By Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Centre, located at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, will be given a $100,000 upgrade.
The Exhibition Centre was successful in receiving a grant of $50,000 from the Regional Visitor Economy Fund which will be matched by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. The funding will be used to improve the visitor experience and to increase visitation to the Exhibition Centre.
Blue Mountains State MP Roza Sage congratulated the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden on its successful funding application and welcomed the planned upgrade.
“The NSW Government’s Regional Visitor Economy Fund supports product development in Regional NSW and I’m pleased to see the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition Centre, one of our key visitor attractions, receive funding from this program.
“Tourism is a vital industry to the Blue Mountains and attractions such as the World Heritage Exhibition Centre, play an important role in driving visitation and telling the story of this special environment.”
The Exhibition Centre opened in 2010 with the aim of providing information on, and communicating the values of, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It provides interpretation on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to encourage respect for and protection of this special environment. The original project was a partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
A plan for the upgrade was provided by Arterial Design and Production Consultancy. The plan focuses on interpreting the northern Blue Mountains, the route known as the Botanists Way as it was first crossed by botanist George Caley, and on showcasing the world class canyons in the area, such as nearby Claustral Canyon, within the context of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2015.
Sydney Parklands and Botanic Gardens executive director Kim Ellis said: “The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is ideally placed to raise awareness of the significance of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to domestic and international visitors, being located on one of the two main routes to the Blue Mountains and
Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myles congratulated Blue Mountains Botanic Garden: “We were delighted to support this application which was a perfect fit with the brand values of our destination and this important attraction is delivering visitor experiences in alignment with our Destination Plan.”
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers 1.03 million hectares and includes seven national parks and outstanding examples of ecological processes, natural habitats and cultural associations. It is home to primitive species with Gondwanan affinities, including the Wollemi pine, and is a centre of the diversification of eucalypts.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the cool climate Garden of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. It is the highlight of the Botanists Way drive, the historic crossing through the dramatic northern Blue Mountains World Heritage wilderness, and is situated 1000m above sea level at Mount Tomah, less than two hours drive from Sydney. The beautiful landscaped gardens, with spectacular views, are arranged geographically to showcase cool climate plants from around the world. The garden is the largest tourist attraction in this area attracting around 160,000 visitors annually.
The grant application was supported by Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism; National Parks and Wildlife Services; Hills, Hawkesbury and Riverlands Tourism; Hawkesbury City Council and Blue Mountains City Council.
The Regional Visitor Economy Fund is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.