Thousands of people are taking advantage of newly-reopened Kirrama Range Rd – an adventure tourism and recreational route through world-heritage rainforest between the coast and tableland south of Tully.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council’s Mayor Bill Shannon said more than 2500 vehicles had been on the road since it opened in December and anecdotal evidence was many families and groups of friends had been among the numbers.
“The response from the public – both residents and visitors – has been fantastic,’’ Cr Shannon said.
The busiest period has been between December 27 and January 2, when more than 130 vehicles a day were travelling the road. On the busiest day 214 vehicles were on the road.
Council figures show that in the first seven weeks of being open, an average of 74 vehicles a day were using Kirrama Range Rd on weekends, and on week days an average of 31 vehicles a day were on the road.
Kirrama Range Rd begins at Kennedy near Cardwell and winds its way up the Kirrama Range through world-heritage rainforest and eucalypt bushland and past waterfalls and cultural and historic sites to link with the southern Tablelands.
The road, which was closed for eight years, is also popular for its camping and fishing destinations.
Steeped in history, Kirrama Range Rd was built in the 1930s to expand Queensland’s timber production and was considered a technical achievement in road design and construction in a tropical environment for many years. The area was later given World Heritage listing.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council re-opened the road in November after an extensive redevelopment project including bridges, roadwork and landslip rectification work which was funded by the State and Federal Government and by Council.
Council’s Tourism portfolio holder Cr Alister Pike said interest in the newly-opened adventure tourism and recreational route was steadily increasing at visitor information centres in the Cassowary Coast region.
“The interest and amount of enquiries at information centres in the Cassowary Coast region since Kirrama Range Rd re-opened has been great - a good reflection of the appeal of this experience,’’ Cr Pike said.
“The use of Kirrama Range Rd will continue to diversify, with the upcoming tourist season and with different groups like mountain bikers picking up on it.’’
Information about the Kirrama Range Rd experience can be found on the Wet Tropics website at www.wettropics.gov.au/kirrama-range-road.html and on the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing website at http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/kirrama/about.html.
A map of the area is available at http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/girringun/pdf/girringun-surrounds-map.pdf .
Posted 10 February 2015