henry head 6/10/15 – UPDATED WEBSITE STILL HAS MISTAKES noted in bold:

HH1

 

Do National Parks managers want visitors at La Perouse?  Does anyone care?

What has changed since Catherine Cusack wrote

We need to drag NSW National Parks tourism into the 21st century so the many wonderful experiences on offer can easily be accessed. Potential visitors should be confident of world class experiences and quality information to help them prepare and be safe…….The State Governments attitude to visitors in our National Parks resembles a dud episode of Fawlty Towers

Take a look at information on something as simple as the Henry Head walk. at La Perouse.

1.  They have hours of opening 7am – 5pm when people walk the track early morning and after work.  The Government has made commitments to healthy activities see Premiers Council on Active Living

2.   It is listed as taking 3 hours.  A very leisurely look at the vegetation and views can stretch to 3 but normally it is well under 2 and locals do the jog in considerably less.

3.   “Park Entry fees apply”.  No they don’t.

4.    They say “Henry Head walking track is not close to any food outlets or public toilets, so please arrive well-prepared.”  The walk starts opposite the La Perouse Bus Terminus which is nearby a string of cafes some of which have toilets for customers.  Besides there are 2 public toilets nearby not including the toilets at the Laperouse Museum.   National Parks should be working with local businesses not advising visitors that they don’t exist.  They should be encouraging walkers during off-peak where possible instead of putting majority of activities on a Sunday (the only day Visitor Centre is open).

Henry Head Map 5.  Instead of providing a loop track the advice to walkers is:  “To return to La Perouse Museum, simply retrace your steps or walk back along the road.”  This is a narrow winding road with no footpath.  It is irresponsible to advise anyone to walk it.   Map below appears on the information board for the Park  and shows the beginnings of a loop now closed. (The information provided in 2000 was far more helpful.  From 2002 there has been a steady decline).

6.  They also advise that “There is limited/no mobile reception in this park”.   Within the boundaries and neighboring the park is one of the top golf courses in the world (NSW Golf Club) and a Helicopter Rescue Service.  Mobile service, as expected is fine.

7.   Another piece of misleading advice:  “You can also detour a little from the banksia and wattle-lined track to visit Coast Hospital Cemetery, on the road to Cape Banks.”  Take a look at the Cemetery marked as 3 on the map above and Henry Head.

8.  For the record there are toilets at Cape Banks courtesy of Little Bay Scouting Group that was turfed out in 2004, however, the toilets aren’t open for visitors.

9.  The attractions listed as ‘nearby’ are nowhere near La Perouse

Does anyone bother to check, consult with locals who might know something as per their COMMITMENT in the Plan of Management page 28:

Other important mechanisms for promotion include the media, establishment of collaborative associations with tourism authorities and agencies, ongoing contact with neighbours and stakeholders. A related issue will be a consideration of how to improve access to the park by tour groups and, possibly, by ferry service.

WELCOME TO FAWLTY TOWERS NATIONAL PARK – NOW GET LOST!

March 11, 2010: Media Statement by Catherine Cusack

“The State Governments attitude to visitors in our National Parks resembles a dud episode of Fawlty Towers,” Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Catherine Cusack said today.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Ms Cusack slammed the Government’s failure to act on a 2008 report.

“In 2008 the State Government released a major report on Tourism in National Parks, with 20 recommendations to improve access and facilities for eco-tourism. However none of the recommendations have been implemented.

Although the former Minister Carmel Tebbutt hailed the report, promising NSW we would have our own Milford Walking tracks, like New Zealand and Frecineyt walks like Tasmania, there is no sign of any such iconic experiences.

Minister Tebbutt announced the government was taking an exciting “NEW DIRECTION” which would see modern, on-line services replace our antiquated “word-of-mouth” visitor information, our “turn-up-pot-luck” “bookings system”, and the use of rusting “honesty boxes” in the middle of the bush to collect fees for camping.

“There has been no sign of these new on-line facilities. Nobody seems to know what has happened to the promised legislation the Government said was necessary to allow facilitate access for organised tours groups and eco-friendly activities.

“For some reason NSW has failed to adopt national standards for grading and signage on walking tracks. Maps of walking trails are themselves an endangered species. Such information would help intending visitors plan their visits and reduce the alarming number of hikers getting lost.

“The Government seems to take the Fawlty Towers approach – if you don’t tell visitors where to go, then you won’t have to tell them what they will find when they don’t get there!

If a persistent member of the public with a masters degree in research happens to stumble across the right information they cannot be sure if it is up to date and reliable.

“The whole approach seems purpose built to frustrate and put people off.

“Sustainable tourism is good for personal health, environmental awareness and vital to the economic health of our regional communities, with thousands of potential jobs in the offing.

“We need to drag NSW National Parks tourism into the 21st century so the many wonderful experiences on offer can easily be accessed. Potential visitors should be confident of world class experiences and quality information to help them prepare and be safe.” Ms Cusack said.

“The State Governments attitude to visitors in our National Parks resembles a dud episode of Fawlty Towers,” Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Catherine Cusack said today.

 

 

One Response to “Henry Head Walk – misinformation from National Parks”
  1. Gareth says:

    I note that access to the headland is on Randwick Council development list and NPWS is in the news trying to reguvenate the parks. A shame they can’t get the basics right.

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