A CONSULTANT will investigate five potential coastal walking trails to lure tourists to Apollo Bay and district.
Colac Otway Shire Council has appointed Andrew Nixon as the project manager responsible for creating a feasibility study into one-day walking loops near the coast.
The walking trails would be between Apollo Bay, Marengo, the Barham Valley and Wild Dog Ridge.
“These trails represent a ‘missing link’ in the Otways’ trails network and fall between the Great Ocean Walk, which takes several days, and the short scenic attraction walks, which usually take 10 to 30 minutes,” Mr Nixon said.
“Generally, the proposed trails would loop in and around Apollo Bay and potentially comprise walks of one to five hours long, providing spectacular scenery in isolated surrounds.
Mr Nixon’s study will determine routes while analysing the social, economic, environmental and cultural implications of the trails.
He will also recommend management and maintenance arrangements and potential funding to pay for construction and on-going costs.
The council and Parks Victoria will jointly fund the 12-month study, with Mr Nixon working from the council’s Apollo Bay office.
Otway Ranges Walking Track Association chairman Les Noseda has thrown his support behind the project.
The Apollo Bay resident, a founder of the coastal town’s Great Ocean Marathon and driving force behind a proposed Trans-Otway Waterfall Walk between Lorne and Apollo Bay, said new trails would lure people to the region.