourism
10.15 am St Helens Trails Ambassador program overview John Brown
General Manager | Break O Day District Council
10.35 am Panel discussion  
11.00 am Field trip instructions Penny Spoelder
Senior Consultant | TRC Tourism
11.05 am Morning Tea (and pick up packed lunch)  
Field Trips
11.20 am Depart for field trips  
Field trip 1 Approx. return 6 pm Larapinta Trail: Construction and Management (15-20 people max) Chris Day, Phil Cowan and Janet Mackay Delegates will view a range of different track construction techniques on this iconic walking track and will understand the challenges of working in an arid environment (Visit Simpsons Gap and Ormiston Gorge and points of interest along the way).
Field trip 2 Approx. return 4.30 – 5.30 pm MTB Trail construction and maintenance Overview inspection of mountain bike network on MTBs limited to 25 people Kain Gardner and Marty Krieg Delegates will explore the extensive MTB trail network around Alice Springs and observe the different techniques that have been applied and the opportunities the network presents for visitor experience. This will include discussions with a number of trail planners and builders on the applicability and feasibility of machine-based construction versus hand based builds and the choices trail builders face.
Bus from Desert Park to Telegraph station – start and finish location.
Field trip 3 Approx. return 4.30 – 5.30 pm A new trail experience on Yeperenye country Yeperenye Traditional Owners, Sanchia Scott, Beth Campbell and Chris Halstead The Yeperenye Traditional Owners will share their story on country of a new walking experience they are developing in the East MacDonnell Ranges (between Emily and Jessie Gap). The field trip will include some walking and will also include consideration of arid zone trail design & construction techniques
4.30 – 6.30 pm Field trips complete Field trip busses will return you to Alice Springs at varying times between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm depending on field trip location.
Dinner own choice and delegate own expense.

Thursday 3rd June 


8.20 – 8.30 am approx. Bus pick up for conference as per map and timetable
8.50 am Introduction to the day Penny Spoelder
Senior Consultant | TRC Tourism
Spotlight on the Red Centre Adventure Ride
9.10 am The concept comes to life Janet Mackay
Director | TRC Tourism
9.30 am Engaging with the Traditional Owners Chris Day
Senior Director Parks and Wildlife Operations | Department of Tourism Sport and Culture
9.50 am Planning and design Chris Halstead
Senior Consultant | TRC Tourism
10.10 am Panel discussion  
10.40 am Morning tea  
Positioning Trails For Success
11.00 am The benefits of trails to a destination VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Terry Robinson
CEO | Destination Gippsland
11.30 am Creating success from a jigsaw of trails –
the Yarra Ranges story
Terry Jenvey
Yarra Ranges Shire Council
11.50 am Mountain biking in Australia – An economic and participation analysis Denise Cox and Georgia Pelling
Representing Auscycling and GHD
12.10 pm How a compelling story and strategic community partnership transform towns into trails destinations Dean Unsworth
CEO | Shire of Murray WA
12.30 pm WA Hiking Strategy 2020-2030:
New thinking on an ancient activity
Steve Bennet
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Western Australia
12.50 pm Lunch  
1.50 pm Forum – Critical success factors for trails in a destination  
2.50 pm How Trails have changed the face of Tasmania Chris Griffin
CEO | Visit Northern Tasmania
3.20 pm Afternoon tea  
3.35 pm Conference wrap up and close Janet Mackay/Penny Spoelder
4.oo pm sharp Bus back to Alice Springs note: only a 20 min turn around before bus returns to pick you up for dinner
4.40 pm   Bus collection from accommodation for dinner  
5.30 pm Gala Dinner at Ooraminna Station Homestead  
10.00 pm Bus departs Ooraminna Station Homestead to return to Alice Springs  

With thanks to our host sponsor 

What did past attendees think?

The Sustainable Trails Conference provided an excellent opportunity to share best practice across a variety of topics from trail building to governance. Each session was valuable in its own right. Great to see the collaboration between our two countries as we all strive to make the most of this growing community.

Diane Drummond | General Manager | Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust

The sustainable trails conference is a must do for all those involved in the planning, development and marketing of tracks and trails.

Anthony Burton | Principal | Anthony Burton & Associates

A well run and organised conference, excellent speakers who certainly provided a range of information in the topics presented. Took away some key learnings.

Jane Tito | Marlborough

I have been to a lot of conferences before, this was one of the best I have ever attended.

Mick Tucker | Mayor, Break O'Day Council

A fantastic conference. Great speaker line-up with leaders in the field. Learned a lot and made new connections.

Francesca Governali | Conservation & Tourism Fellow | Dartmouth College

The Sustainable Trails Conference provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the importance of trails to local economies and tourism, the amount of work going on in this space, and to share and learn from others working in the field.

Suky Thompson | Trust Manager | Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust