$3M proposal for new Whitsunday walking path
PLANS of a new “six-star quality” walking track at Funnel Bay have been revealed with developers hoping it could provide “Instagrammable” views over Airlie Beach and the ocean.
The proposal for a $3 million ‘Eco-experience Walking Track’ is the brainchild of Damian Beasley whose family owns and operates Yangaro, a new boutique high-end accommodation business in Funnel Bay.
The track would start from Yangaro’s private land at the corner of Jasinique Dr and Langford Rd in Flametree before winding alongside the creek.
As it crosses Discovery Dr, it will transition onto a boardwalk that tracks alongside the tidal wetland.
Subject to approval, the path would then continue past a hotel development set for Funnel Bay to the outdoor chapel in Mandalay with a lookout offering views across Funnel Bay and Airlie Beach along the way.
Mr Beasley estimated the construction of the track could provide several jobs during construction and permanent jobs in the years following for the upkeep of the area.
“It will be a six-star quality track to match the hotel standard,” he said.
“That will enhance Funnel Bay to world-class tourism destination and it will be a fantastic asset for the local community.
“There will be parklands at the start of the trail for picnics, there will be a creekside walkway up the lush rainforest canopy and there will be a boardwalk through tidal wetlands.”
The project would also involve restoration of the surrounding environment, which Mr Beasley said had fallen victim to several invasive weed species.
Signs would also be dotted along the path pointing to significant environmental and cultural landmarks with reference to the traditional owners of the land.
Mr Beasley said the idea for the trail came from his own exploration of the area.
“I thought ‘oh wow’ we should really convert this to a public trail,” he said.
“So I had my blundstones on and my heavy duty anti-snake pants … and I bush bashed.”
The land at the start of the trail is owned by the Beasley family, but Mr Beasley said it would be passed on to council and the trail would be accessible to all members of the public.
However, before the trail becomes a reality, Mr Beasley said there were a lot of approvals that would need to be secured.
This included funding support as well as permissions from council and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Mr Beasley also said the project hinged on the development of a six-star resort that is set for Funnel Bay but had high hopes for construction to begin in late 2021.