Money has been provided to a Fund My Neighbourhood idea known as the Flinders gateway trail which will connect Port Pirie to the Heysen trail and other trails throughout the Southern Flinders.
Back in 2017, In The Flinders, a nature-based tour operator, submitted the proposition and it was voted on by the public and has been awarded $130,000 of funding.
With the tick of approval, the tour operator sought the support of the Port Pirie Regional Council who in their last meeting had agreed to ensure that the project is planned and consulted correctly.
The envisioned project will start from the Heysen trail, head down the Napperby gorge, past the scout hall and connect Port Pirie to the local region of trail networks.
Quinten Vanderwerf, manager of In The Flinders says that the trail is something missing from the networks and should increase tourist traffic.
Port Pirie is ideally located, the gateway to the Southern Flinders, it is a great place for people to stay in the region and visit the surrounding areas.Quinten Vanderwerf
The project needs to be completed by June 2019 due to the restrictions from Fund my Neighbourhood and the Port Pirie Regional Council will help facilitate this.
Major John Rohde explains that the project will be completed in three parts.
“The first will be the Napperby scout hall to the top, linking up with the Heysen trail, then from that point to the bluff and then coming back this way from Port Pirie to Napperby”, Mayor Rohde said.
The gateway trail had immediate support from the council because they believe that it is their position to provide more experiences for locals and tourists in the region.
“I think as a council what we have recognised is that we have to do more in terms of what we provide in experiences”, Mayor Rohde said.
“Tourism in Port Pirie has always been based around events. We have to provide experiences for people to come out here, have an experience but spend their money at the same time.”
The funding fell short of $20,000 from the maximum $150,000 that the Government had decided to provide to these projects and Mayor Rohde says that the money will be used on the construction, trail markers, seating areas, signage in addition to some safety aspects.
“The construction of the trail will not be extensive. In any of these things you need people to be guided and you need to provide adequate trail markers that draw people through to the areas that you want them to go to”, he explained.
“We are talking about areas that people can sit for a while, we want to provide some sort of drinking water.”
“There will be signage on the highway, in part of the tourism signs that we have put up in the past couple of years, there will certainly be ones that indicate that it is part of our tourism mix. There will be the standard marker signs available as well.”
“Tourism is a growing market in South Australia and quite often this area has been bypassed in some ways. In that respect we are driving it. Pirie and the other councils in the area are driving expansion of the tourism market locally. That is going to be really important.”