Overview

Tourism

Client
DEECA, World Trail Pty Ltd

Collaborators
Biosis
Golder
Bligh Tanner
Zinc Cost Management
Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority
Parks Victoria
Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation

Disciplines
Landscape Architecture
Media

Location
Fairhaven to Skenes Creek, VIC

Date
2022

Imagery
DEECA

Awards
2023 AILA National Award of Excellence — Landscape Planning
2023 AILA National Regional Achievement Award
2023 AILA Award of Excellence — Landscape Planning (VIC)
2023 AILA Regional Achievement Award (VIC)

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The Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail Master Plan guides the future construction of a 90km long walking trail connecting communities from Fairhaven to Skenes Creek.

The proposed trail links new and existing walks and replicates many traditional routes of the Gadubanud traditional owners. While the region attracts more than six million visitors annually, most stay for a short time with very low economic benefit.

The world class walk will allow visitors to experience the iconic coastal landscapes of the region at a slower, more intimate pace while experiencing the benefits of connecting with nature.

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The masterplan is a landscape led approach, with the trail being a nature-based experience. Route selection was an iterative process in partnership with the traditional owners and community and stakeholder groups.

Client-led engagement workshops provided valuable feedback on route development. This feedback along with the technical inputs of the consultant team were reflected in the final ground truthed route for the master plan document

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Being responsive and inclusive of a broad range of needs, including the sensitive consideration and integration of new elements, has seen the Master Plan successfully demonstrate the strengths of a landscape led approach for this project.

Design interventions along the route include suspension bridges, rest stops and cantilevered lookouts that make the most of the dramatic coastal landforms. These features are balanced by smaller path alignments that navigate around sensitive flora and fauna and connect to existing infrastructure.

These elements provided the client with a design response that protects the natural environment and enhances visitor experience.

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The Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail Master Plan was officially endorsed by the project partner agencies and released in December 2022. Project feasibility shows it will provide strong economic benefits to the Victorian economy. It’s anticipated to attract and extend the length of stay of over 200,000 people annually to the region. A complex project, the official endorsement and results of the feasibility study is testament to the achievements of this project team.

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