PWS’s substantial new viewing shelter at Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain, was opened with considerable fanfare last week (see here). The TNPA agrees with Premier Rockliff that the old Dove Lake carpark was an eyesore but it’s a tragedy that no thought was given to enhancing the naturalness of Dove Lake by revegetating the carpark rather than using it as the site for a grandiose viewing shelter. A shuttle bus turning circle and a modest shelter to protect passengers from the weather could have been constructed slightly further back up the road.
The government’s future plans are even more alarming. We don’t need to further detract from the naturalness of Cradle Valley with commercial developments adjacent to the visitor centre and an intrusive and unnecessary cableway to replace the shuttle bus service. This is well regarded by visitors and capable of modest expansion if it is considered appropriate to cram even more visitors into Dove Lake.
The opportunity to experience wild nature is a major point of difference that distinguishes Tasmania’s national parks from overcrowded and overdeveloped parks elsewhere. The government’s determination to cater for ever increasing visitor numbers with little regard for the authenticity of their experience is not in the long-term interests of our tourism industry and will devalue Tasmania’s brand.