Visitors to Kangaroo Island are now able to take a tour along the Prospect Hill walking trail for the first time in three years following a substantial redevelopment.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project had enhanced the walking trail to make it a safer, easier and more rewarding experience for visitors.
“With the previous walk trail being closed in 2016 for safety reasons, the removal and replacement of existing timber stairs and degraded trail sections with a new 154-metre trail, 21 new landings and 22 stair sets will ensure that each visit is a happy and safe experience,” Mr McCormack said.
Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston, who attended today’s opening, said the new and expanded trail would provide an economic boost, particularly to the island’s eastern end.
“Creating additional activities for visitors at wonderful tourist sites like this will give them a reason to extend their stay, support the local tourism industry and increase expenditure throughout the community,” Senator Ruston said.
“It gives residents and tourists a great facility to enjoy for the next 50 years.”
South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the project had included the construction of a lookout and installation of interpretative signage to allow visitors to learn about the region’s heritage.
“This will not only enrich people’s experience of Prospect Hill but the project will also minimise environmental degradation to the Island, preserving it for future visitors,” Mr Whetstone said.
Kangaroo Island Council Mayor Michael Pengilly said that rebuilding the Prospect Hill Stairs returns an iconic tourist destination to the Kangaroo Island itinerary.
“When the staircase was closed in 2016 due to structural concerns making the stairs unsafe, it wasn’t just tourists who were disappointed - many of our residents missed being able to climb the staircase. But now we have a fantastic, safe new structure that will last for many decades – something the community appreciates,” Mayor Pengilly said.
“We thank the Australian and South Australian governments for helping fund the new staircase.”
The Australian Government invested $750,000 in this project under the Building Better Regions Fund – an $841 million investment designed to create jobs, drive economic growth and build strong regional communities into the future.
The South Australian Government also contributed $125,000 and Kangaroo Island Council $128,562.
The dune on which the staircase is built is classed as a sensitive environment and a special approach to construction was required during development.