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Geotourism Developments in Australia

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Presentation representing a briefing to the Outback Queensland Tourism Association Symposium and Awards, Roma Qld, 2nd November 2018

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Geotourism Developments in Australia

  1. 1. Outback Queensland Tourism Symposium and AwardsOutback Queensland Tourism Symposium and Awards 2nd November 20182nd November 2018 'Geotourism Developments in Australia''Geotourism Developments in Australia' Angus M RobinsonAngus M Robinson Chair, Geotourism Standing CommitteeChair, Geotourism Standing Committee Geological Society of AustraliaGeological Society of Australia
  2. 2. Today’s AgendaToday’s Agenda  Ecotourism and GeotourismEcotourism and Geotourism  Geotourism, geoparks and regional developmentGeotourism, geoparks and regional development benefits - the Australian experience so farbenefits - the Australian experience so far  Geotrails and economic benefitsGeotrails and economic benefits  Savannah Guides NetworkSavannah Guides Network  Current status of geotourism in AustraliaCurrent status of geotourism in Australia  Take-AwaysTake-Aways
  3. 3. Ecotourism and Geotourism ConceptsEcotourism and Geotourism Concepts  Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourismecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing naturalexperiencing natural areasareas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.  But ecotourismecotourism per se is too narrowly defined and is increasingly seen as a niche marketniche market, particularly from a chinese perspective.  However,'geotourismgeotourism is tourism which focuses on anis tourism which focuses on an area's geology & landscape as the basis for providingarea's geology & landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment'.visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment'.
  4. 4. GeotourismGeotourism (a(after Dowling, 2013)fter Dowling, 2013) comprises the following features of natural & culturalcomprises the following features of natural & cultural heritage:heritage: 1.1. AAbioticbiotic – non-living aspects such as the climate &– non-living aspects such as the climate & geology e.g. landscape and landforms:geology e.g. landscape and landforms: GEODIVERSITYGEODIVERSITY 2.2. BBioticiotic – the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and– the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora (plants):flora (plants): BIODIVERSITYBIODIVERSITY 3.3. CCulturalultural – past & present, non-living & built– past & present, non-living & built Holistic in scope,Holistic in scope, geotourism is the key drivergeotourism is the key driver for Geoparks,for Geoparks, Geotrails and even World Heritage Areas,Geotrails and even World Heritage Areas, and is booming globally!and is booming globally!
  5. 5. Geotourism incorporatingGeotourism incorporating all types of ‘nature-based’ tourismall types of ‘nature-based’ tourism Sightseeing Cuisine Agritourism Indigenous Tourism Heritage Tourism Cultural Tourism ECOTOURISM GeotourismGeotourism i.e. ‘experientiali.e. ‘experiential tourism’tourism’
  6. 6. 6 Geotourism – diversity of places
  7. 7. Geotourism Delivery MechanismsGeotourism Delivery Mechanisms 1.1. GeoparksGeoparks- both national and UNESCO global- both national and UNESCO global 2.2. GeotrailsGeotrails 3.3. GeologicalGeological Time WalksTime Walks
  8. 8. 8 Geotourism is not 'geological tourism'
  9. 9. Georegions, Geotrails and GeoparksGeoregions, Geotrails and Geoparks In large regional areas such as the Murchison in WesternIn large regional areas such as the Murchison in Western Australia, the Mid West Development Commission and localAustralia, the Mid West Development Commission and local councils are undertaking acouncils are undertaking a ‘georegional’ assessment‘georegional’ assessment includingincluding the determination of the mostthe determination of the most viable geotourism deliveryviable geotourism delivery mechanism availablemechanism available, which in the first instance is focused on, which in the first instance is focused on geotrail developmentgeotrail development, and may lead to the i, and may lead to the identification ofdentification of an area suitable for geopark developmentan area suitable for geopark development, subject to State, subject to State Government approval.Government approval.
  10. 10. GeoparksGeoparks Geoparks areGeoparks are both aboth a developmentdevelopment conceptconcept as well as aas well as a brandingbranding tooltool.. They achieveThey achieve these goals throughthese goals through:: 1.1.ConservationConservation 2.2.EducationEducation 3.3.GeotourismGeotourism
  11. 11. Geoparks vs National ParksGeoparks vs National Parks  Unlike World Heritage Areas and national parksUnlike World Heritage Areas and national parks,, Global GeoparksGlobal Geoparks can embracecan embrace both protected andboth protected and any resource extraction areas,any resource extraction areas, focusing onfocusing on sustainable development objectives.sustainable development objectives.  Global GeoparksGlobal Geoparks focus onfocus on community engagementcommunity engagement and ownership.and ownership.  Whilst national parks are created in perpetuity,Whilst national parks are created in perpetuity, thethe status of global geoparks are reviewed every 4status of global geoparks are reviewed every 4 yearsyears..  In AustraliaIn Australia, national parks focus generally only on, national parks focus generally only on biodiversity at the expense of geological heritage.biodiversity at the expense of geological heritage.
  12. 12. Socio-Economic Benefits of Geopark DevelopmentSocio-Economic Benefits of Geopark Development 1.1. Measurable economic benefits -Measurable economic benefits - additional visitors, direct &additional visitors, direct & regional economic output, household income & wages, andregional economic output, household income & wages, and local employment.local employment. 2.2. Through establishment of a management entity,Through establishment of a management entity, higher levelhigher level of centralised coordinationof centralised coordination in areas of product development,in areas of product development, travel and hospitality services, tourism promotion/branding.travel and hospitality services, tourism promotion/branding. 3.3. Maximisation of sustainable development and management ofMaximisation of sustainable development and management of 'over tourism''over tourism'/e.g. emerging issue in Tasmania./e.g. emerging issue in Tasmania. 4.4. Provides aProvides a framework for focus on the 10 UNESCO Topicsframework for focus on the 10 UNESCO Topics e.g.e.g. culture, education, climate change, geoconservation,culture, education, climate change, geoconservation, sustainable development etc.sustainable development etc. 5.5. Through its defined mission,Through its defined mission,community engagement iscommunity engagement is maximised and measured.maximised and measured.
  13. 13. UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKSUNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS IISS A GEOPARK JUST ABOUT GEOLOGY?A GEOPARK JUST ABOUT GEOLOGY? No!No! While a geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of internationalWhile a geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance,significance, the purpose of a geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate thethe purpose of a geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the areas natural,links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the areas natural, cultural and intangible heritagescultural and intangible heritages. It is about reconnecting human society at allIt is about reconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how our planet and it’slevels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how our planet and it’s 4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and our4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and our societies.societies. UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areassingle, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significanceinternational geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education andmanaged with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable developmentsustainable development.
  14. 14. 14 UNESCO Global Geoparks [140 in 38 countries] Europe [69] China [37] Canada [3] Brazil Uruguay Morocco Japan [9] MexicoIran Indonesia [4] Tanzania
  15. 15. Australia’s 16 National Landscapes – ‘Scenic Areas’Australia’s 16 National Landscapes – ‘Scenic Areas’
  16. 16. Warrumbungle Etheridge Cairns Australia’s Pre-Aspiring UNESCO GlobalAustralia’s Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark Development Efforts, 2017/2018Geopark Development Efforts, 2017/2018
  17. 17. Status of Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global GeoparksStatus of Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks  Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark proposals arePre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark proposals are those undergoing assessment to obtain community &those undergoing assessment to obtain community & government supportgovernment support PRIOR to any applicationPRIOR to any application..  EtheridgeEtheridge Scenic Area is a ‘defacto geopark’ and isScenic Area is a ‘defacto geopark’ and is nownow NOTNOT subject to any assessment process.subject to any assessment process.  TheThe WarrumbungleWarrumbungle Pre-Aspiring UNESCO GlobalPre-Aspiring UNESCO Global GeoparkGeopark proposal has been abandonedproposal has been abandoned and insteadand instead a strategy to engage with the GSNSW to develop ana strategy to engage with the GSNSW to develop an alternative geotourism strategyalternative geotourism strategy for the Region willfor the Region will now be considered by the three Councils.now be considered by the three Councils.
  18. 18. Community Raised Issues – Etheridge ProjectCommunity Raised Issues – Etheridge Project 1.1. National Parks, indigenous groups, the Savannah Guides, andNational Parks, indigenous groups, the Savannah Guides, and residents of townships are very supportiveresidents of townships are very supportive, because they, because they understand the economic benefits of tourism.understand the economic benefits of tourism. 2.2. However,However, agricultural, small scale mining groups & gemstoneagricultural, small scale mining groups & gemstone fossickers not supportivefossickers not supportive with a vigorous programwith a vigorous program implemented to dissuade Council from finalising theimplemented to dissuade Council from finalising the applicationapplication because a Global Geopark upsets the status quo!because a Global Geopark upsets the status quo! 3.3. Issues raised were essentially fears of UNESCO control, moreIssues raised were essentially fears of UNESCO control, more environmental regulation and increased levels of tourism.environmental regulation and increased levels of tourism. 4.4. The labels ofThe labels of UNESCO, GEOPARK, EcotourismUNESCO, GEOPARK, Ecotourism etc raised aetc raised a range of concerns and fears.range of concerns and fears.
  19. 19. Etheridge ‘Defacto’ Geopark, QueenslandEtheridge ‘Defacto’ Geopark, Queensland Comprising theComprising the entire Shire ofentire Shire of EtheridgeEtheridge, and including areas, and including areas of outstanding volcanic andof outstanding volcanic and mining heritage - some 40,000mining heritage - some 40,000 sq km in area.sq km in area. Embracing 1.7 billion years ofEmbracing 1.7 billion years of geological history.geological history. Only 950 people, mainly cattleOnly 950 people, mainly cattle farmers.farmers.
  20. 20. Etheridge Scenic Area – A ‘Defacto’ GeoparkEtheridge Scenic Area – A ‘Defacto’ Geopark  GeositesGeosites –– In abundance, with Undara as a global icon.In abundance, with Undara as a global icon.  Geo villagesGeo villages –– Four small townships, all with communityFour small townships, all with community engaged geosites (including agate, sapphire and gold fields);engaged geosites (including agate, sapphire and gold fields); key establishedkey established ecotourism resortsecotourism resorts of Undara & Cobboldof Undara & Cobbold Gorge.Gorge.  GeotrailsGeotrails –– The Savannah Way (The Savannah Way (Lava tubes, Gems and GorgesLava tubes, Gems and Gorges TrailTrail) with connections to nearby mining heritage locations.) with connections to nearby mining heritage locations.  National ParksNational Parks –– Undara Volcanic Park & six other park areas.Undara Volcanic Park & six other park areas.  TerrEstrial Mineral/Fossil MuseumTerrEstrial Mineral/Fossil Museum–– Most significant mineralMost significant mineral museum in Qld.museum in Qld.  ManyMany heritage mining sitesheritage mining sites & small gold mining operations& small gold mining operations underscores Etheridge’s status of one Australia’s mostunderscores Etheridge’s status of one Australia’s most diversified mineralised areas.diversified mineralised areas.
  21. 21. ..
  22. 22. Kalkani Cone, UndaraKalkani Cone, Undara
  23. 23. Undara Lava TubesUndara Lava Tubes
  24. 24. Newcastle RangesNewcastle Ranges
  25. 25.  State of New South Wales:State of New South Wales: GeoTreat supported ‘GeoJourney’ in theGeoTreat supported ‘GeoJourney’ in the Australian Coastal Wilderness National Landscape.Australian Coastal Wilderness National Landscape.  State of Victoria:State of Victoria: Volcano Discovery Trail (Kanawinka related).Volcano Discovery Trail (Kanawinka related).  State of Western Australia:State of Western Australia: Various geotrail project proposals (e.g.Various geotrail project proposals (e.g. Murchison, Coolgardie) and potential ‘geopark concept’ opportunitiesMurchison, Coolgardie) and potential ‘geopark concept’ opportunities  State of SouthAustralia:State of SouthAustralia: is not actively progressing any geopark potentialis not actively progressing any geopark potential projects, but is very keen to support the development of geotrails andprojects, but is very keen to support the development of geotrails and geotourism through exceptional geological heritage, especially throughgeotourism through exceptional geological heritage, especially through Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges National Landscapes.Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges National Landscapes.  State of Tasmania:State of Tasmania: West Coast ‘Living Earth’ – CradleCoast GeoTrail.West Coast ‘Living Earth’ – CradleCoast GeoTrail.  Northern Territory:Northern Territory: Potential Geotrails (Red Centre, Savannah Way).Potential Geotrails (Red Centre, Savannah Way). Cobbold Gorge
  26. 26. Talaroo Hot Springs – Ewamian Aboriginal CorporationTalaroo Hot Springs – Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation
  27. 27. Geotrail Characteristics -Geotrail Characteristics - A First DefinitionA First Definition ‘A Geotrail delivers geotourism experiencesA Geotrail delivers geotourism experiences through a journey linked by an area'sthrough a journey linked by an area's geologygeology and landscapeand landscape asas the basis for providing visitorthe basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment’.engagement, learning and enjoyment’.
  28. 28. Why Geotrails?Why Geotrails? 1.1. Relates directly to the tourism experience of aRelates directly to the tourism experience of a journey linking destinationsjourney linking destinations.. 2.2. In Australia, unlike geoparks,In Australia, unlike geoparks, geotrails havegeotrails have widespread appealwidespread appeal, and do not compete with or, and do not compete with or impact on land management/access issues.impact on land management/access issues. 3.3. Geotrails are relatively easy to establish andGeotrails are relatively easy to establish and represent arepresent a very cost effective means of enhancingvery cost effective means of enhancing regional developmentregional development.. 4.4. Can form the basis of a 'defacto geopark'.Can form the basis of a 'defacto geopark'.
  29. 29. Best Practice GeotrailsBest Practice Geotrails 1.1. Should be constructed aroundShould be constructed around routes currently usedroutes currently used by touristsby tourists; geotrails should form logical journeys; geotrails should form logical journeys linking accommodation destinations.linking accommodation destinations. 2.2. ShouldShould meld the geological heritage features of ameld the geological heritage features of a region with a cohesive STORY.region with a cohesive STORY. 3.3. ShouldShould incorporate and package in the biodiversityincorporate and package in the biodiversity and cultural components (including mining heritage)and cultural components (including mining heritage) of the region through which the geotrail traverses.of the region through which the geotrail traverses. 4.4. Supported bySupported by leading edge interpretationleading edge interpretation aids.aids.
  30. 30. Current & Potential Major Geotrail Projects in AustraliaCurrent & Potential Major Geotrail Projects in Australia 1.1. TasmaniaTasmania - Living Earth- Living Earth 2.2. QueenslandQueensland - Savannah Way, Dig the Tropics,- Savannah Way, Dig the Tropics, Boulder Opal (Western Queensland)Boulder Opal (Western Queensland) 3.3. Victoria/SA - Kanawinka, Great Ocean RoadVictoria/SA - Kanawinka, Great Ocean Road 4.4. South Australia - Brachina Gorge,South Australia - Brachina Gorge, Great CentralGreat Central Geotrail ProposalGeotrail Proposal 5.5. Western AustraliaWestern Australia - Murchison Proposal- Murchison Proposal 6.6. Northern TerritoryNorthern Territory - Red Centre Way, Savannah Way- Red Centre Way, Savannah Way 7.7. New South Wales -New South Wales - Volcano Geotrail ProposalVolcano Geotrail Proposal Plus a wide range of smaller, dedicated geotrials along walking tracks, old rail easementswalking tracks, old rail easements etc. being developed in NSW, Tasmania, Qld, WA and SA.
  31. 31. 31 • Identify a geoscience theme • Tell a simple story incorporating 'A' + 'B' +'C' elements • Use engaging stories, descriptions and graphics • Deliver supporting information in a range of ways • Collaborate • Link to related features based on science and culture Desired outcomes • increased visitor numbers and regional economic growth • a broader community understanding of science, and in particular, geoscience. Keys to success - Warrumbungles Geotrail
  32. 32. Island of Tasmania Australia’sAustralia’s Red Centre National LandscapeRed Centre National Landscape
  33. 33. Iconic Geotourism Themes ofIconic Geotourism Themes of Australia’s Red Centre National LandscapeAustralia’s Red Centre National Landscape  AA:: Landforms and common geological heritageLandforms and common geological heritage  BB:: Red Kangaroo species, and other typeRed Kangaroo species, and other type flora/faunaflora/fauna  CC:: Indigenous (and European) cultureIndigenous (and European) culture
  34. 34. Exemplar: Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail, NSWExemplar: Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail, NSW "The collaborative geotrail project has been led by theThe collaborative geotrail project has been led by the University ofUniversity of NewcastleNewcastle (A)(A) & supported by& supported by Port Macquarie-Hastings CouncilPort Macquarie-Hastings Council,, thethe Geological Survey of NSWGeological Survey of NSW (A)(A),, NSW National Parks and Wildlife ServiceNSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (B)(B) && Birpai Local Aboriginal Land CouncilBirpai Local Aboriginal Land Council (C)(C).. Supported by aSupported by a brochure, website & smartphone appbrochure, website & smartphone app,, the Port Macquarie Coastalthe Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail is a four kilometre walk from Shelly Beach to Rocky BeachGeotrail is a four kilometre walk from Shelly Beach to Rocky Beach thatthat tells the storytells the story of plate tectonics & how the Earth’s crust wasof plate tectonics & how the Earth’s crust was formed along the stretch of coastline over the past 460 million years".formed along the stretch of coastline over the past 460 million years".
  35. 35. ‘The Living Earth’ – Cradle Coast Geotrail
  36. 36. ‘The Living Earth’ – Cradle Coast Geotrail
  37. 37. Marketing & Promotion - Living Earth GeotrailMarketing & Promotion - Living Earth Geotrail The following markets & strategies will give the GeoTrailThe following markets & strategies will give the GeoTrail the best chance ofthe best chance of achieving an increase in visitor stops & stays and associated revenue.achieving an increase in visitor stops & stays and associated revenue. • engage the local communitiesengage the local communities of the Trail to build pride and referrals toof the Trail to build pride and referrals to family, friends and visitors through involvement in content development,family, friends and visitors through involvement in content development, familiarisations, progress reporting and ongoing promotion.familiarisations, progress reporting and ongoing promotion. • engage the existing visitor marketengage the existing visitor market to increase the number of stops ando increase the number of stops and stays through the development and promotion of online communicationsstays through the development and promotion of online communications and a downloadable free mobile app.and a downloadable free mobile app. • engage relevant specialist groups in the Trailengage relevant specialist groups in the Trail experienceexperience through use ofthrough use of specific publications and newsletters.specific publications and newsletters. • engage the potential education marketengage the potential education market through the development andthrough the development and promotion of a regional education package involving the Trail and otherpromotion of a regional education package involving the Trail and other relevant experiences.relevant experiences.
  38. 38. The Proposed Savannah Way Geotrail linked to the then Pre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark
  39. 39. KANAWINKA GEOTRAIL Volcanics landscapes, with 60 key geositesVolcanics landscapes, with 60 key geosites located within intensive farming areaslocated within intensive farming areas
  40. 40. Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, Taiwan Chillagoe Smelters Heritage Site, FarNQChillagoe Smelters Heritage Site, FarNQ
  41. 41. Chillagoe Smelters Heritage TrailChillagoe Smelters Heritage Trail
  42. 42. Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, Taiwan Herberton Mining Centre and Walking TrailsHerberton Mining Centre and Walking Trails
  43. 43. storic Site, NSW - National Parks and Wildlife Service
  44. 44. Geotourism and the Savannah Guides Network
  45. 45. Savannah Guides at Work, Undara Lava Tubes
  46. 46. Hon Ian Hunter MLC, then SA Minister forHon Ian Hunter MLC, then SA Minister for Sustainability, Environment & ConservationSustainability, Environment & Conservation “Geotourism is (also) an emerging market that SouthGeotourism is (also) an emerging market that South Australia is especially well placed to cater forAustralia is especially well placed to cater for, with, with megafauna fossils at the World Heritage Naracoortemegafauna fossils at the World Heritage Naracoorte Caves, evidence of the world’s earliest animals inCaves, evidence of the world’s earliest animals in the Flinders Ranges, and stunning geologicalthe Flinders Ranges, and stunning geological formations in parks like the Gawler Ranges,formations in parks like the Gawler Ranges, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges, and the ice-age gemVulkathunha-Gammon Ranges, and the ice-age gem of Hallett Cove right on Adelaide’s doorstep.”of Hallett Cove right on Adelaide’s doorstep.” Opening address to Global Eco, Adelaide, 27 November 2018Opening address to Global Eco, Adelaide, 27 November 2018
  47. 47. Take-Aways - Geopark Development in AustraliaTake-Aways - Geopark Development in Australia  More focusMore focus needs to be appliedneeds to be applied to communicatingto communicating the ‘georegionalthe ‘georegional’ nature of geoparks.’ nature of geoparks.  More work is needed to overcomeMore work is needed to overcome perceived fearsperceived fears about the detrimental impact of geoparksabout the detrimental impact of geoparks on otheron other existing land users such as miners and farmers.existing land users such as miners and farmers.  Geopark proposalsGeopark proposals must be supported by Geologicalmust be supported by Geological Survey communitiesSurvey communities..  More time must be allowedMore time must be allowed to gain communityto gain community engagement/support to ensure geoparkengagement/support to ensure geopark sustainability.sustainability.  Need toNeed to compile and promote quantifiable data andcompile and promote quantifiable data and analysis to establish socio-economic benefit.analysis to establish socio-economic benefit.
  48. 48. Take-AwaysTake-Aways Major Geotourism Development in AustraliaMajor Geotourism Development in Australia  More focusMore focus needs to be appliedneeds to be applied to communicatingto communicating the ‘georegionalthe ‘georegional’ nature of geotourism.’ nature of geotourism.  Preferred focus first onPreferred focus first on geotrailgeotrail developmentdevelopment  Any emerging geopark proposalsAny emerging geopark proposals must be supportedmust be supported by Geological Surveys, also true in Queensland.by Geological Surveys, also true in Queensland.  More time must be allowedMore time must be allowed to gain communityto gain community engagement/support to ensure geoparkengagement/support to ensure geopark sustainability.sustainability.  Need toNeed to compile and promote quantifiable data andcompile and promote quantifiable data and analysis to establish socio-economic benefit.analysis to establish socio-economic benefit.  Australia needs to have in place aAustralia needs to have in place a NationalNational Geotourism Strategy.Geotourism Strategy.
  49. 49. Contact DetailsContact Details angus@leisuresolutions.com.auangus@leisuresolutions.com.au Tel: + 61 418 488 340Tel: + 61 418 488 340 http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups/http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups/ Information about Australian Geotourism and Geopark Development Activities:Information about Australian Geotourism and Geopark Development Activities: https://tinyurl.com/yb7yceyhhttps://tinyurl.com/yb7yceyh

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