Falls to Hotham Track Impact Grows

Falls to Hotham Track Impact Grows

Source: Victorian National Parks Association

3 May 2018

Parks Victoria has released its final Master Plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing: a five day serviced hiking opportunity catering for ‘comfort in nature’ seekers in Victoria’s Alpine National Park

The final plan actually has less detail than the draft, but it flags more new track construction and the possible addition of large group lodges as well as cabins at each of the four ‘overnight hubs’.

The plan still includes a range of buildings on Diamantina Spur towards the summit of Mount Feathertop, Victoria’s only sizeable free-standing mountain, and so far an undeveloped peak.  These huts (and a lodge?) would be serviced by helicopters bringing fresh bedding and food to the occupants.

Parks Victoria claims the track, which will only ever be used by a small number of visitors to the Alpine National Park, will generate 130 full time service jobs! It will cost $34 million to construct, and an allocation of $2 million in the current budget appears to be for further planning. The anticipated delivery date is 5-10 years away.

The ‘final’ plan can be found here.

Is this the best way to spend precious park funds?

Stay tuned!

Source: Bushwalking Victoria | 14 May 2018

Falls to Hotham Crossing – Lodges on Diamantina Spur

The final master plan for the proposed development of the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing has been released by Parks Victoria and is available here. The proposed route uses much of the existing Alpine Walking Track. However, it also includes development of a formed track from the West Kiewa River up Diamantina Spur and the building of commercial lodge accommodation (“operated huts”) near the top of Diamantina Spur within the Alpine National Park.

Bushwalking Victoria has previously advised Parks Victoria that we don’t support building new lodge accommodation on Diamantina Spur as it will greatly compromise landscape values on the eastern side of Mount Feathertop and the Razorback, an area where there is currently no built infrastructure. The wildness of Diamantina Spur is greatly appreciated by bushwalkers and backcountry skiers. This experience will be greatly impacted by building lodges and provisioning them with regular helicopter flights.

A much better alternative is for walkers to use the existing Alpine Walking Track via Cobungra Gap to Mount Hotham then access Mount Feathertop via the Razorback track and use Federation Hut and nearby campsites for an overnight stay.

You can provide feedback about the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing to the Bushwalking Victoria Board using this form.

You could also contact your local state Member of Parliament (via telephone, meeting or email) and advise them of your concerns.

Peter Campbell
President, Bushwalking Victoria