A 10-year strategic plan to upgrade and boost the iconic Hume and Hovell Track and better support the visitor economy and communities along its route has been completed.
The Hume and Hovell Track is one of NSW’s best walks, covering 426km of scenic landscapes from Yass to Albury including grasslands, woodlands, forests, alpine, wetlands and farms.
The NSW Government invested $337,900 to develop the strategic plan – the first ever for the track - funded by the Department of Regional NSW’s Business Case and Strategy Development Fund.
The strategic plan was developed by Snowy Valleys Council with consultant SMA Tourism in partnership with Crown Lands and Destination Riverina Murray.
Extensive consultations were held with visitor economy stakeholders, community members, local councils, Aboriginal organisations, and agencies including the National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Forestry Corporation to help develop the strategic plan.
The strategic plan identifies a range of opportunities with recommendations to make the track better for bushwalkers, campers, families, and visitors, including:
- Developing short, medium and longer distance walks to interpret and capture the pioneering spirit of Hume and Hovell’s historic expedition, Aboriginal stories, and support Aboriginal visitor economy operators to share histories and culture through tours.
- Improving track sections and campsites with better facilities such as basic hiker huts, tent platforms, toilets, water and camp kitchens.
- Encouraging service industries for hikers such as guided tours, transfers between towns and track sections, food and wine deliveries, and accommodation options.
- The development of one or two mountain bike paths alongside the track in key areas.
- Improving marketing of the track to focus on experiences and improved storytelling.
- Upgrading access roads and wayfinding signage.
The next step will be to form a Track Coordination Group to focus on the plan’s implementation, comprising land managers Crown Lands, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation of NSW as well as Destination NSW, Local Councils and Aboriginal organisations.
A business case will then be developed to seek funding to implement major components of the strategic plan over time.
The final plan is on the Hume and Hovell website.
Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said:
“This strategic plan will help ensure the Hume and Hovell Track remains a fantastic way to explore the natural and historical features of the NSW landscape whether you want to do a small section or test your mettle by doing the entire trek.”
“We want the track to not only be great fun and good for your health but educational by connecting walkers to our heritage as it passes through areas of cultural and historical significance.”
Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said:
“Walking the track is a chance to see our native animals and plants and appreciate NSW’s natural environment while experiencing the thrill of the great outdoors.”
“Investment in this plan to enhance the track is great news for regional NSW as well-maintained and marketed trails can attract more walkers and boost local economies by supporting jobs and spending on food, accommodation and services, which in turn can prompt further investment.”
Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham said:
“We know there is demand for nature-based tourism experiences in NSW. In the year ending September 2023, there were 15.5 million nature-based overnight visitors to NSW, up 17.6 per cent on the previous year.
“The Hume and Hovell Track is a great asset for our southern NSW region and is uniquely positioned to offer a diversity of land, water and wildlife experiences to this growing number of visitors.”
Snowy Valleys Council Mayor Ian Chaffey said:
“The strategic plan lays a positive path for the track with the 200-year anniversary of the Hume and Hovell expedition this year.
“The track passes through lands of the Ngunnawall, Wiradjuri, Ngarigo and Wolgalu Peoples so we want the bicentenary to acknowledge the combined Indigenous and settler history of this area.”