A SYMBOLIC trail head and platform to mark the starting point of the Great Ocean Road Walk at Apollo Bay should open early next month, Parks Victoria says.
Workers are constructing a new 15-metre by five-metre timber platform backed by a steel-framed, wave-like timber structure, which will sit in the carpark next to the Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre.
The new landmark will help walkers capture the perfect shot to mark their experience trekking the Great Ocean Road Walk.
Apollo Bay’s weekly market will also regularly use the newly constructed platform to allow more stallholders to open during the event.
The $300,000 project is one of the last to come out of a $4.1-million funding package from Regional Development Victoria designed to upgrade visitor experiences on the walk.
Parks Victoria district manager Dale Antonyen said workers made a range of other improvements to the area surrounding the new trail head.
“Works to date include demolishing the old car park entry, realigning the entrance and installing a new raised pedestrian crossing,” he said.
“Next week high durability timber for the decking will be delivered to site along with locally sourced rocks to begin landscaping works.
“The eye-catching stage-like platform will transform Apollo Bay’s foreshore carpark… and help to celebrate the town’s important role in Victorian tourism as the home of the start of the Great Ocean Walk.”
Colac Otway Shire Council tourism development officer Adrian Healey said the trailhead was certain to become a new iconic landmark for the town.
“The fact there is now going to be significant infrastructure in Apollo Bay where people can share their experiences about Apollo Bay and the walk via social media is going to be an amazing showcase for the town and great for local business,” he said.
“It will also extend the market area for the markets and be a lovely sitting area for visitors and the community to use when they are in town.”